Tag Archives: dehydrated food

  • Preparedness Basics: How to Use a Dehydrator

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    Preparedness Basics: How to Use a Dehydrator

    Whether you’re using it for food storage, snacks, or camping, using a dehydrator to dry your own food can be a great money saver—plus you know your food was fresh before it was dehydrated! There are a lot of different variables to consider when dehydrating fruits, veggies, and meats, so this is a basic how-to that will work as a jumping off point.

    What you need:

    • A dehydrator (like the Excalibur, L’Equip, or American Harvest)
    • Fruit/Veggies/Meat
    • Cutting board
    • Knife
    • Air-tight containers/freezer bags
    • Optional:
      • Provident Pantry Iodized Salt, Provident Pantry White Sugar, spices
      • Ascorbic acid or citrus juice
      • Pot with boiling water for blanching (a method of partially cooking fruits or vegetables in boiling water before dehydrating them. Blanching makes it easier to peel produce and helps to keep their colors vibrant and bright instead of turning gray in the dehydrator.)

     

    How to Prep Your Foods and Use Your Dehydrator:

    1. Collect your ingredients. If you’re using fruits or vegetables make sure they’re of good quality and not bruised or overripe as this will impact the quality of your dehydrated goods.

    2. Prepare ingredients. This will vary depending on what you are using, but this means cleaning, hulling, and slicing produce or cutting up meat. The important thing is to maintain consistency in the thickness of your slices/pieces to ensure drying at an even rate.

    •  Fruit: If desired, treat fruits prone to oxidation with citrus juice or ascorbic acid to help retain color throughout the process. You may also need to crack the skins of tough fruits (grapes, berries) to allow the moisture to evaporate.
    • Vegetables: For most vegetables, a short blanching in boiling water will help speed the drying process and help maintain color. Three to five minutes should be enough.

    3. Season. This step is optional, but if desired you can add salt, sugar, or spices.

    4. Load. Take all of your pieces and load onto the dehydrator trays without overlapping pieces.

    5. Go! Turn on your dehydrator immediately after loading. Consult your owner’s manual for recommended drying times and other specific instructions. Expect it to take anywhere from 6-12 hours.

    6. Check. As you get close to the end of drying time, you can check to see if your pieces are done! To check, remove a piece from the dehydrator and allow it to cool. Feel it with your fingers. If it feels dry to the touch, then it is probably done. An additional test can be done by cutting open pieces to see if there are any moisture beads. Another option is putting warm pieces into a plastic bag to see if condensation forms. If any moisture is present after trying one of these three tests, you need to dry them out more.

    7. Cool. Allow your pieces to cool for 30-60 minutes before packing (they should be completely cool to the touch).

    • Conditioning Dried Fruits: Because fruits retain a small amount of moisture, it is necessary to condition them before storage. Conditioning is a method of protecting the fruit from spoilage, especially from mold. Place loosely in a jar until about 2/3 full. Lightly cover. Shake once a day for 7-10 days. If condensation appears on the jar, the fruit needs to be returned to the dehydrator for further drying. Repeat conditioning process if more drying is necessary.

    8. Store. Place in air-tight containers or plastic freezer bags (remove all air) and store in a cool, dry place. When properly stored, dehydrated foods usually last about a year.

     

    To learn more tips about how to prepare your foods for a dehydrator, check out our blog post “ Preparedness Skills: Dehydrating Basics.”

    That’s it, a basic how-to for using a dehydrator. Isn’t it easy? Time to go make some tasty snacks!

    --Michelle

    For all those with years of experience using a dehydrator, what other tips would you give beginners for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and meats?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency food preparation, dehydrator, emergency cooking, dehydrated food, food storage

  • Follow-up Review from Kevin in Oklahoma

     Pinto Beans with Scoop

    Here's a quick update from Kevin in Oklahoma. Thanks for spreading the word and helping people prepare, Kevin!

    --Sarah

     

    "I wanted to let you know that I brought my extra catalog to the machine shop where I work as there are at least a dozen people either using the other brand or looking for a good storage food company. As I type this there are four customers of the other brand making up orders (some for several hundred dollars’ worth) to make purchase from you! As one person put it, "I can buy a super pail of pinto beans for less than two number 10 cans of the other brand would cost me." I will probably have at least three orders put in this week not counting my own!

    I had the president of the company asking about it also—may see about doing a taste test for the whole plant! Most will take my word for it that it tastes great, and when the others get their orders and start raving about it you should get several more customers. I have been pushing the idea of re-purposing part of their monthly food budget into daily usable food storage. By the way, the person who commented on being able to buy the super pail of beans cheaper is a brand new [competitor] consultant! He has dropped his consultancy as of today and is now buying from Emergency Essentials! How's that for an endorsement!"

    --Kevin, Oklahoma

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: dehydrated food, Customer Reviews, Beans, food storage

  • May 2013 Sale Items

    Oh, boy… have we got some great stuff for you in May.

    First things first. Remember the 160-gallon Water Reserve we introduced you to a couple of weeks ago? Well, we’ve bundled two Water Reserves together with a 50-foot drinking-water-safe hose and 6 Aquamira Water Treatments (three sets) to make the Ultimate Water Reserve Combo. And for this month only we’re selling it at an introductory price of $779.99. (It’s a $1099.99 value, and will regularly sell for $849.95.)

    So, if your water storage situation isn't in order, now would be a great time to make it happen.

    Ultimate Water Reserve Combo (320 Gallons) 320-Gallon Ultimate Water Reserve Combo

    Whole Egg Powder is 27% off

    $15.99 for a #10 can (reg. $21.95)

    $5.99 for MyChoice™ can (reg. $6.95)

    Who says you can’t have a wonderful brunch in a disaster? Keep powdered whole eggs on hand for baked items like cakes, cookies, and casseroles; or whip up delicious breakfast foods like quiche, scrambled eggs, or pancakes.

    Dried Whole Egg Powder - #10 Can Dried Whole Egg Powder - #10 Can

     

    Save 31% on the Fruit and Vegetable Favorites Combo

    $99.99 for 6 #10 cans

    Get a nice assortment of fruits and veggies in one fell swoop. This combo includes freeze dried strawberries, peaches, bananas, green peas, tomatoes, and super sweet corn. They’re favorites for a reason—they are delicious and really easy to use. Snack on them straight from the can, or add them into your favorite dishes. Rehydrate with water for a few minutes, and then treat them like fresh produce that’s pre-chopped and ready to go!

    Fruit and Vegetable Favorites Combo Fruit and Vegetable Favorites Combo

    All Mountain House Pouches are on Sale

    If you’re planning some backpacking, camping, or other outdoorsy fun this summer, stock up now on Mountain House pouches, and take some delicious entrées, wrap fillings, side dishes, and desserts with you!

    Road trip? Pack some pouches and fill a Thermos with hot water at home or along the way; you’ll have great meals without settling for whatever fast food joint or questionable diner you can find on the road.

    These pouches are also a great option for emergency kits—just be sure to pack extra water for reconstituting them.

     

    This is just a lil’ sampling of what we’ve got on sale this month. Check out the rest of our May sale items here.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: dehydrated food, water storage, freeze-dried foods, monthly sales, mountain house, food storage

  • Mountain House Travel Tip

    Ok, I mentioned a great travel tip in Friday’s post about our sale on Mountain House’s freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. I love the idea SO much that I’m expanding on it today…

    First though, I should give credit where it’s due. This tip came from Grant in Utah, via Sarah here at Emergency Essentials. He took his family of eight to Disneyland for a week and took two #10 cans of Mountain House entrees.

    Here are three benefits that we see to taking freeze dried food on your vacation:

    1 – The #10 cans are light. That means you can pack them and they won’t push your luggage over the weight limit. Unless of course you’re taking your Yeti with you just in case the Pirates of the Caribbean ride shuts down. (Like it did when I went in 7th grade. Sigh.)

    2- Save on money. According to Grant’s calculations, even if his family ate on the cheaper end of the spectrum, like McDonalds’ Dollar Menu, they would still end up spending around $50. So, deciding to save their moolah for those cute little Mickey Mouse ears, they brought along Mountain House Mac n’ Cheese (regular price, $28.99) and Beef Stroganoff (regular price, $28.29).

    3 - Save on time. Here’s what Grant had to say about it,

    At the end of a long day at Disneyland, we were tired, hungry, and some of us were a little cranky. The last thing you want to do is go find somewhere to eat that will make everyone happy. 

    Great point, Grant. Thanks for the helpful travel trip!

    To prepare freeze-dried and dehydrated entrees all you have to do is boil water (which you can easily do in the coffee maker in your room), add it to the contents of your #10 can, and wait 10-15 minutes. You won’t have to suffer through clean up either since there won’t be any pots and pans to wash up! 

    All Mountain House #10 cans are 20% off through March 21, 2013. If you buy six or more of the same item, we’ll give you 25% off!

    If you’ve used freeze-dried or dehydrated foods on your family vacation we want to hear about it! Comment below and let us know how you used your food storage.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland, vacation, dehydrated food, freeze dried food, save time, save money, Travel Tip, #10 cans, family, sale, mountain house