Tag Archives: emergency cooking

  • 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

  • 6 Delicious Vegetarian-Style Recipes from Food Storage

    The Farmer’s Market Vegetable Combo gives you the flavors of ultra-fresh vegetables right in your food storage supply. These staple ingredients, along with others, are great for delicious side dishes or healthy, vegetarian-style meals. Check out what you can do with just a few vegetables.

    Food Storage Pasta Primavera

     This refreshing dish is great to eat for a light lunch or dinner

    This flavorful combination of crisp carrots, green peas, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, and more gives you a light and healthy lunch or dinner selection. Enjoy the refreshing flavor on a summer’s day outdoors or in the office.

    Fresh Farmer’s Salad

    This fresh vegetable salad gives you refreshing flavor using vegetables from the Farmer's Market Combo

    This fresh vegetable salad will brighten up your table using crisp broccoli, green beans, green peas, zucchini, and tomatoes tossed with a tangy oil and vinegar dressing.  This dish gives you a light meal great for lunchtime.

    For a variation, try making this salad into a Cobb Salad by adding Yoder’s Bacon.

    Hearty Strawberry Smoothie

     Try this delicious smoothie for a sweet, hearty way to start your morning

    For the lacto-ovo vegetarians (what most think of as basic vegetarians who avoid all meat but still eat eggs and dairy) out there, this sweet, addicting breakfast smoothie will give you the energy you need with fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains to keep you going all day long. This smoothie combines the unique, hearty texture of oats to complement the sweet flavor of fruits, giving you a one-of-a-kind dish.

    Broccoli and Green Beans

     This broccoli and green bean dish is a fantastic side to eat with practically any meal

    Bring a mouthwatering flavor to your table with this simple, yet tasty, side dish. Savory garlic and red pepper flakes combine with fresh-tasting green vegetables to bring you a crisp, flavorful dish that’s great to eat at home or to share with friends and family at a picnic or barbeque.

    Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

     Cheesy, saucey noodles stuffed with cottage cheese and vegetables give you a remarkable meal you won't forget.

    Make a flavorful gourmet meal for dinner tonight that’s sure to become a family favorite. Again, this is one is for lacto-ovo vegetarians who enjoy dairy. This meal can easily be made with or without meat. Spinach, an abundance of cheese, and a delicious tomato sauce will have you begging for more.

    For a variation, add Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles to the mix.

    Zucchini Corn Fritters

     This sweet and savory dish is a great way to welcome summer

    These fritters will have you rushing the table for the last one. The sweet, delicious flavor combined with fresh-tasting vegetables makes this a dish that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

    Do you have any favorite vegetarian recipes you’d like to share?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: meals, food storage meals, emergency cooking, vegetarian, freeze dried food, #10 cans, vegetables, recipes, food storage

  • 3 Substitutes for Corned Beef and Cabbage Slaw

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    Corned Beef and Cabbage Slaw is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal. This year, we decided to pay homage to the beef and cabbage combo, but try it out in some different recipes. Give one of these a try on St. Patty’s Day or any time—believe me, you’ll want to make them more than once a year.

    Cabbage Coleslaw

     This delicious cabbage coleslaw is great alone or as part of a meal using food storage ingredients!

    Beef Brisket Lo Mein

    Beef Brisket Lo Mein gives you the flavorful taste of beef and cabbage in a delicious Oriental-style dish

    Beef Brisket Taco

    The Beef Brisket Taco adds a colorful display of flavor to the table any time of the year.

    Personal BBQ Brisket Pizzas

     Personal BBQ Brisket Pizzas from food storage

    What’s your favorite beef and cabbage meal?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: beef and cabbage, food storage meals, emergency cooking, St. Patrick's Day, #10 cans, freeze dried, emergency preparedness, recipes, food storage

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