Providing that you have stored your freeze dried food correctly, it will taste just as great as fresh food. Rehydrating the food is no big deal, but you may want to take a little bit of extra care when you cook it. I have to be honest and say that I think that freeze dried food often tastes better than regular frozen food. The process of freeze drying seems to intensify the flavor. There is no great mystery to how to rehydrate freeze dried food and still make it taste great. However, I have one hot tip for you. Dry your own herbs or invest in high quality dried herbs; it will make a lot of difference.
How to rehydrate freeze dried food
First of all, I prefer to buy foods which have not been cooked before freeze drying. If you are still going to prepare family meals, it can taste better and give you the feeling of cooking with fresh food. That being said, cooked freeze-dried food has its place as well, and you should have this available also. From an energy point of view, it is much more economical in a crisis.
All you need to do to rehydrate food is to place it in a bowl of water and let it absorb all of the water it needs. It doesn’t take very long, and you can actually watch the process. In a few minutes, your food will be ready to cook or to enjoy. Remove from the water, and cook all food which wasn’t prepared prior to freeze drying. Ice cream, fruit, and berries do not need to be cooked. However, you should always cook the meat, or reheat it, if it hasn’t already been cooked.
How to cook your food
Cooking with uncooked meat and vegetables is not different from cooking with fresh produce. As I always try to focus on energy consumption when I cook, I will use a crock pot or a small gas stove. You can also use a steamer to cook vegetables and fish. Food such as fish and vegetables will retain more of its nutritional content if prepared in a steamer. Salmon steamed with herbs will taste great when cooked in a steamer.
You cook the food in the same way as fresh food. My personal preference is to cook it in a crockpot. Somehow, the freeze drying process seems to have made the food tastier. This is probably because no oxygen or water has been allowed access to the food. In other words, there has been nothing there to spoil it.
Cooking a casserole in a hot pot will taste just great, but remember to use your herbs. I find that you will need to add extra spices and herbs to the food to get an authentic taste of a dish. Onions are great as well, and you should try to add them if you can. I would advise against using things like powdered dairy cream. It doesn’t seem to taste very good. The fresh version is better, and will make the dish more home cooked.
Don’t be afraid of freeze dried food. It is really great, and even of you are not a prepper, it can make a great addition to your larder. If, you are trying to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, freeze dried food is a great alternative. You get more bang for your buck as they say!
Just imagine a situation when you get into a natural or human created emergency like there’s a drought or flood or you have lost your job. What would you do? What are the possible options for you to save your family and survive? Could you feed them for a longer period than say a month or a year?
If you are like most people, you probably don’t have enough resources on hand to feed your entire family for more than just a few days or weeks. In the hustle and bustle of today’s modern age where meals are readily available on every major street corner, and with all the grocery stores packed to the brim with food choices, most people don’t ever think about a day where that would no longer be an option. The modern man simply doesn’t seem to have a need to prepare for future emergencies.
It’s not like we don’t care for our family or ourselves. We do care, and we are responsible enough to provide them security in each case. We care so much that we tend to think of our family first before even thinking about ourselves. However, with all the abundance around us nowadays, we never seem to plan the days of future emergency like Mormons do.
Now a question is who are the Mormons and why do they think differently than the rest of us? The Mormons is an affectionate nickname for the congregational members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS for short). The philosophy of the church is always to be prepared. It dates back to the early days of the church when out on the frontier in Utah, times were a little rough. So, the church made sure that every member was as self-reliant as possible, so that if bad times fell upon their the community, others could always pitch in and help their neighbors out. They are so hardwired to think this way to this very day that others outside of the church refer to their food storage habits as LDS food storage method. You can kind of think of them as the original “preppers”.
For LDS food storage, the church teaches that everyone should at minimum have enough food stored in their home for their entire family to survive at least three months. But the main teachings of the LDS is to have all of its members have at least a one-year food supply for any emergency whatsoever.
There are three essential things we need in an emergency, food, water and money to survive any uncommon natural events, and the Mormons are taught to store all three of them.
How do they pull it off? Let me explain it to you. You see, when everyone else goes shopping for our needs, we typically just simply go and buy the amount of everything which is essential for a week. We typically never buy anything extra as we think it is the waste of money. However, every time Mormons go shopping, they buy something extra, according to their budget and store it for future use. They never forget to check the expiry date whenever needed, and they make sure they use it before expiration to avoid any waste. They call this smart process the rotation of food. Like they use stored food first and then simply store fresh ones they have just bought. They store the essentials for at least three months, but preferably a year. That way, in the case of an emergency, they can comfortably survive for at least three months.
To be more frugal, they typically buy in bulk, which in turn saves them a lot of money too which in turn lets them stay away from debt and have some left over to put away in savings to be used in case of emergency.
Probably the biggest question that you may have is how can you store food long enough to be able to set it aside. The first way to accomplish this is through a process called canning. Canning is a procedure where you cook foods and pour it into a clean glass jar. You simply place a special metal lid on it so that when it cools, it creates a vacuum, and the lid pulls down. It’s the same reason why when you open a jar of jelly purchase from the store that the lid will make a popping sound when you open it for the first time because you broke the vacuum seal.
The other way is to store dry or dehydrated goods in an air-free container. You could use a metal #10 can, but you would need to have a special sealer to do it properly. Most of the LDS canneries have one that you can borrow or use on site if you are a registered member of the church. However, the easiest way is to place your food inside a sealed mylar food storage bag instead.
Mylar is a clear polyester like material that is very strong and has a very high tensile strength. Mylar is a great substance to use in a bag that is going to be used in which to store food because it will block out some of the main enemies of food such as oxygen and moisture. Furthermore, since most mylar bags also typically have an outer aluminum foil layer, light, another enemy of food storage, will also be prevented from coming inside too.
The best things to store in sealed mylar bags are dry food items like rice, wheat, beans, oats, and pasta. Likewise, most anything thing that is dehydrated or dried can also be stored in a mylar bag. Mylar bags or so efficient for long term food storage because once you heat seal them no more air or moisture will be able to enter it for many decades to come. Which brings up the following question, if no air can enter, then that must also mean that no air can exit, right? And if that is the case, won’t the existing oxygen in the bag cause the food to oxidise and spoil?
The solution to this dilemma is to use merely an oxygen absorber. You simply just drop one in the bag before sealing it up, and it instantly starts to work. So long as you use the right sized absorber, all of the oxygen will be removed from inside the bag down to an insignificant amount.
I guess that would also bring up the question of “who has the best mylar bag and the most efficient oxygen absorbers”? After of a lot of trial and error, we have found that both the LDS mylar bags sold directly by the LDS church, which is only available to registered church members, and the high-quality Mylar PRO bag, which is available online to everyone, seems to work the best.
Regardless of which brand you use, make sure you don’t skimp and buy those cheap thin ones from some other less respected companies that try to pass off as being sufficient for true long term food storage. Since those cheap ones are so thin, they tend to rupture easily as the oxygen absorber starts to create a vacuum seal and pull the bag tightly against the food. Whereas with the heavy duty 4.3 mil and the extreme 5.25 mil real Mylar PRO brand food storage bags, we have never had a problem with the food bag puncturing and losing its vacuum seal. What would be worse than one day needing to use your stored food several years from now only to find that a cheap mylar bag had ruptured, and all your stored food had needlessly spoiled prematurely? Just like the Mormons do, you should think of your stored food as a precious resource, so make sure you get a high-quality mylar bag as your storage vessel; your family’s very life may depend on it someday.
And lastly, Mormons are also taught to store water. As water is very essential for the survival of a living creature like us, Mormons make sure that they have enough storage of drinking water for at least three months as in a situation like draught when the availability of water is negligible.
Storing food for the long term may sound like a strange idea to some people, but if your are an experienced prepper, you will appreciate how important it is. If, you are just getting into prepping, you may wonder what the upsides are why should store food for the long term. There are several reasons, and most of them are quite easy to appreciate. Storing food long term is one of the fundamental concepts of prepping.
Planning ahead for a crisis
As a prepare, you have decided that you need to be aware that a crisis can hit at any time. Awareness is really important; we really don’t know what is around the corner. A man-made or natural disaster can happen at any time, and I have learned to be prepared. Most preppers do not experience any natural disasters. But you may say that I am fortunate. My family has experienced a few natural disasters, and we have learned the importance of planning ahead.
One of the most important issues that you can plan ahead for is a food crisis. In my experience of natural disasters, I have learned that it is important to be able to store food for a longer duration. You never know how long the crisis is going to last, and I often find that I plan for a year ahead. Okay, most crisis that I have come up against have only lasted for a week, but my long term food storage has really helped.
I have been able to get on with my daily life and not had to worry about food. During what I call the “good times,” I focus on building up our long term food stocks. This means that I buy up food products like rice, and dried vegetables, and place them inside my storage containers. At the same time, it allows you to take advantage of special offers, or bulk buys. A lot of our food is bulk bought, so this means that storing food saves us money as well.
What food to store
A lot of people ask me what type of food they should store. It is not as easy as that, and this is where planning ahead becomes, even more, important. Most people forget that they really need to consider how they are going to prepare their food. It is no good going out to buy a lot of flour if you don’t have an oven that you can bake bread in.
The best thing that you can do is to focus on food that you can easily prepare as fuel sources might be limited. Foods like dried rice, dried vegetables, and dried meats are good as they are quick to prepare. The main benefit of freeze dried food is that it retains its nutritional value. Nutrition and energy are what will keep you going and healthy in a crisis. By all means, if you have a bread oven, or know how to make flat bread, buy flour, otherwise don’t. Flour can easily attract mold and other parasites, so it is best to be careful.
Storing food long term is one of the essential concepts when it comes to prepping. Even more important is storing the food correctly using the best equipment available. Investing in the right equipment for food and water storage purposes should never be underestimated.