what is freeze drying?

Freeze drying is the process of dehydrating frozen foods under a vacuum so the moisture content changes directly from a solid to a gaseous form without having to undergo the intermediate liquid state through sublimation. In this process, freeze dried food maintains its original size and shape with a minimum of cell rupture. Removing moisture prevents a product from deteriorating at room temperature.

The process is used for drying and preserving a number of food products, including meats, vegetables, fruits, and instant coffee products.

The dried product will be the same size and shape as the original frozen material and will be found to have excellent stability and convenient reconstitution when placed in water. Freeze dried products will maintain nutrients, color, flavor, and texture often indistinguishable from the original product.

Depending on the product and the packaging environment, freeze dried foods are shelf-stable at room temperature for up to twenty-five years or more, if canned, and between 6 months to 3 years if stored in a poly-bag container, making it perfect for survival food or food storage as well as for commercial use.

The main determinant of degradation is the amount and type of fat content and the degree to which oxygen is kept away from the product.

How does Freeze Drying work?

The purpose of freeze-drying is to remove a solvent (usually water) from dissolved or dispersed solids. Freeze drying is the method for preserving materials that are unstable in solution. In addition, freeze-drying can be used to separate and recover volatile substances as well as to purify materials. The fundamental process steps are:

  1. Freezing: The product is frozen. This provides a necessary condition for low-temperature drying.
  2. Vacuum: After freezing, the product is placed under a vacuum. This enables the frozen solvent in the product to vaporize without passing through the liquid phase, a process known as sublimation.
  3. Heat: Heat is applied to the frozen product to accelerate sublimation.
  4. Condensation: Low-temperature condenser plates remove the vaporized solvent from the vacuum chamber by converting it back to a solid. This completes the separation process.

Home Freeze Dryer Basic Information

Home freeze dryer is specially created for home users.It provides you with the best food preservation, not only for extreme shelf life, but also for high nutritional value and taste.This machine is relatively easy to operate and maintain, it produces quality results, and it is reasonably affordable.

Owning your own freeze dryer can make healthy eating more affordable.You can make your own preservative-free “packaged” food.Or, you can make your own healthy recipes without wasting leftovers or ingredients.When it comes to produce and meat, especially if you buy organic, there’s a huge financial payoff.

Small Labsnova Freeze Dryer

home-freeze-dryer
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You only have three trays with this small freeze dryer, so won’t be able to do more than 5lbs of food at once. However, this model is actually portable and won’t take up too much space.  Buy this model if you have few freeze-dried foods or want to experiment freeze drying foods at a lower cost.

Features:

  • Patented technology keeps the product fresh and preserves the potency, color, shape and nutrition of any organic material.
  • Freeze drying retains 97% of the nutritional value with a 25-year shelf life.
  • The freeze dryer has built-in intelligence. It automatically and perfectly manages the freeze drying process. 1.2 sq ft of tray space. Shelf unit has shelves for 3 trays .
  • 110V / 220V outlet. Maintenance: simply filter and replace oil. Comes standard with vacuum pump and 1 quart of vacuum pump oil.
  • Overall product dimensions are 400mm  x 550mm  x 700mm  and a shipping weight is 175 lbs.

Medium Labsnova Freeze Dryer

home-food-freeze-dryer
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For most people, this lyophilizer is a better choice.It comes with four trays and you can freeze dry more food, which is basically all you need for freeze-drying.Of course it is also relatively heavy, it is not so easy to move it, you’d better have a fixed place to put it

Features:

  • Patented technology keeps the product fresh and preserves the potency, color, shape and nutrition of any organic material.
  • Freeze drying retains 97% of the nutritional value with a 25-year shelf life.
  • The freeze dryer has built-in intelligence. It automatically and perfectly manages the freeze drying process. 4.8 sq ft of tray space. Shelf unit has shelves for 4 trays .
  • 110V / 220V outlet. Maintenance: simply filter and replace oil. Comes standard with vacuum pump and 1 quart of vacuum pump oil.
  • Overall product dimensions are 700mm*860mm*930mm and a shipping weight is 260 lbs.

Large Labsnova Freeze Dryer

large-home-freeze-dryer-black
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If you want to freeze dry food from your garden or share the freeze dryer with other families, the large model is the way to go.

You can freeze dry up to 3000lbs of food annually.  If you are already going this big, you might want to consider paying extra for the oil-free pump.  It will save you a lot of time filtering and refilling the oil!

Features:

  • Patented technology keeps the product fresh and preserves the potency, color, shape and nutrition of any organic material.
  • Freeze drying retains 97% of the nutritional value with a 25-year shelf life.
  • The freeze dryer has built-in intelligence. It automatically and perfectly manages the freeze drying process. 7.2 sq ft of tray space. Shelf unit has shelves for 4 trays .
  • 110V / 220V outlet. Maintenance: simply filter and replace oil. Comes standard with vacuum pump and 1 quart of vacuum pump oil.
  • Overall product dimensions are 700mm*800mm*1300mm and a shipping weight is 330 lbs.

Benefits of Home Freeze Drying

Compared to other food preservation methods, there are a lot of benefits with freeze drying.

1.  Retain the Nutrients in Food

Compared to other food preservation methods, freeze drying does a great job of preserving nutrients in food.  Harvest Right reports these stats:

  • Freeze dried foods retain 97% of nutrients
  • Dehydrated foods retain 60% of nutrients
  • Canned foods retain 40% of nutrients

Of course, Harvest Right (which sells home freeze dryers) has a vested interest in saying that nutrients are retained.  But these stats are backed up by many tests.

For example:

  • This study in the International Journal of Molecular Science found that freeze drying retained antioxidants such as beta carotene and linoleic acid in most fruits tested
  • Research by Sheffield University reported on here found that freeze-dried fruits retained 100% of vitamin C and only lost 8% of total antioxidants.

The reason that freeze drying is so great for preserving nutrients is because heat isn’t used.  Vitamins and antioxidants are very sensitive to heat.  Most vitamins are also water-soluble, so can be lost into the liquid used in canning.

2. Better Taste and Texture

Ever tried a freeze-dried strawberry?  It is delicious and crisp.  I actually like them more than fresh strawberries. Freeze-dried peas are so crunchy that you could smuggle them into the movies to eat instead of popcorn.

Now, not all freeze dried foods taste good – especially when you rehydrate them.  My thru-hiker father is constantly complaining about how gross freeze-dried lasagna is (I’m not sure why he keeps bringing it on his hikes!).

Yes, the texture can get a bit weird when you rehydrate freeze-dried foods. But, compared to canned or dehydrated foods, the texture is generally a lot less mushy.

3. Shelf Life

Freeze dried foods can have an amazingly long shelf life.  Some foods will last over 25 years, assuming that you keep them away from light and moisture.

Canned foods also have this long of a shelf life.  However, home canning usually involves glass jars – and glass is not the best storage vessel for emergency prep (imagine all your food prep shattered everywhere after an earthquake, hurricane, or tornado!).

4. Lightweight

Because all the moisture is removed it is very lightweight.  It is even lighter than dehydrated food because some moisture remains after dehydration.  A good home freeze dryer machine will have humidity sensors and only stop the process once the food is completely dry.

The light weight means freeze dried foods are ideal for backpacking and also for Bug Out Bag planning.

50+ Foods You Can Put into Your Freeze Dryer

Freeze Drying Fruits

1.Grapes

Freeze Drying Grapes : Slice in half and place on trays, side by side, with the skin side facing down. These are one of my favorite fruits to freeze dry. Grapes are extra sweet when all of the water is removed! These make a great snack.

Freeze dried grapes are wonderful snacks right out of the bag or jar. They are the perfect addition to a school lunch or as a healthy after school snack when combined with string cheese. Freeze dried grapes are also good on top of oatmeal and yogurt at breakfast. If you find yourself with a true overabundance of grapes, rehydrated, freeze dried grapes can be used to make jams and jellies. Because freeze drying doesn’t destroy nutrients the way that high-heat cooking and canning does, your grapes will retain all of their wonderful antioxidant properties.

Freeze-Dried-Red-Grapes

2.Apple Slices

Freeze drying Apple Slices : Slice your apples and dip them in a lemon water bath, to keep them from browning before they’re freeze dry. If you stack them up, assuming they’re not too tall, you can fit more on a tray. Want to try something amazing? Drizzle caramel sauce over the sliced apples, before putting them in the freeze dryer. The caramel will dry onto the apples, making an awesome crisp snack!! (This is also great on peaches.) You can also sprinkle cinnamon/sugar on them beforehand. Apples are also perfect for the millions of amazing apple recipes, like Apple Pie Biscuits.

Freeze Dried Apples are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest apples. You can use them for any application that calls for apples, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Freeze dried apples are great for pies, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, the possibilities are endless!

freeze-dried-Apple-Slices

3.Pineapple

Freeze dring Pineapple : The cycle takes extra long, because they’re so juicy. But, it’s one of my favorite things! Here’s a tip to speed up the drying time: have the pineapple already frozen BEFORE putting it in the freeze dryer. It will shave hours off the cycle time!

Freeze Dried Pineapples are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 2 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 85 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture.

freeze-dried-pineapple

4.Blueberries

Freeze drying Blueberries : The freeze drying process consists of placing the blueberries into a refrigerated vacuum system that dehydrates them. During this process, the ice in the blueberries doesn’t become liquid; it turns right into vapor. Additives need not be a concern for you because our freeze drying process maintains the integrity of the fruit. When rehydrated, they will begin to resemble fresh blueberries, again. For this very reason, they make an excellent choice for long-term food storage, and emergency preparedness.

Freeze Dried Blueberries are light and crisp, while retaining the sweet and tart flavor for which blueberries are known. Not only are they certified non-GMO but they’re also kosher. Use them to revamp yogurt, oatmeal, bread, or pancakes. Just add these gems to your recipe, instantly transforming an ordinary dish into a healthier and tastier one. And as if that weren’t enough reason to devour them, they’re also low in fat which makes them a great snack.

Freeze-dried-Blueberries

5.Strawberries

Freeze drying strawberries Slice, to keep them under the height of the tray’s rim. Strawberries make so many amazing recipes, like Strawberry Cupcakes, Strawberry Pie, or Strawberry Salad.

Freeze dried strawberries are great for long-term food storage because they’re storable for 10-15 years. Dried strawberries are also ideal for baking. You can add them to any recipe that calls for strawberries and the liquid from the batter will re-hydrate them, bringing them to delicious life!

freeze-dried-Strawberries-05

6.Mango

Freeze Drying Mangos : Freeze Dried Mangos are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 1 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 80 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of mangos.

Freeze Dried Mangos are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest mangos. You can use them for any application that calls for mangos, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Honeyville’s freeze dried mangos are great for jams, cakes, smoothies, yogurt, the possibilities are endless!

freeze-dried-Mango

7.Mixed Fruit

Freeze drying Mixed Fruit : Bags of frozen mixed fruit are so easy to dump on the trays. I often chop the bigger chunks smaller, to keep it under the height of the tray’s rim. These are great for smoothies or homemade ice cream.

The frozen fruits undergo freeze drying with a special combination of temperature and pressure. The majority of the frozen water in the fruits turns directly into water vapor, leaving the fruits dry and crunchy. This unique process retains most of the color, flavor, and nutritional value of the fresh fruit. Taste the difference!

Freeze-dried-Mixed-Fruit

8.Peaches & Apricots

Freeze Drying Peaches : Freeze Dried Peaches are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 2 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 85 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of peaches.

Freeze Dried Peaches are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest peaches. You can use them for any application that calls for peaches, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Honeyville’s freeze dried peaches are great for jams, pies, toppings, smoothies, the possibilities are endless!

freeze-dried-Peaches

9.Bananas

Freeze Dried Bananas are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 2 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 70 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of bananas.

Freeze Dried Bananas are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest bananas. You can use them for any application that calls for bananas, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Freeze dried bananas are great for pies, puddings, smoothies, toppings, the possibilities are endless!

Freeze-dried-Bananas

10.Lemons & Limes

Freeze-Dried Lemon Slices are the perfect drink garnish offering a convenient way to add natural lemon flavor! The pre-sliced lemon wheel is an easy and quick way to add a lemon garnish to your drink while the freeze-drying process preserves up to 98% of the lemon’s nutrients and offers shelf stability to ensure a garnish is always available. The stand-up pouch makes for easy storage and the resealable zipper extends the freshness for up to a month after opening. For quickest rehydration, please add the wheel first and then pour the drink over top. The liquid will quickly rehydrate the lemon and begin infusing your drink with flavor. Once rehydrated, the lemon also can be squeezed to maximize the flavor added to the drink. Please note, to achieve the listed shelf life, the pouch should be unopened and stored in a cool, dark place.

Freeze-dried-Lemons

11.Watermelon

Freeze Dried Watermelons are a healthy snack for your sugar gliders.  They go nuts over anything and everything freeze dried, and you have the peace of mind in knowing how good they are for them.

Freeze-drying is a three-step process that begins with freezing. Next the food is placed in a vacuum chamber under low heat. The frozen water crystals evaporate directly from ice to water vapor in a process called sublimation. The food then undergoes “secondary drying,” in which any remaining water molecules are removed under slightly higher temperatures. The food is nitrogen sealed for storage to prevent contamination from water or oxygen. As far back as 1200 A.D., the Incas freeze-dried potatoes (chuño) and a precursor to beef jerky (charqui), placing food on high-elevation stone platforms to freeze overnight and then dry in the sun.  If stored properly, foods that are freeze dried can be safe to eat and hold their nutritional value for 25 years or more.

freeze-dried-Watermelon

12.Raspberries & Blackberries

Freeze Drying Raspberries :  Freeze Dried Raspberries are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 3 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 80 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of raspberries.

Freeze Dried Raspberries are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest raspberries. You can use them for any application that calls for raspberries, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Honeyville’s freeze dried raspberries are great for jams, yogurt, toppings, smoothies, the possibilities are endless!

Freeze-dried-Raspberries

13.Cherries

Freeze Drying Cherries : Most people simply pit and cut in half to freeze dry. But, I’ve heard of a method that helps prevent any chewiness or stickiness (basically, an incomplete batch.) The method is to blanch the cherries for two minutes, drain them, then put on the tray. A couple cherry recipes: No Bake Cherry Delight Dessert and Grammy P.’s Cherry Torte Bars.

Freeze Dried Raspberries are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest raspberries. You can use them for any application that calls for raspberries, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Honeyville’s freeze dried raspberries are great for jams, yogurt, toppings, smoothies, the possibilities are endless!

Freeze-dried-Cherries

Fruits That Offen Called Vegetables

14.Avocado

Freeze drying avocados allows them to stay green and fresh for years. A freeze-dried avocado keeps its vibrant green color and nearly all of its nutritional benefits, and, they are so easy to rehydrate. Just spritz avocado slices with cold water and let them rehydrate in the fridge. Use them on a sandwich, hamburger, or toss them in a salad. You won’t have to worry about having ripe, fresh, ready-to-eat avocados on-hand because you can just pull them right out of your food storage, whenever the craving hits you.

Freeze-dried-Avocado

15.Olives

Freeze dried Olives : Rehydrate, add to any food or dish or eat as a snack,Eating freeze dried black olives is a unique way of eating olives.2.4 Oz of freeze dried black olives is equivalent to about 14.4 oz of fresh olives.Freeze dried olives are an important source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports the immune system .Our advanced freeze drying process removes all the water from the fresh basil and leaves behind all the minerals and true essence of the spice .

Freeze-dried-Olives

16.Tomatoes

Freeze Drying Tomato : Just cut in slices or in half (if cherry tomatoes), set on trays, and you’re good to go. After rehydrating, try these popular Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes.

Freeze Dried Tomato Chunks are delicious in soups, sauces, wraps, chili and more. Freeze-dried tomato chunks are easy to prepare and packed with nutrients.

Freeze-dried-Tomatoes

17.Zucchini

Freeze Drying Zucchini : is produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 4 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 90 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of zucchini.

Freeze Dried Zucchini is light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest zucchini. You can use them for any application that calls for zucchini, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Honeyville’s freeze dried zucchini is great for casseroles, side dishes, salads, the possibilities are endless!

Freeze-dried-Zucchini

18.Squash

Freeze drying squash allows you to preserve squash that retains most of its nutritional value and lasts much longer than any other preservation method- up to 25 years in some cases.

You can make freeze dried squash in slices, grated, or chunks and use it just as you would other preserved squash- in baked goods, soups, stews, smoothies, and more. You can slice them and make them into freeze dried chips- that are super crunchy and a good alternative to potato chips-without the oil!

Freeze-dried-Squash

Freeze Drying Vegetables

19.Peas

Freeze drying Peas :  Simply buy them frozen (I’ve heard they’re pre-blanched that way), dump them on a tray, and freeze dry. It’s totally fine if they overlap and stack, just keep the height of the peas under the rim. There is no need to puncture the peas before freeze drying. Serve peas on the side, with The Best Swiss Cheese Chicken Dinner.

Freeze dried peas are the perfect vegetable, that if taken frequently, can improve your health. You can eat them as a snack or add them to your dishes. The process of freeze-drying involves removing all the water content in their frozen state. The pressure of the freeze dryer is adjusted to dry the peas thoroughly. The best part is that no nutrients are lost during this process.

freeze-dried-Peas

20.Corn

Freeze drying corn : Feel free to let your corn in the tray overlap and stack on top of each other. I’ve never had any problems with it! Corn is great for adding to my favorite Taco Soup, the Easiest Chicken and Dumplings, or using it to make Paula’s Deans Corn Casserole.

Freeze dried corn is a great camping or backpacking food and convenient for quick-and-easy cooking at home.Like other freeze dried vegetables, freeze dried sweet corn is often used as a snack right out of the bag.Also often used to make trail mixes, soups, stews, chowders, tacos, and ethnic recipes.

Freeze-dried-Corn

21.Green Beans

Freeze Drying Green Beans : Freeze Dried Green Beans are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 3 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 90 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of green beans.

Freeze Dried Green Beans are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest green beans. You can use them for any application that calls for green beans, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Freeze dried green beans are great for pot roasts, casseroles, side dishes, the possibilities are endless!

22.Carrots

Freeze drying carrots : The best way to freeze dry carrots is to either dice them, slice them in to chips, or long spears. No need to blanch. Whole carrots are a little too thick. Carrots are incredibly handy to have in your home food storage.

Carrots have been cultivated for thousands of years – and today, they’re an essential part of a huge range of global cuisines.

Supremely versatile, their vibrant orange colour and natural sweetness makes them ideal for teaming with a wide range of other vegetables, especially peas, potatoes, green beans and broccoli.

Freeze-dried carrots work really well with a range of herbs and spices, including cumin, coriander, parsley and dill, and they can be used in everything from packet sauces and stocks to salads, soups and smoothies.

An excellent source of vitamin A and dietary fibre, they can also be used to bring an attractive, natural orange colour to products.

Freeze-dried-Carrots

23.Onions

Freeze Drying Onions : Freeze Dried Onions are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 4 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 85 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of onions.

Freeze Dried Onions are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest onions. You can use them for any application that calls for onions, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Honeyville’s freeze dried onions are great for sauces, casseroles, seasonings, soups, the possibilities are endless!

Freeze-dried-Onions

24.Broccoli

Freeze Dried Broccoli is produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 3 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 90 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of broccoli.

Freeze Dried Broccoli is light and crisp, and still has all the same nutrition and taste of broccoli in its original fresh state. You can use them for any application that calls for chopped broccoli. The size of the broccoli pieces are great for side dishes, casseroles, stir fry, soups and more. The possibilities are endless!

freeze-dried-Broccoli

25.Beans

These legumes, often classified as a vegetable, are easily stored dehydrated for 30 years. You don’t necessarily need to freeze dry them. However, I would definitely freeze dry soups and side dishes with beans, for convenience. Baked beans, Black Bean Soup, or White Chicken Chili are great ideas.

freeze-dried-Beans

26.Potatoes

Freeze drying Potatoes : Be sure to blanch the potatoes for a few minutes, drain, and pat dry, before putting on the trays. If you don’t blanch the potatoes, they will turn brown. Keep all potatoes on the tray at 1/2 inch or smaller.

Freeze dried Potatoes are a staple to have in the kitchen. The 25 year shelf life gives you comfort knowing no matter the circumstance, you have access to delicious Potatoes year round. These Freeze-dried Potatoes keep their nutritional value and taste. Preparation only requires water and a few minutes of your time. Once reconstituted these potatoes can be made into mashed potatoes, used as hash browns or thrown into potato soup. Potatoes are a must have in any food storage!

27.Mushrooms

Freeze Drying Mushrooms : Freeze Dried Mushrooms are produced in a process where moisture is removed from the product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 3 percent moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 90 percent, while the volume stays the same. This remarkable process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of mushrooms.

When rehydrated, the product will absorb the liquid and resemble fresh mushrooms once again. The taste is great, and the nutritional value is preserved. Freeze drying provides natural and additive free vegetables to be stored effectively for long periods of time. Freeze Dried Mushrooms are an ideal product for long term food storage and emergency preparedness.

Freeze Dried Mushrooms are light and crisp, while the flavors have the perfect balance of sweet and tart that only comes from the freshest mushrooms. You can use them for any application that calls for mushrooms, including eating them right out of the can as a healthy snack. Freeze dried mushrooms are great for sauces, casseroles, pizza toppings, soups, the possibilities are endless!

freeze-dried-mushrooms

28.Spinach/Kale/Greens

With a dark green colour and bitter, mineral rich taste, spinach is packed with iron and full of Antioxidants.It goes really well with chicken and fish, and is an excellent addition to tarts and savoury pastries. Because of its health benefits, freeze-dried spinach is a fantastic functional food, great for adding a natural green colour whilst boosting the health benefits of smoothies and detox drinks.

Add shelf-stable freeze-dried spinach to soups or stir-fries for a splash of color vitamins and more. Good for stocking emergency kits with vegetables, too. Spinach is laden with vitamin A and vitamin C as well as dietary fiber.

As a freeze-dried powder, spinach boasts a rich, vibrant green colour, and a more delicate flavour – making it the ideal natural colouring for use in pasta, cereals and bakery recipes. The pieces are particularly useful for adding to instant rice, couscous and noodle products.

freeze-dried-Spinach

Freeze Drying Meats

29.Ground Beef

Freeze Drying Ground Beef  : The fat in meat doesn’t freeze dry well and can turn your food rancid, if there is too much fat. Buy the leanest ground beef you can find. Cook it first, so it doesn’t have to be cooked after rehydrating. After cooking and draining any fat, I put the meat in a colander and rinse the meat in hot water. This will help wash off any remaining fat. After these steps, pat dry with paper towels and place on the trays to freeze dry. Meats with fat, even when rinsed, may have a shorter shelf life… more like 5 to 10 years. Try the ground beef in this Italian Stuffed Shells recipe.

Freeze Dried Ground Beef is made from 100% wholesome beef. Beef crumbles always make a great addition to dishes, including tacos, pastas, meat sauces, burritos and more! The one thing you never have to sacrifice with long-term food storage is taste;

Freeze Dried Ground Beef  are both savory and shelf stable. With ground beef now available in travel size cans, you can enjoy them on the go for camping, hiking, road trips and backpacking.

Protein is not the only benefit of beef but also zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Freeze Dried Ground Beef is the best choice for emergency preparedness and everyday cooking, seeing as the main source of protein in the average daily diet comes from meat.

freeze-dried-Ground-Beef

30.Chicken

Freeze drying chicken :  To simplify things, buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from supermarket, to shred. Or, bags of frozen pre-cooked chicken pieces . Just dump the chicken on the trays, chop any pieces that are too thick, and freeze dry. It’s super easy!  I’ve also put entire frozen chicken patties on trays and dinosaur nuggets.

When times are tough or meats have simply become unavailable due to an emergency, this freeze-dried chicken will replenish your family with much-needed nutrients. Add it to pastas, teriyaki dishes, soups and more for an instant dose of healthy mouth-watering flavor. Just add water to prepare and the diced chicken regains its texture, nutritional value and flavor that can satisfy even the most vigorous of appetites. Freeze-dried chicken can provides a 30-year shelf life so prepare now for any unfortunate circumstance – even those in the distant future.

freeze-dried-Chicken-30

31.Ham

Freeze drying Ham : Freeze Dried Ham is made from 100% North American pork.  Cut meats are diced, cooked, and freeze dried for great tasting ham and extended shelf life. The main source of protein in the average daily diet comes from meat, so freeze dried meats are an important storage item for emergency preparedness.

Freeze dried Ham is easy to reconstitute and maintains all of its nutrients. Freeze dried ham is great to use with beans, in omelets, soups, casseroles, fried rice, quesadillas or any other recipe that calls for ham.  Maintain normalcy in emergency situations with real ham in your long term food storage.

Freeze-dried-Ham

32.Turkey

Freeze Dried Turkey is made from 100% wholesome poultry. Freeze dried turkey always make great dishes, including salads, pastas, pot pies, casseroles and more! Freeze dried turkey are both delicious and shelf stable. You can enjoy them on the go for camping, hiking, road trips and backpacking with ease.

The main source of protein in the average daily diet comes from meat, so we understand how meats are an important storage item for emergency preparedness. The biggest benefits of turkey is not just protein, but also iron, phosphorus, zinc, and B vitamins, so stock up with great tasting turkey. It’s your best bet for both food storage and everyday cooking.

Freeze-dried-Turkey

33.Beef

Freeze Dried Beef gives you all the deliciousness of standard beef, without having to cook it. How? Because it’s precooked and then freeze dried, the beef retains all the flavor and nutritional value of the beef you typically enjoy at home. Use it in any recipe requiring cooked beef for a delicious, protein-packed meal.

The main source of protein in the average daily diet comes from meat, so we understand how meats are an important storage item for emergency preparedness. The biggest benefits of beef is not just protein, but also zinc, iron, and B vitamins, so stock up with Honeyville’s great tasting diced beef. It’s your best bet for both food storage and everyday cooking.

Freeze-dried-beef

34.Eggs

Freeze drying Eggs : Yes, I know eggs are not meat, but they’re also not dairy. So, let’s put them here, since it’s a great source of protein! Crack them into a bowl, whisk them, then pour them into empty trays, that are already sitting in the freeze dryer. I just pull them out a couple inches, pour the eggs in the tray, and carefully push it back in. Then, go whisk 18 more eggs for the next tray. Eggs are such a cool thing to have available. You can have fresh-like eggs at any time, no chickens or grocery store needed! Perfect for scrambled eggs and baking.

Freeze dried Eggs : Whole eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat because of their large amounts of proteins and vitamins while being low in fat. All the important nutrients remain in the eggs for up to 25 years. The whole egg is then ground into a powder and can be reconstituted as scrambled eggs. Store what is widely considered a perfect food source with Valley Food Storage Whole Eggs.

freeze-dried-eggs

Freeze Drying Dairy

35.Yogurt

Freeze drying yogurt : Everyone in the freeze drying community will tell you that regular Yoplait yogurt works the best. Some people like to spread the yogurt on the tray and break it apart, like bark. Others like to put the yogurt in silicone molds, freeze them into a cute, uniform shape, then pop out onto the tray to freeze dry. Personally, I dump the yogurt into a Ziplock bag, cut off the corner and squeeze out little drops onto the tray. Every once in a while, a fruit chunk will clog it up, but it’s easy enough to pick out and continue on.

Freeze dried yogurt can be a good solution because of its long shelf life. Under ideal conditions, it can be expected to last 25 years or more in an unopened can. Once opened, though, store it in a dry location because it is affected by humidity. You’ll get chewy yogurt bites that might clump together rather than crunchy bites!

Freeze-dried-Yogurt

36.Milk

Freeze drying milk is so much better than using the dehydrated milk… it has a nicer flavor, not so chemically. If you have space in your deep freezer, I would probably freeze the milk on the trays first, to cut down on freeze drying time. If you don’t have space and don’t mind it taking a while, just go for it! I have never frozen it before freeze drying. I simply put my trays in the freeze dryer, empty. Then I pull one out, just a few inches, and start pouring milk into the tray, about 3/4 the way to the top. I carefully push the tray back into the shelf and move on to the next tray. I’ve never done whole milk, only the 1% that my family likes to drink.

With freeze drying, both solids and liquids can be preserved without damaging their basic structure. The natural colour, size, flavours, nutrients and consistency of the fresh product are retained. Freeze-dried dairy products don’t require refrigeration or chemical preservatives and can be either consumed directly or re-hydrated easily. Freeze-dried dairy products are easy to transport as their volume and weight can be reduced significantly.

Freeze-dried-Milk

37.Cream Cheese

Freeze drying Cream Cheese : It can be used in so many recipes, such as cheesecakes, soups, and dips. To freeze dry, made sure the cream cheese was really cold, first. Then quickly cut the bars into 8 sections each, and placed each 1/8th piece onto the tray. Once the cream cheese was done in the freeze dryer, it retained it’s shape, but quickly crumbled, after being placed in the bag.

freeze-dried-Cream

38.Sour Cream

Sour cream is commonplace in the kitchen, but fans of this everyday dairy product rarely know what it’s made of. Sour cream is produced when lactic-acid culture is added to cream. This gives you that tart, jiggly substance you know and love (especially when it’s on Mexican food). It’s used in everything from dips and sauces to baked goods. And of course a dollop on a baked potato is always a good idea. It’s similar to yogurt or Créme fraîche in that they’re all pretty much forms of curdled milk and are often used interchangeably.

freeze-dried-Sour-Cream

39.Ice Cream

Freeze drying ice cream : Be sure to pre-freeze your freeze dryer, before putting any ice cream inside. And, make sure your ice cream is super cold/frozen, as well. You don’t want any melting happening! I’ve done lots of ice cream sandwiches, and they have turned out great. I like to slice them into bite-sized pieces, before putting them on the tray. I would not recommend trying to reconstitute ice cream sandwiches. It will be pretty complicated. But, they’re super fun to eat dry! However, you can rehydrate the ice scream scoops by spritzing them with milk, and letting it sit before adding more milk, until it suits you.

Freeze-dried ice cream is ice cream that has had most of the water removed from it by a freeze-drying process, sealed in a pouch, and requires no refrigeration.

It is also known as astronaut ice cream or space ice cream, typically a slab of ready-to-eat dehydrated ice cream. Compared to regular ice cream, it can be kept at room temperature without melting and is more brittle and rigid but still soft when bitten into.  Freeze-dried foods were developed so that foods could be sent on long-duration spaceflights, as to the Moon, and to reduce the weight of the water and oxygen normally found in food.

freeze-dried-Ice-Cream-39

40.Cheese

Cheese is one of the best things to freeze dry! I’ve done trays of shredded mozzarella cheese for Italian dishes, like Chicken Pesto Pizza. I’ve also done Parmesan for toppings and recipes like Chicken Alfredo. And of course, I’ve done lots of shredded cheddar cheese , to use for practically everything! It’s great for making nachos, adding to omelets, into soups, or in recipes, like these Cheddar Biscuits. I really load the trays up and it turns out perfectly.

Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese is everything you love about cheese, plus long storage capability. This cheese does not require refrigeration, so it’s perfect for on-the-go trips, like camping and picnics. Sprinkle some cheesy goodness on your favorite foods and snacks or rehydrate and use in recipes that call for shredded cheese.

freeze-dried-Cheese

41.Eggnog

Freeze Dried Eggnog ground into a fine powder or in convenient bite size morsels! Tastes as great as poured from the carton! You can reconstitute with equal amounts of water or to taste – or mix a spoonful into baking mixes such as pancakes, hot chocolate or your favourite rum drink. Small Batch Processing in a Commercial Inspected Kitchen.

Freeze Dried products packaged in mylar with an oxygen absorber packet last many years unopened. Once opened – keep bag closed tightly if not consumed all in one sitting. Caking agents are not used so some clumping is normal -simply stir before scooping.

freeze-dried-Eggnog

Freeze Drying Treats

42.Skittles

Freeze Drying Skittles : Lyophilization is the process in which water is removed from the Skittles after they are frozen and placed under a vacuum, allowing the ice to change directly from solid to vapor. During this process, the Freeze Dryers slowly heat the trays of frozen Skittles creating Skittles Vapor which is sucked out of the Skittles with a high powered vacuum pump. While the vacuum pump is sucking the vapor from the frozen Skittles, they explode into amazing crunchy Skittles balls, bursting with more flavor than ever before!!

Freeze Dried Skittles are the result of Skittles Candy after they make it through the lengthy process of sublimation and lyophilization! What’s that you ask? The Freeze Drying Process uses sublimation and lyophilization to create a perfectly preserved product. The products that undergo this process have an amazingly long shelf life when stored properly of up to 25 years.

freeze-dried-Skittles

43.Jolly Ranchers

Freeze drying Jolly Ranchers : They puff up into shiny, colorful, crunchy globes. They look so cool and I love them even more than the original thing. The tricky thing with Jolly Ranchers is that they can get pretty big on the trays, and sometimes scrape the top of the shelves, when you try to pull them out. I recently heard a tip to cut them in half… and yes, you can do that with sharp kitchen shears.

Jolly Ranchers are a tasty treat to freeze dry. These hard candies will puff up and become something entirely new. They become slightly crunchy and airy and much easier to chew than a regular Jolly Rancher. If you leave them whole, make sure to leave plenty of space for them to expand. Many customers cut them in half using All-Purpose Utility Shears.

freeze-dried-Jolly-Ranchers

44.Other Candies

Saltwater taffy is the perfect summertime treat, a fun food to freeze dry, and a customer favorite. These candies don’t only taste good, but also look very pretty and have a nice presentation. Saltwater taffy puffs up in the freeze dryer and becomes even sweeter. We suggest you cut taffy in half (or fourths) for bite-size snacking. Make sure to leave plenty of room for taffy to expand.

freeze-dried-Salt-Water-Taffy

45.Marshmallows

Marshmallows are another sweet that can be added at the end of a food cycle, by clicking “More Dry Time.” I just pull the food out, put marshmallow-filled trays inside, and add 6 more hours of dry time. See the link shared about Skittles above, for detailed instructions. Anyway, I like to have marshmallows for cereal treats, like these Chewy Gooey S’mores Bars, and hot chocolate.

freeze-driec-Marshmallows

46.Ice Cream Sandwiches, Bars, and Ice Cream

Freeze-Dried Ice Cream Sandwich allows you to enjoy real ice cream without needing a freezer. Sound too good to be true? We can assure you it’s no joke – our ice cream sandwich features delicious, creamy freeze-dried vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate cookies for a delicious treat that can be enjoyed anywhere. And best of all? It’s ready to eat straight from the pouch – no water or waiting required!

freeze-dried-Ice-Cream

47.Cheesecake

Freeze dried cheesecake is a wonderfully delicious treat. It has just the right amount of rich sweetness that will fulfill the sweet craving.

Cheesecake has a classic creamy texture and butter graham crust that make a decadent and indulgent treat. Freeze Dried Cheesecake are a dream come true. Now you can have cheesecake any where, any time. Freeze Dried Cheesecake are Light and Crunchy, and instantly melt in your mouth. Incredibly creamy, velvety and soft cheesecake with crunchy bits of graham cracker crust.

freeze-dried-Cheesecake

Other Foods Freeze Drying Ideas

48.Bone Broth

Freeze-drying Is A Superior Preservation Method

Most bone broths currently sold are refrigerated or frozen. Refrigerated and frozen broths have a limited shelf life usually a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Freeze-drying removes almost all the water (98-99%) in bone broths and, as a result, it preserves food longer with a shelf life of up to 25 years at optimal temperature. There is no need for preservatives or additives to maintain freshness.

Freeze-drying Preserves Flavor, Color and Nutritional Value

Since freeze-drying processes food in very little heat, freeze-drying doesn’t change the texture, flavor or color of bone broth over time. Once rehydrated, the bone broth will look and taste like it did before preserving. In addition, freeze-drying maintains most of its nutrients throughout the process. According to a UC Davis study, freeze-drying retains 97% of nutrition as opposed to dehydrated foods which only retains about 50-60% of original nutrients.

Freeze-drying makes broth shelf stable and lightweight – just add water and you’ll get bone broth, anywhere!

By eliminating almost all the water in food through freeze-drying, our broth becomes shelf stable and easy to transport. Bone broth does not need to be kept refrigerated or stored in bulky containers. Our lightweight single serving packages are perfect for people who want nutrition on the go. Just add water and you’ll get bone broth anywhere. It rehydrates instantly!

freeze-dried-Chicken-and-Beef-Stock

49.Fully Prepared Meals

I have bought prepared meals from Costco, such as Beef Stroganoff and Lasagna, and put it on the trays to freeze dry. It’s so nice knowing that I have some ready-to-eat (after adding water) meals available for times I don’t feel like cooking. With the lasagna, I just cut it up in small squares and placed it on the tray. The beef stroganoff, I spread out on the trays. But, really you can freeze dry so many meals! I’ve been wanting to do some chicken Alfredo, casseroles, chicken fried rice, etc.

freeze-dried-Fully-Prepared-Meals

50.Soup

Many people from young to old enjoy hiking a lot. Even in the summer it is still cooler at the high altitude so it feels great and relaxing to eat or drink something warm at the top of the mountain.

Freeze-dried soup is so popular for hiking because it’s so light and convenient that you don’t have to worry about a heavy backpack or carrying cooking equipment. It is also good for usual meal as it’s easy to cook.

Only freeze-dried technology delivers “good as fresh” chunky veggies that spring to life when you add water. Freeze-dried soup cubes are packed with big pieces of veggies and gourmet spices that deliver a whole new vegetable soup experience.

Freeze-dried soup is miso soup but many other kinds are also sold besides miso soup.A hiking season will peak soon and freeze-dried soup will be playing a great role.

How to Rehydrate freeze dried food?

There are a handful of different options for rehydrating freeze dried food. It basically just depends on WHAT you are rehydrating. Some food items need, and can handle, a lot of water for rehydration. Others can only handle smaller amounts, without being ruined. I’m not going to list out each item for you, as it’s fairly intuitive. When in doubt, start with less water, then add more, if needed.

  • Soak in Water – If I was to rehydrate something like a steak or some types of fruits and vegetables, I would place it in a bowl of cold water and let sit (possibly overnight) until done. Afterwards, pat dry with paper towels and heat/cook (if meat), as usual.
  • Spray with Water Bottle – There are some foods that you don’t necessarily want to drop in a bowl of water. In that case, I would spritz them with a bottle of water and let sit. If the food item needs more hydration, I would repeat the process until ready.
  • Place Between Damp Paper Towels – If you’re reconstituting a food that can get too soggy, take a damp paper towel and surround the item with it, until done. You could also place it in a Zip Lock bag with a damp paper towel. A good example of this would be banana bread.
  • Add to Wet Ingredients – If you are adding freeze dried food to already wet ingredients, there is no need to rehydrate first. For example, freeze dried corn can be added to soup, as it.

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