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rebel_chick
11-02-2009, 05:03 PM
So my bf was talking to a friend of his the other day (one of which I have never liked even before I met my bf) anyway, he claims that he will take the cheap frozen veggies and dehydrate them, and vacuum seal them in a baggie with some DE. Has anyone done this? I would think the veggies being frozen then dehyrated would be a little tough the next time around. But then i don't know how exactly that would work, what do you guys think? How long do they last on a shelf? What sealer do you use?

Rick
11-02-2009, 05:14 PM
I've never done it but I don't know why it wouldn't work. The veggies will probably be a bit more mushy when thawed than fresh but that should not be a problem dehydrating them. You might have a slight change in color but once dehydrated I doubt you will notice any changes at all.

Once they are dehydrated then sealing them should not be necessary unless you want to have them long term. I'm not at all certain why DE would have to be involved once dehydrated and sealed. If you plan long term storage then I assume you are using something like food grade 5 gallon buckets. Nothing should be able to get in that and once you dehydrate the food then I don't think insects that were in the food (eggs, larvea, etc.) would be an issue. Even less so since it had been frozen.

You can always buy a a package of frozen whatever and try it. That's always the surest way. That's what I did with the hamburger and turkey so I'd know for certain what kind of shelf life I could expect.

Oh, as to what equipment to use, I have a Reynolds Handi Vac. It's okay. It does the job but it's nothing to write home about. It uses special zip lock bags. I sealed up some pork loin yesterday and told my wife we need to think about a better sealer.

http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldskitchens/catalog/HV_starter_kit.jpg

Hillmann
11-02-2009, 06:44 PM
I once dried a jar of corn that didn't seal when cannig it. It turned out just fine but I stored it in the fridge because it had butter in it from the attempted canning. I don't think frozen would be much diffrent. I almost awalys freeze my vennison before dehydrating so I can do it when I have time.

aflineman
11-03-2009, 11:11 AM
I have done this with frozen veggies. Works well when people buy things on sale and find that there is no room in the freezer for it. :innocent:
I normally use them for soups and stews, so being tough is something that I have not noticed.
I also vacuum pack them (without the DE), just because they are easier to stack in the pantry bins that way.

SARKY
11-03-2009, 11:15 AM
I have one of those vacuum sealer that i got from costco, works quite well.

rebel_chick
11-03-2009, 01:37 PM
Huh, ok. I am not sure why he would put DE in them either. If it is sealed I wouldn't think that there would be a problem of bugs.

I have heard of those handi-vacs, but they loose there seals after an amout of time.

Icemancometh
11-03-2009, 02:17 PM
I dehydrated some frozen peas earlier this year. A fairly large bag of frozen peas left me with about a half of a quart freezer bag. I just stored mine in a freezer bag and tossed them in the pantry. When I make some kind of stew or soup I throw a handful in. They rehydrate fine in my opinion, not mushy or tough. They tatse just like they did before dehydration. I have thought about doing the same with corn, onions and green beans.

KhonHd
11-04-2009, 04:15 PM
Got to ask... What's DE?

Rick
11-04-2009, 04:55 PM
Diatomaceious earth. It's the fossilized remains of diatoms. It's a very fine powder and it absorbs the liquid from insects causing them to dehydrate. Pretty good natural insecticide but it doesn't harm people. Well, unless a ton of it fell on you.

dscrick
11-04-2009, 06:54 PM
I dehydrate frozen veggies all the time. I have an Excalibur dehydrator and you just take your frozen Veggies and put them on the tray frozen. It works extremely well because frozen vegetables are already steam blanched so they retain color. Blanching is required to dehydrate many kinds of fresh vegetables. Frozen veggies are cheap and you save time because they are already cut up for you.

I dry pack mine in tin cans with an oxygen absorber or vacumn bag them if it's for near term storage.

Check out these links, this lady does some really nice videos on dehydrating frozen foods, she also has a lot of other tips on dehydrating and food storage:

Dehydrating frozen foods part 1:

http://www.dehydrate2store.com/videos/?id=45

Part 2:

http://www.dehydrate2store.com/videos/?id=46

Rick
11-04-2009, 08:06 PM
Hey dsrick, nice links!!

Would you save time if you allowed them to thaw before dehydrating? I was just thinking you could drain off any excess water before they go into the dehydrator, which should reduce the time it takes to dehydrate them.

Mertell
11-05-2009, 07:08 AM
I have done this for a canoe trip. It worked great.
I took the (probably) unnecessary step of blanching them. The blanching warmed them up and dried them off--- speeding up the whole process.
I used regular frozen mixed veggies, nothing else.
Dry them to brittleness. THEY MUST BE DRY!
Then I finished them off in a warm oven.
I store them in any jar with a rubber seal, tightly capped.
They smell wonderful. If you notice any off odor, they are spoiled and the cause is moisture.
If the product is DRY, and kept that way, shelf life should be "years".
They will cook up just fine in about 20 minutes or so.

-Mert

Rick
11-05-2009, 07:35 AM
It actually depends on the veggie or fruit as to how dry they need to be. Brittle is a good rule of thumb, however. You want to dry your food between 120F and 140F. Peppers and Beats, for example, should be leathery. Most fruits fall into that same category or dried until they are no longer sticky.

If you follow the suggested drying times you'll have a product that can usually be eaten at any time, without rehydrating, like hiking or backpacking. Those that must be dried to brittle are less palatable to me than those that can be left leathery.

Beo
11-05-2009, 08:04 AM
I use dehydrated veggies every time I do a trek, doing one this weekend, friday, sat, sun, monday. Anyway I have peas, corn, carrots, raddishes and potatoes (not dehydrated), and several kinds of fruit (strawberry, blackberry, appricot, banana) mixed in with my nuts and parched corn. The veggies I use in my Beo's Wilderness Stew although I tend to munch on the raddishes as I walk. Works great and I have never had mushy or over hard veggies.
Beo,

dscrick
11-05-2009, 10:02 AM
Hey dsrick, nice links!!

Would you save time if you allowed them to thaw before dehydrating? I was just thinking you could drain off any excess water before they go into the dehydrator, which should reduce the time it takes to dehydrate them.

I never thaw them. The low heat of the dehydrator slowly brings them up in temperature so they aren't "Wet". If the veggies are frozen in clumps I actually rinse them in cold water and break them up (that was a tip from the videos).

dscrick
11-05-2009, 10:46 AM
One other tip I've found (from backpacking websites) is that you can make your own instant "Freeze dried" trail meals by dehydrating "precooked" foods(No, they aren't real "Freeze dried" meals, but they are just as light and rehydrate just as fast)

Beans for example. You can of course buy dehydrated beans at the store, soak them overnight then cook them, etc. I dehydrate canned beans (which are already precooked). Just rinse them and place on your dehydrator trays until completely dry (brittle).

I also dry precooked pasta. Just boil it like you normally would untill just under done, then drain and dehydrate.

I'll cook some veggies in the microwave (just steam them, no oils or fats), throw them on the trays and dehydrate.

Canned tomatoes. Line your trays with plastic or parchment paper like you would if you were making "Fruit leathers". Spread an entire can of diced tomatoes on the sheet/tray and dry it (I usually peel it up and turn it over so the back side gets really dry as well).

I toss all these ingredients in a baggie or vacumn bag, add some seasonings and a couple bullion cubes, and you have my version of "Trail Minestrone" In the photo is a standard ziploc sandwhich bag with this mix in it, This is half of a batch I made in the dehydrator, and this "Half" batch is enough for two people to have a decent bowl of soup. As you can see the precooked macaroni and beans don't shrink much, but the veggies sure do. The red stuff is the canned tomatoes. I'd estimate the weight of this package at about 5 ounces. Here is the list of the precooked ingredients that I dry for a batch:

1 lb (1 box) macaroni, 1 lb bag of frozen mixed veggies, 1 can of black eyed peas or kidney beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, plus seasonings and bullion cubes to your liking. Divide them up into a couple of baggies

Out on the trail just dump this in the pot (unwrap the bullion cubes) with enough boiling water to cover plus some (Just eyball it, add more if needed) and let it soak for 10 minutes, or simmer it on low heat. The macaroni and beans will be nice and tender, the veggies will plump right up, the tomatoes will taste just like they did out of the can. Instant soup and way cheaper than Mountain House!

At lunchtime I'll post a photo of the reconstituted soup!

I can't take all the credit for this, some other great websites:

http://www.trailcooking.com/

http://www.backpackingchef.com/index.html

dscrick
11-05-2009, 03:56 PM
Everybody gets to see my lunch!

So, total cost of ingredients for a "Batch":

1 lb macaroni - $0.99
1 can tomatoes - $0.89
1 bag mixed veggies - $0.79

Grand total $2.67. Add in a little for seasoning and we'll round up to $3.00

For four+ hearty servings. Beats $5.99 for 2 meager servings of the high priced backpack boutique stuff in my book

Rick
11-05-2009, 05:21 PM
You'll like this one then...

Dehydrate your favorite spaghetti sauce using the same method you use for the tomatoes. You'll have a leather when you are done. Combine with dehydrated ground beef and spaghetti noodles and you'll have instant spaghetti!! Really good.

Mertell
11-05-2009, 07:10 PM
Rick,
You are right, I will like that Spaghetti thing.
Thanks!

Dscrick:
You are The Chef! I will try that soon.
You don't have a recepie for dehydrated beer, do you?

-Mert

Beo
11-05-2009, 07:24 PM
Stuff in the pots looks good.

rebel_chick
11-05-2009, 10:49 PM
Rick...How do you dehydrate spaghetti sauce?

dscrick
11-12-2009, 06:02 PM
Rick,
You are right, I will like that Spaghetti thing.
Thanks!

Dscrick:
You are The Chef! I will try that soon.
You don't have a recepie for dehydrated beer, do you?

-Mert

I have been experimenting with a dehydrated IPA, no luck so far but it makes the house smell good!

Rick
11-12-2009, 08:41 PM
I use waxed paper. Your dehydrator may come with a plastic tray for drying liquids. In either case, lightly oil the tray or waxed paper so the dehydrated sauce won't stick to it. Then pour and spread it out making certain it doesn't reach the edge of the waxed paper so it won't drip off (the plastic trays generally have a lip to prevent liquids from dripping). Then dehydrate it until it's a very rubbery leather. It's very similar to fruit leathers. The biggest thing you have to be alert to are any tomatoes that are in the sauce. It just takes them longer to dehydrate than the actual liquid.

Once dehydrated, you just slowly peel it off, roll or fold it up and drop it in a zip lock bag. The dehydrated sauce along with dehydrated ground beef and some noodles make a pretty good field spaghetti.

oneraindog
11-12-2009, 09:39 PM
wait...dehydrated ground beef??
'splain please. what is the process? i am liking the idea.

NCO
11-12-2009, 10:05 PM
What I do, is that I dehydrate mushrooms, mostly golden chanterelle and "tube" chanterelle (dunno the translation, wikipedia didn't tell me... Cantharellus tubaeformis in latin) And toss them in pretty much any food I make.

Rick
11-12-2009, 11:06 PM
ORD - Look at post 15 on this thread.

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9218&highlight=dehydrate+ground+beef

oneraindog
11-12-2009, 11:20 PM
oh got it. so this might be a stupid question buuut was the ground beef cooked? im thinkign the obvious answer is yes because all dried meat is cooked first.....? is it?

your_comforting_company
11-12-2009, 11:38 PM
umm.. there are really two answers to that question ORD.

The meat that Rick dehydrated was pre-cooked, then dehydrated.

traditionally, meat that was jerked (dehydrated) was not cooked, and I have read that meat to be made into pemmican and jerky should not be cooked because it will spoil. This information comes from Naked Into the Wilderness, and I have not gotten sick either way.

yes, Ricks meat was cooked, but no, all dried meat is not pre-cooked. My great-grandad's smoke house was full of smoked (not cooked) dried meat.

Rick, the bit about flashin off the fat.. pemmican is made by adding tallow (rendered fat) back to the meat, right? so I would think that flashing would be unnecessary anyway (at least in the case of pemmican).

dscrick
11-13-2009, 09:45 AM
Most of the websites where I've found info on drying hamburger and other meats caution against trying to store them very long because anything with fat in it will go rancid eventually. I've had good luck with it by storing the dehydrated HBG (or the food item containing it) in the freezer in vacumn bags, then when I head out I just toss the bag in my pack. It will keep fine for a week, probably a lot more, without refrigeration.

Also,
When I am cooking HBG to dry I break it up as fine as possible during cooking, then drain it, put it in a colander, and rinse it with HOT water. This removes even more fat.

Rick
11-13-2009, 10:37 AM
I never cook anything I'm going to convert to jerky. Only the stuff I'm going to dehydrate. And, as I said in the other thread (link is above), the stuff lasted on the shelf for six months with no problem. Yes, I rehydrated and sampled both with no ill effects...Araaaargggh!....(thump).

wildWoman
11-13-2009, 02:54 PM
We dried broccoli the first time this year and it's a real winner! Taste good when you rehydrate it. We just keep dried veggies in glass jars.

Rick
11-13-2009, 03:05 PM
Dried stuff is really amazingly simple with today's technology. Either using a stove or an actual dehydrator. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything that doesn't dehydrate well as long as it doesn't have a lot of fat content. Rehydrating is pretty simple, too. Add water and wait. :)

oneraindog
01-22-2010, 05:24 PM
digging this up again....

rick how long does dehydrated spag sauce last?

oneraindog
01-22-2010, 05:27 PM
say vacuum sealed

Rick
01-22-2010, 05:34 PM
I really can't tell you because I've never tested it. Several weeks for sure. We shipped it a couple of times to my son who was on the AT. We'd ship it to a post master at a given town so figure ship time + hike time. I had some in the fridge for probably three weeks and it was still good. In both instances they were just in zip lock baggies. The thing you have to watch out for are the tomatoes in the sauce. They retain liquid longer than any other item. Just make certain your tomatoes are dried well and the sauce should last a while. You'll be able to speed up the drying process by cutting the tomatoes in half if they are chunky. The more surface area you make the faster an item can dehydrate.

nhfieldrep
02-28-2010, 06:33 PM
I dehydrate frozen veggies all the time. I have an Excalibur dehydrator and you just take your frozen Veggies and put them on the tray frozen. It works extremely well because frozen vegetables are already steam blanched so they retain color. Blanching is required to dehydrate many kinds of fresh vegetables. Frozen veggies are cheap and you save time because they are already cut up for you.

I dry pack mine in tin cans with an oxygen absorber or vacumn bag them if it's for near term storage.

Check out these links, this lady does some really nice videos on dehydrating frozen foods, she also has a lot of other tips on dehydrating and food storage:

Dehydrating frozen foods part 1:

http://www.dehydrate2store.com/videos/?id=45

Part 2:

http://www.dehydrate2store.com/videos/?id=46

I want to the links, watched both of them, then went out and tried it. So easy even a cave man could do it!:clap: Just haven't gotten around to using it in any soups yet.

Rick
02-28-2010, 07:21 PM
Welcome FieldRep. How about getting around to an Introduction? Here's a template you can use.

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7813

hybrid
03-13-2010, 08:42 AM
Thought I'd pop this up here...very simple and very tasty.

I worry about the security of the global chilli supply, so here's my bit to help the greater good :D

Dried Zesty Jalapenos

(could do it with habanero too, if you're into pain)

Pick Jalas when green but pretty big... ok if some have a little brown/purple coming through.

Slice around vertical axis, halve, scrap out seeds (if you time it right most seeds are immature and just pop out with a scrape of a thumbnail). Remove that white pith stuff, ok to leave a bit behind though. Don't go nuts :D

I leave stalks on around half my pieces... just for looks really.

Rinse, and air dry somewhere shady and with a good breeze. under a fan would work too, or in a VERY low oven.

Now, put in a dish and drizzle a few tsp of white vinegar in there... swizzle them around with your finger (or a spoon, if you're a bit germy) and drain any excess. Now, sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. I used standard iodised table salt but rock would do fine too, or flowers.

Mix through until they have about as much as is going to stick, stuck.

Spread out evenly and without touching on a foil lined tray, inner sides up. Go over and drop a pinch of salt into each little cavity. Don't miss any.

Pop tray into oven at around 70 deg c (or whatever you normally dry veg at, or use presets if you have a dehydrating machine) with the door cracked a little. If your oven is small, or a little dodgy, you may need to re-arrange halfway thru them drying to prevent some coming out a little over-dry.

Drying time varies by specimen and weather, but normally done in a few hours. They will stay wrinkly green and wet for AGES and then BANG, toasty dry leathery things, encrusted with crystals of brine. A lot of excess will fall off on the tray.

These can be used as instant seasoning... not too spicy at all, but loads of flavour and they're pretty good to snack on with a cold drink (preferably the amber , foamy kind but whatever floats your boat).

Store in snaptop food containers, jars, whatever. Try not to open up on damp days. These last for ages before they start to taste a lil dated and even then they are fine to eat, just not as tasty as before.

I think of em as veggie jerky :D But you can soak em overnight in cool water, or 10 minutes in hot water and a lot of the salt will be drawn out. Or grind to dust and use like a southwest inspired version of the classic Viet salt-chilli sprinkle.

Enjoy.

Winnie
03-13-2010, 10:29 AM
I've just dehydrated my first batch of mushrooms. I'm amazed how little there is left from 1.1/2lb's! I like this dehydrating.
I'm going to store in vacuum sealed individual portions in a canning jar.

Rick
03-13-2010, 10:35 AM
With something like mushrooms you have to be careful how small you cut the pieces because once they start to dry the change in size can cause them to fall through the racks. You slide a rack out and you wonder where they went. Then you see them in the bottom of the dehydrator. I've done that before. Celery is the same way.

Winnie
03-13-2010, 12:14 PM
I sliced them Rick. I read somewhere not to cut the pieces too small for the very reson you state. I had no escapees:)

hybrid
03-14-2010, 02:49 AM
You can also finely chop and then pulp them, spread over a solid non stick sheet and dry away. Then peel it off and roll it up. Handy if you are rationing things out and need to evenly divide the stuff.