The easiest foods to freeze dry are fruits and vegetables with high water content such as apples, berries, and carrots. We’ve found that milk is the easiest liquid to freeze dry. If you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these are the classic fallbacks that almost always turn out perfectly and can preserve your favorites to eat when they’re out of season or if your garden produces too much to eat during harvest.
Why Store Freeze Dried Food?
One of the best situations to freeze dry and store food is right out of your garden. For most with a garden, harvest season comes mostly all at once. To avoid having food rot, a great alternative for a fresher flavor is to freeze dry the excess harvest. Foods like apples, carrots, tomatoes, berries, potatoes, and many others can be freeze dried and stored for up to 25 years if handled carefully, and protected from light, heat, and oxygen.
Aside from the shelf stability and ability to keep excess food from spoiling, freeze drying preserves most of the food’s original nutritional content, flavor and texture of the fresh product while reducing its weight by more than 90 percent.
Freeze drying makes it easy to store and transport your food, as well as to prepare it easily in the kitchen whenever you’re ready.
Freeze dried food is also ideal for camping trips, backpacking and long-term storage needs. It can provide a convenient and nutritious meal option when fresh food isn’t available or simply isn’t practical due to limited time or resources.
Freeze dried fruits are a great way to enjoy the freshness and flavor of your favorite fruits without worrying about spoilage.
Freeze drying fruit removes the moisture and preserves the for an extended period of time. Freeze dried fruit is also lightweight, making it easy to pack for backpacking or camping.
Common freeze-dried fruits include apples, strawberries, blueberries, apricots, mangoes, peaches and bananas. You can serve freeze-dried fruits straight from the package or rehydrate them for use in a variety of recipes like muffins or smoothies.
One fruit that doesn’t freeze dry well is a pear. Even sliced pears will generally turn out a little squishy and lack the appealing crunch of a freeze dried apple. Freeze dried pears are usually reminiscent of dehydrated pears in their texture and flavor.
Freeze dried vegetables are a nutritious and convenient way to enjoy your favorite vegetables without the worries of spoilage. Common freeze-dried vegetables include carrots, potatoes, onions, peppers, corn, peas and green beans.
Freeze drying preserves the nutritional content of your vegetables while eliminating moisture and reducing weight. Freeze dried vegetables can be enjoyed straight from the package or rehydrated for use in soups, stews and other recipes.
Meat and Fish
Freeze drying is a great way to store meat and fish for long-term use. Common freeze-dried meats include beef, chicken, pork and turkey.
Freeze drying preserves flavor while reducing the weight of the original meat. Freeze drying also helps to preserve most of the nutritional content found in fresh meats, making it a nutritious way to feed your family.
You can enjoy freeze-dried meats straight from the package or rehydrate them for use in soups and casseroles.
When it comes to seafood, freeze drying is one of the most efficient ways to preserve the nutritional content, flavor and texture. Common freeze-dried fish include salmon, cod and tuna.
Desserts and Treats
Freeze-dried desserts are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about spoilage. Common freeze-dried desserts include ice cream, cake, cookies and brownies.
Freeze drying removes the moisture from the original confection while preserving flavor and texture. This makes it easy to store for an extended period of time.
You can enjoy freeze-dried desserts straight from the package or rehydrate them for use in a variety of recipes.
Eggs and Sausage
Freeze dried eggs and sausage are a great way to enjoy the freshness of these products without worrying about spoilage.
Freeze-dried eggs can be enjoyed straight from the package or rehydrated for use in a variety of recipes like omelets and scrambles. Freeze dried egg whites can be used as a natural way to add protein to another recipe of your choosing.
Freeze dried sausage is also ideal for backpacking trips, camping or any other time when fresh meat isn’t available or simply isn’t practical. Enjoy sausage straight from the package or rehydrate it for use in soups, stews, and casseroles.
Common freeze dried dairy foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and cream. You can enjoy freeze dried dairy foods straight from the package or rehydrate them for use in a variety of recipes like smoothies, milkshakes and soups.
Freeze dried dairy products are also a great way to enrich your favorite dishes with flavor and nutrition. Freeze dried ice cream is a great addition to anything that needs sweetened and freeze fried milk can add a protein boost and some flavor to any dish.
Broth, Juice, Soups, and Stews
Common freeze-dried broths include chicken and beef. Freeze drying preserves flavor and broths will rehydrate very well. Common freeze dried soups and stews include chili, vegetable beef, and chicken noodle soup.
Freeze dried broths make a great addition to any recipe that needs some flavor and savor. Freeze dried soups and stews are a fantastic long term food. Soups and stews can be rationed easily and be brought back to fresh with the simple addition of hot water.
Of everything on this list, freeze dried casseroles may be top choice overall. Freeze dried casseroles have myriad of advantages like robust flavor, easy rationing, long shelf life, and they are easy to rehydrate with just hot water.
Common freeze-dried casseroles include lasagna, shepherd’s pie, macaroni and cheese, and chicken and rice. Freeze dried casseroles are an ideal way to keep your pantry stocked with delicious emergency meals or just simply meals that you can make in minutes when you’re short on time. Enjoy them anytime, anywhere!
Rehydrating Freeze Dried Food
To rehydrate your freeze dried food, you simply add water to the food to restore its original texture and flavor. Rehydration can take anywhere from minutes to hours, depending on the type of product being rehydrated.
Simply add the desired amount of water to the product, then cover and allow it to sit until fully rehydrated. Once rehydrated, the product can be used in a recipe or enjoyed as is.
Generally, you’ll want to add hot water to meats, stews, or casseroles and cold water to fruits, vegetables, and liquids.
There are very few foods that can’t be freeze dried to be enjoyed at a later time. Freeze drying is a great way to preserve excess garden harvest, simplify your meal planning, or change the texture to make a tasty treat like ice cream even more fun. There’s nothing more fun than experimenting with a new food in the freeze dryer to see how it turns out!