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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Box of Plenty

8 lbs ready to dehydrate
For a long time I had thought of dehydrating frozen vegetables and wondered "why not?" I am always thinking of dehydrating. Angela's blog put the thought to the forefront of my consciousness. Why not? Well, I could not think of any reason why I would. She is an entertaining Mormon prepper with great ideas. Drop by her place some time.

I am just not going to have enough good reasons to take my frozen food and dehydrate it until I have the gamma lids and oxygen absorbers.  Angela wrote her blog post as a preparedness tip. My blog post about dehydrating nine lbs of half-frozen, quickly-thawing vegetables has its genesis in desperation and sheer panic.

Today, the need to dehydrate frozen food hit me like a ton of bricks or nine pounds of frozen vegetables. Let me digress.

I went to a food bank that was giving a food "basket" for Thanksgiving. Yes, it was a box. All the food will not fit into my already-full freezer over the refrigerator, even after all my bread dove right onto my foot. And, it was too dark when I got home and too spooky to go where the full-size freezer is located, way off in my sewing room that I cannot access for use, either.

Here is what I got at the food bank today:

12 lb frozen turkey (what a beauty it is, many meals)
8 lb frozen, boneless ham, not the mashed up kind of ham
1 lb cranberries
12 frozen biscuits
2 lbs frozen green beans
2 lbs frozen corn
2 lbs frozen sweet potato slices
2 lbs frozen sliced carrots
cheesecake, about 8 in across

All above is/was frozen.

2 brown gravy mixes
2 Idahoan mashed potato mixes
2 dressing/stuffing  boxes

I managed to get the turkey in the freezer. All my bread fell out on my feet, gravely wounding my toes. Mark loves bagels, so he can have the blueberry bagels. Is it wrong to feed bagels to your weight loss rival/partner?

 The boneless ham was thawing and lives in the refrigerator now. I will eat it and give a hunk to exbf when he comes.

The cheesecake is half-eaten.

(My freezer and refrigerator are so stuffed that I fear they will open as they often do if something shifts. So, I have Guerrilla brand duct tape, holding both shut.)
That leaves carrots, green beans, corn, and sweet potatoes to dehydrate. I may mix the corn, green beans, and carrots into soup-sized containers. I will freeze the dehydrated vegetables. Oxygen absorbers would relieve my mind about spoilage, but so will freezing. Now, where are the pint jars? I think a pint of dehydrated mixture of vegetables would be just about right for a pot of soup. Maybe a cupful/half-pint?

Tonight, celery was on sale for $0.88 per head. I bought two heads and now am going to dehydrate those. They are probably full of pesticides. But, until I see organic celery or can grow some, this will do.

I just won't inhale. 

Your turn
Have you ever dehydrated frozen vegetables for any reason? What were the results?

















5 comments:

  1. I love Angela's blog. Why would you dehydrate frozen foods? Because when the power goes off, you have less to worry about. Thats why I do it. I have way too much frozen for my own comfort right now and will spend winter dehydrating much of it. Our dehydrator was full when we brought in some of the harvest so I processed it and froze it to dry later. Or turn into jam as will be the case with some fruits.

    The results are about the same as if you went from fresh. Good thing is that all the blanching is out of the way already!

    I have not yet needed to buy oxygen absorbers. I have corn from two years ago that is still perfectly good. I have carrots too. I think she is storing for the long haul-30 years. Maybe that would be necessary to use oxygen absorbers but I don't. I won't. Just keep the jars air tight as possible, out of humidity and out of the sun.

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  2. I also dehydrate frozen veggies because my freezer is full to. They are great for soups and stews, and I used my food saver hose to take out the extra air out of the jars and keep them in my cabinet.

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  3. LindaM,
    I realize the advantages and realize she is freezing for the long haul, but I still fear mold even in the short term. Your information about success in years long storage encourages me.

    Silly me. I was being a little sarcastic when I said, "Why would I?" LOL I am just a little horrified when I see people, especially preppers, who display their food in open shelves in rooms with windows. They are beautiful, but a dark place is what they need to retain the nutrition.

    Apria,
    Aha! I forgot about the food saver and the hose to take air out and seal jars. I am so envious, in a good way, of anyone who has the food saver just for taking air from jars of dehydrated food. One night, I watched dozens of people in videos, using that attachement. Thanks for reminding me.

    That is one handy, dandy attachment.

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  4. I dehydrate for the same reasons as those listed above. Plus, I have two stainless steel commercial refer freezers from Europe (very energy efficient,very tall) with very small freezers on the lower portion of each. I can't store a lot of frozen items in each of the 6(total)drawers.

    I also use the food saver. Haven't did long term (years & years) storage yet although I have purchased commercially long term food storage. If I did, I would make sure to do the oxygen absorbers for long term storage.

    I also dehydrate our meals (leftovers) and we take those to work and add hot water as needed.

    As for the mold issue. Years ago before I ever began dehydrating, I took a class with my local home extension service. The instructor told the story where she had picked and dehydrated blueberries for weeks and finally had a full gallon of dried blueberries which she proudly displayed in a gallon jar. Come to find out, one of the batches must not have been 100% dry. Mold developed and she lost the entire jar. She explained that if she had packaged items in smaller sizes either in jars or baggies she wouldn't have lost the whole jar of berries. Ever since then, I always have made sure my items are really dry, and have ALWAYS packaged them in smaller amounts. Just a thought to keep in mind.

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  5. Kathy,
    I only store one batch of dehydrated food in a jar. Maybe I cannot use a pint or quart jar, so I use a 4 oz jar or a pimiento jar (2 oz). I put five bell peppers in a 4 oz jar, shocking!

    That is a really good tip. Thanks.

    I want oxygen absorbers for putting in food that is short term, maybe a year...just because I would feel more secure. Getting into more than a year's storage is not even in my mind. So, that is not the reason for wanting the oxygen absorbers. A woman who makes videos on or for Excalibur dehydrators talks about using them for even short term storage. However, I do believe she is in for long term because of the sizes she stores.

    It makes me happy knowing that by keeping them in smaller storage container, I am not risking losing it all to mold. Thanks a bunch for your comment.

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