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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Note on drying foods: soup mixes

Hey all - just wanted to post a note on my recent experience with drying soup mixes (ie: leftover onions, potatoes, carrots, leaf spinach to be mixed with beef bullion upon rehydration ~10 min in boiling water)...I have been using the food saver canisters for the soup mixes, and even though all seemed dry, the onions were soft after a day or so. I can only imagine that the potatoes (boiled them first this time, taste was MUCH better, kind of transparent when dry) were still venting moisture. The spuds seemed dry... but I guess they weren't.

Soup was quite palatable, I think 1/4 cup mix to 3 cups water worked pretty good <-- might revise this it's off the top of my head. I seasoned the potatoes before drying them by tossing them in a big bowl with the seasoning. The leaf spinach really works well IMO it's got the consistency of the seaweed in miso soup but no funky taste. Great way to get vitamins in a survival form, only need fresh water and heat.

Dried meat doesn't last as long as dried veggies, so I'd recommend storing them separately...dried soup mixes should last 6 months to a year in a freezer, where dried meats should last like 6 months.

You should definitely experiment before relying on any Prepper/camping technology. For instance, it's slow to cook with dehydrated food, especially on a small propane stove (haven't tried w/dehydrated food yet), and most Prepper food is not what we eat normally, so it's good to try and at least get used to it a little.

Many factors will affect how you Prep. Humidity, water availability, cooking fuel type, pests, etc will affect your decisions, and a few dry runs will make any shortcomings perfectly clear! But in a good way, before you and yours are really in need. :)

I've had several pleasant (ie: dried apples w/cinammon and soup mixes) and unpleasant (don't even bother to dry out lemon or lime slices - YUCK) surprises...and hope to hear yours in the comments!

So be sure to practice your methods and do quality checks of your stuff! If you can't make decent food from what you've stored, your family will hate you (joke), or if you go more than like, 2-3 weeks (as a baseline, when the drying manual said unrefrigerated dried cooked meats or fat would spoil) with improperly stored foods you could be in for a big biological surprise!


CountryWay said...

Hi, New to this blog..prepping in PA for quite a while...on dehydrating foods...you should incorporate your dehydrated foods in your DAILY living...its easy and surprisingly good...if you have a place on here, I can post many recipes for mixes and such and you don't even realize that you have eaten food that has been dehydrated. The purpose of eating them in your daily living is you won't have to get used to eating something different in a crisis situation. You can make everything from your own spaghetti seasonings down to your own creamed soups (mushroom, celery and chicken etc) I also can ALOT of food, plus garden, have goats and chickens...I have taught classes in food prep and storage...just show me where to post if your interested...I want to share with others...

Humble wife said...

I am like you, as I have been busy trying everything out. Now I am trying to dry much of the foods we harvest this year, and with the NM sunshine, I am doing well so far.

Good tips and well worth us to try before the need!

Bulldog115366 said...

Good post Dave!!! The wife is gonna take the plunge this year into more drying and less canning. She wants to work with beans and such!!!!!

DaveP said...

Countryway: I'd love to see some recipes using dehydrated foods!

Also, any canning tips would be great...haven't tried that yet (have some jars to try with though)


CountryWay said...

Cream of Mushroom or Celery or Chicken Soup Mix

This is very easy and very versital mix to make. Alot of the items (parsley, onions, garlic, majoram, celery) can be grown in your garden or in pots and dehydrated making this even less expensive. Also you probably have the other ingredients in your long term food storage anyway. I am always looking for ways to REDUCE my dependency on the grocery store..heheheh...
Cream of Soup
2 cups powdered milk
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup potatoe flakes
1/4 cup chicken boullion granules
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp dried celery flakes
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/8 tsp white pepper...(I use black pepper)

Mix 1 1/2 cups water and 6 tablespoons of soup mix. heat until bubbly and thick. You can add 1/2 cup of sauted mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup or 1/8 tsp celery salt or one sauteed chopped celery rib for cream of celery soup. Or you can experiment with your own dried mushrooms or celery.

CountryWay said...

Making your own onion and garlic powders...cut you onions or garlic into small chunks...then dehydrate. Pulse small amounts in the blender until powdered...then add a tiny bit of cornstarch...just a wee bit, to help keep from clumping...if you health conscience, this has NO preservatives in it...if it hardens up in your jar, you can just break a piece off and blend it up again, but because we use it alot, it has only clumped on us once because it got jostled to the back of the pantry and I didn't see it. (thought we had run out of it and made a new batch)

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