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8 Best Options for Freeze-Dried Meals

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:00 Written by  Chett Wright

Looking into buying freeze-dried meals for your home food storage or next camping trip? If so, good choice! Freeze-dried and dehydrated meals are very convenient, nutritious, and store easily. Most have a shelf life of at least 8 years, and they have a very short preparation time. There are tons of different brands and meals out there, so trying to find the best-tasting ones can be time-consuming. We did the research to help save you some time by making a list of the top 7 freeze-dried meal options out there. In no particular order, here they are!

1. Harvest Foodworks - This is a brand that makes freeze-dried food that is tasty and nutritional. They focus on making meals that are primarily vegetarian. They are famous for their diced chicken recipe. Since this company is located in Ontario, Canada, you most-likely will not find this in stores near you, and you’ll need to order it online.

2. Backpackers Pantry - Backpackers Pantry is great because they supplement every meal with extra vitamins and minerals. You will never be deficient in any of your essential nutrients when you stick with this brand, because they pride themselves on the nutritional density of their products. This is a smart alternative to alternatives when doing outdoor activities because it will provide you with the energy that is necessary. They also do not require any additional ingredients in order to taste good.

3. Freeze Dry Guy - Freeze Dry Guy is an online source for getting freeze-dried vegetables, meat, fruit, and other entrees. They have a huge selection of choices, including gluten free, vegetarian and low sodium options. Their site always has free shipping and they have been giving the best service possible for over 42 years.

4. J. Michael Stevens Company - This is a brand for dried and dehydrated food. Dehydrated food is great for snacking, because it is healthier than sugar-filled fruit snacks and costs less too! The food from J. Michael Stevens Company comes in pre-packaged bundles so that it can be priced cheaply. The down side is that you don’t get to pick each individual food item, but buying in bulk takes much less time, and it can be easy if you already know what you like anyway.

5. Enertia Trail Foods - Enertia Trail Foods produces dehydrated food as well, and they are a company who prides itself on the variety of products offered. While other brands produce boring soups that all end up tasting the same, Enertia is taking risks with new items. For example, their newest products include vanilla and Columbian coffee, and chocolate and cranberry snacks.

6. Freezer bag Cooking - “Freezer Bag Cooking” is a method of preparing like-freezer-dried meals at home. You prepare a meal before hand, seal it in a zip top bag or and cellophane, and freeze it until you need it. There are tons of recipes online that you can find other people have done, and try them out yourself. This can be much cheaper than buying pre-made freezer-dried meals, and you can cater the specific ingredients to what your taste-buds prefer.

7. Mountain House - The name Mountain House appears all over the internet on forums talking about their freeze-dried favorites. The reason for this is plain and simple-their food just tastes good! At Mountain House they believe that a camping or backpacking trip shouldn’t mean that your taste buds have to be compromised. By ordering through them you can have the adventure of the outdoors, with the gourmet food of the indoors.

8. Using Food Storage Products Daily Cooking - This sounds more daunting than it is, trust me. Not only is this cheaper for you, it also makes it so that items in your food storage supply don’t expire before they are used. Many people use freeze-dried produce to mix into their home-made soups or casseroles. When looking at a recipe, start thinking of ways you can substitute what you have in food storage into it to start getting ideas for how to cook with food storage items. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they always need to be freeze-dried foods in order to incorporate them. To give you an example, here is a recipe that is quick and easy for Chicken Helper.

Ingredients:

1 12.5 oz. can cooked chicken, undrained (undrained there will be about a 1/2 c. of broth)
1 1/2 t. olive oil
1/2 c. of broth (from the can-why throw it out? It just adds more flavor)
2 c. milk (2 c. water + 1/3 c. powdered milk)

Steps:

Combine chicken, broth, oil, water, dry milk powder, and sauce mix in skillet (you’ll need to use a whisk to combine everything). Add in uncooked pasta and stir. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Remove from heat and uncover (sauce will thicken as it stands).

*You could also use a can of peas for some color or add in other spices (garlic, lemon pepper, etc.) to flavor it differently.

Most experienced freeze-dried-eaters will recommend staying with the simple recipes like beef stroganoff and stew. When most freeze-dried manufacturers attempt to make things like Pad Thai, Coconut Rice, or Caribbean Jerk, they end up tasting far from the flavor to be expected. Also, consider investing in a dehydrator and learning how to make your own food. Although freeze-dried food can be extremely convenient, it does have high sodium content, and you can often make more nutritionally sound food when you cook on your own. In the end, these are simply recommendations, and you need to find what works for you. Try out as many flavors and brands as you can so that you know what flavors appeal to your taste. Have fun on your search!

Author Bio - Chett Wright is an emergency preparedness expert, and loves educating others on the importance of food storage. Click the link for more information on freeze-dried food or to visit this facebook page.

Extra Resources Used

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/610943-Freeze-Dried-Food-Best-Tasting

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Food/Packaged%20Meals/Backpackers%20Pantry/Owner%20Review%20by%20Ray%20Estrella/

http://www.harvestfoodworks.com/faq.php

http://www.freezedryguy.com/

http://www.armchairsurvivalist.com/forum/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?1564

http://trailfoods.com/

http://www.trailcooking.com/

http://www.mountainhouse.com/

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 21:32
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