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Old 02-01-2010, 14:10   #1
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Dehydrated Foods

Hi there,

I'm curious to hear from anyone that has used dehydrated foods ( or and your thoughts on it. I've never tried it, and never wanted to. But recently I saw an ad for some fruits / veges, and it actually looked good. And quite economical. They even had some faux meat - now that did NOT look tasty.

I'm not talking about dried fruits like apricots, prunes or beans.

I will be provisioning in the States shortly for a cruise to NZ. I think they sell this stuff at Costco.

Your thoughts?
Cheers.
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Old 02-01-2010, 14:30   #2
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Dehydrated Foods is what the ancient mariners as well as todays sailors still use.
It's common practice to carry fresh fruits and veggies for as long as they can last and then change over to the dehydrated foods as the fresh runs out. This is where the term "one bad apple can ruin a whole barrel" came from.

In the days of old rice, beans, nuts and dried fruits were carried and complimented with fresh fish of the day. If the ship was large enough live animals were carried for fresh meat. Keeping the stuff dry/bacteria free was done in jars, salt and oils. Today, vacuum bagging works great............._/)
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Old 02-01-2010, 14:40   #3
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Hi delmarrey, thanks for your post.

So, have you tried it? Does it taste good? Again not the nuts/beans/rice - standard staples.
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Old 02-01-2010, 14:43   #4
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There is actually quite a bit of literature on food preservation, and storage. I would suggest that you try some of the products in small quantities before spending a lot of money. I keep dried fruit in my pantry for cooking but usually rehydrate before consumption. Be imaginative, you don't have to use just water. Dried pasta can be cooked in wine or broth, same thing for rice. Last night's jasmine rice was cooked in white wine instead of water. The dried cherries used with roasted brussel sprouts were rehydrated using a bit of warm rum. I keep whole, peeled ginger root in a small ball mason jar filled with sherry. You can use the sherry for cooking or take out a piece of the ginger. Just keep it topped off. Finally, many hard cheeses can be stored without refrigeration if kept submerged in olive oil. Try adding a handful of herbs to the oil for a bit more flavor. Oh and for cooking purposes dried whole milk or coconut milk work fine.

Bon Appetit,
Rich

Edit: You might want to try this link to the internet grocer.

http://www.internet-grocer.net/product.html
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Old 02-01-2010, 14:53   #5
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I make Dehydrated food weekly here at my home in Fl. and whats nice about it its only heated to about 120* that keeps most of the enzimes alive , therfore much healther for you then cooking- Some things taste great, but it takes work a,d practice to get it right
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Old 02-01-2010, 14:56   #6
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I think you are talking about the vacuum packed freeze dried products. Costco does carry them sometimes. In particular they have bags of apples that are wonderful as snacks and can be used in baked goods and for cooking if they are slightly rehydrated. I keep these in my long term food supplies and use them on the boat. But I also use more traditional dried fruit and veggies as well. Onion, gralic, soup mix, peas, green beans, corn, carrots, potato and tomatoes are all useful.

This is a site I have heard good things about;
Shelf Reliance - Food Storage, Emergency Kits, Food Storage Racks

or
http://beprepared.com/Default.asp?bhcd2=1262469736
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Old 02-01-2010, 15:57   #7
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Here's another site.

Mountain House freeze dried storage, camping, emergency, survival foods at Survival Enterprises

You CAN find dehydrated foods in Costco and also Places Like Eastern Mountain Sports, or REI .

I haven't tried them in years. I Think you'll find that they are expensive.
I'm guesing the quality has somewhat improved over the years, but can't say.
I was in REI the other night, and looked at them...still expensive.

I started using the seal a meal instead, and now I have the newer version of vaccuum packing. I cook in bulk at home... I pack as much as I think will last, in small portions...freeze it, flat... When/if.. the fresh frozen is gone, I switch to pasta, beans, rice, cured meats etc. and of course, fish...
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:22   #8
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Hi guys,

Thanks so much for the links and info. Shelf Reliance is the one I read about being available at Costco. I know in the long run it's cost efficient, but big upfront cost though (as Tempest points out) - and bulk buying, so no turning back.

Cabo sailor - what great ideas - thank you!

Ram, if you eat it weekly, it can't be all that bad.

Think I'll start with a bit of freeze dried fruits and see how we go. Can't really find that kinda stuff here, so I thought I'd take advantage of my buying abilities while in the States.

Many thanks again.
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:50   #9
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FD

There’s been a big improvement since the stomach-aching freeze-dry of the 1960’s. I frequently ate freeze-dry during numerous ‘summers’ of geological mapping in the Canadian Arctic.

When in 2 or 3-person tent camps, it would be porridge for breakfast, canned meat or fish sandwiches for lunch and entirely freeze-dry (FD) for supper for periods of up to six weeks. Never ran out of energy or got scurvy.

After a 8-12 hour day out, the convenience (including light weight and minimal pot use) of FD was very welcome. It also tasted great – though there is a bit of sameness about different products when tried in a more southerly kitchen… Mind you, I still carry them when Great Lake cruising, for busy days

There are a number of brands, though I always supported a local product (harvestfoodworks.com) which makes vegetarian and carnivore meals. Any good outdoor store will carry a variety of brands.
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Old 02-01-2010, 17:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific Jewel View Post
Hi delmarrey, thanks for your post.

So, have you tried it? Does it taste good? Again not the nuts/beans/rice - standard staples.
Most of what I get is from organic markets but I'm sure Costco stuff is OK. I did forget to mention Pasta's. Spaghetti is what we carry the most. You can get a lot in a small space. Hiking/camping outlets seem to charge way too much for their foods, I guess because they try to keep them as light weight as possible.

As well, can foods are great too, just heavy. You can make lots of good dishes using caned soups. Flour, sugar, salt, lemon pepper, garlic salt, cooking oils and dried soup packets are among some of the necessities aboard for us.

I haven't crossed the Pacific in this boat yet but do 3 week trips only stopping for fuel or ice, which I could do without if need be.

Some carry small bread makers. Bread Maker Aboard?

Water is an important substance. Drinking/cooking for us averages about 2 quarts/litters per person per day. Washing is mostly sea water with a fresh rinse where the water is clear...................._/)
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:24   #11
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Lyophilized?

Well, very light, no taste. Correction - it has taste, except it is always the same taste. Do you like carrots that taste like chicken?

You also need MORE water than you would with normal food. So you only beat the weight factor if water is freely available (say from a brook ...), not in an offshore boat ;-)

Excellent for extreme sports (VOR, climbing, etc.), otherwise a thing to try out but not something to eat day in day out.

Personally, fresh is my first choice and quality canned second best.

b.
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Old 02-01-2010, 19:17   #12
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why would you subject yourself to eating that crap, as my wifes reminds me , its not camping!
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Old 02-01-2010, 19:27   #13
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freeze dried mushrooms keep well and can be substituted for meats in sauces and other dishes--i dont reconstitute them with water--i just saute pieces i chop of them in olive oil...works great...they come in a huge jar in costco---
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Old 02-01-2010, 20:37   #14
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Hi Zeehag - I recall that jug of mushrooms at costco - looked great! And it had alot of mushroom varieties I can't find here - or Hawaii - so that works for me.

Goboating now - I feel you on that one! Yeah, it SHOULDN'T be like camping. I was mainly interested in fruits/veges. We love our fruits and greens, and I simply will not be able to keep it for the first leg of the passage lasting approx. 17 days.

As far as meats are concerned, I'll be right there. Of course, lots of tin foods are easy enough. I prefer fresh too, but veges and fruits (in particular) will not last me - especially in the heat - for that first leg.

Thanks again for your the input! Great stuff.
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Old 02-01-2010, 22:42   #15
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I had my fill of a diet of Freeze Dried Foods

Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Canoeing

The stuff wreaks havoc with my digestive system after a few days.

I do not want to be indelicate with a (ahem) description of the "by products"

Dried foods are another thing entirely....and cheaper
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