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Old 12-02-2014, 01:24   #31
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Re: Dehydrating Food

I suppose its the same as rice and instant rice. The instant variety has been pre-cooked, meaning the cooking process is much faster when you cook them at home.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:27   #32
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I suppose its the same as rice and instant rice. The instant variety has been pre-cooked, meaning the cooking process is much faster when you cook them at home.
Thanks. That's logical but I don't I know why you would want freeze dried beans that are not pre-cooked. Edit. I think I just figured it out. They're not dehydrated or freeze dried just vacuum sealed in the cans.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:59   #33
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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Thanks. That's logical but I don't I know why you would want freeze dried beans that are not pre-cooked. Edit. I think I just figured it out. They're not dehydrated or freeze dried just vacuum sealed in the cans.
The instant beans are par boiled and then freeze dried. As you know, regular beans take a long time to cook. Thrive instant beans take 10 minutes if simmered in water (2 cups water to 1 cup beans). Or you can soak them for 24 hours in cold water and they will reconstitute back into regular soft cold beans.

The instant beans are very handy and that's what you'll find in the Bear Creek chili as well. Instant beans also make up a nice bit of refried beans very easily. Although, beans, wheat, and rice are things that we just have in LARGE bulk at our home and I use my Zojirushi smart rice cooker to cook them.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:02   #34
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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You done good. a years supply and is that for two people? I'm jealous. For me that equals freedom.
The year supply is two people and a baby. A lot of people in Utah do better than us and have a 2 year supply as that is what is encouraged in the predominant religion here.

What has really been nice about companies like Thrive is that your food storage is stuff that you would actually eat. A few decades ago everyone had a stockpile of red wheat, bottled fruit, and beans. I could live on that stuff, but it wouldn't be by choice. Our food storage consists of a full assortment of Thrive products and in an emergency we'll be eating things like spaghetti, chicken salad, chili con carne, biscuits and gravy, chicken risotto, chicken noodle soup, cheddar broccoli, and a wide assortment of fruits and veggies. We have a Vitamix that easily turns wheat into flour and we have a pretty substantial amount of red wheat, sugar, and beans as well.

Additionally we have a year worth of items like soap, detergent, toilet paper, batteries, and other essentials. We just rotate them through. When we buy tuna fish for example, the new stuff goes to storage and the oldest stuff in storage is pulled out for sandwiches. Even though most stuff is shelf stable for many years, at this point the majority doesn't sit on the shelf for any more than 12-18 months before it is rotated out. Then of course we have 6-12 months of potable water.

Obviously we could do a bit better and have a manual wheat grinder and some sort of water collection/purification, but we aren't doomsday preppers, just regular folks that want to be prepared if we fall into tough times or if there was an earthquake or something.
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Old 18-02-2014, 07:59   #35
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Re: Dehydrating Food

We bought an Excaliber dehydrator a few years ago and use to to dry fruit and London Broil. London Broil has very little fat so it makes a jerky that will not go off easily because of the lack of fat. We also have a Food Saver that came with a marinade container. I did not want the marinade dohickey but it came with the package. The marinade device does do a good and quick job on marinading meat before drying into jerky.

If you buy either one of these devices, search the Internet for coupons/discounts. In both cases, we bought directly from the company, and if you looked carefully on their website they had discounts that were better than any other place selling the product.

One of the first things I dehydrated was apples. I was trying to make an apple leather but I messed up and added water. This had the effect of making the dried apple into a crumb like texture. The taste was fine but the texture was odd. I decided to save some and see how long it took to go bad. That stuff is on my desk and is getting towards three years old and is just fine which is surprising since it is in a cheap sandwich zip lock bag.

I have apples and strawberries in mason jars that are just fine after two years. The Food Save we bought has a device that allows you to vacuum seal mason jars which works really well. I put the dried food in the mason jars since the jars are reusable unlike the Food Saver bags.

The information about the company selling dehydrated food is a great.

You don't have to be deep in Mormon country to have a Mormon store near you. There are Mormon temples in my area and they have stores the sell food that stores well. I have heard that some of the stores will sell to non Mormons, you just have to call and ask first. The stores near me do not advertise, you have to find them yourself, but they are out there.

Salted fish should work, but like country ham, ie, salted ham, the fish should be soaked to remove the salt before cooking. Not many people seem to do this though.

Later,
Dan
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Old 18-02-2014, 08:27   #36
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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We bought an Excaliber dehydrator a few years ago and use to to dry fruit and London Broil. London Broil has very little fat so it makes a jerky that will not go off easily because of the lack of fat. We also have a Food Saver that came with a marinade container. I did not want the marinade dohickey but it came with the package. The marinade device does do a good and quick job on marinading meat before drying into jerky.

One of the first things I dehydrated was apples. I was trying to make an apple leather but I messed up and added water. This had the effect of making the dried apple into a crumb like texture. The taste was fine but the texture was odd. I decided to save some and see how long it took to go bad. That stuff is on my desk and is getting towards three years old and is just fine which is surprising since it is in a cheap sandwich zip lock bag.
Dan, which Excaliber do you have? Do you carry one on board? I'd like to bring one with us when we head off, but given the amount of space they take up, I'm not sure if it is really worth it.

Apples make great leathers, but they are fine as solid slices as well. It's easy to core, chop and dry in slices. I also find that pureeing apples with other fruit purees works really well for making nice leathers.

I just dried 1.2 kg (~2.5 pounds) of ground beef. There was a good special on extra lean at our local supermarket so I bought ~ 5 kg. Will have it all dried over the next day or so, along with some more veggies.

Here's a pic of our dryer in action. You can see the bottom tray with zucchini, followed by the beef, and then mushrooms.
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Old 18-02-2014, 08:59   #37
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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We stopped in Wal-mart in Fargo last fall on the way home and bought a few meals of freeze dried meals. The breakfast meals which we bought were fantastic. Not the shore lunch brand, as they are very salty. I believe brand name was mountain home or some such. I bag was $6.00 and was good for 4 meals for me(meaning 6 normal meals) and was made for tortilla wraps. Very good tasting and VERY cheap. We also bought from Cabela's in Grand Forks some tortilla soup mix, just add water from a company called Bear Creek that you add 8 cups of water to make 8 -10 cups of soup. Have not tried this yet, but have no reason to doubt them yet. I do know Mountain Home products out of Idaho is very good, used 3-4 different packages so far, will be carrying these on boat quite a bit. $1.25 a meal works very well into my budget. Tried also military mre's. Not too bad, but very dirty, meaning makes a lot of trash for what you get.
The company name is Mountain House. You can buy them at EMS, REI, or online. They are just add boiling water types of meals. I used to eat them all the time when I was guiding and backpacking as a part time job. They are actually rather good for what they are and are easy to pack/store. The bag is also the bowl you pour the water into and is re-sealable so there is no mess when you are done, just an empty heavy duty type zip loc bag
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Old 18-02-2014, 09:11   #38
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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Dan, which Excaliber do you have? Do you carry one on board? I'd like to bring one with us when we head off, but given the amount of space they take up, I'm not sure if it is really worth it.

Apples make great leathers, but they are fine as solid slices as well. It's easy to core, chop and dry in slices. I also find that pureeing apples with other fruit purees works really well for making nice leathers.
The Excaliber does not fit on the boat...

Our boat(s) at this point are two sea kayaks and a canoe.

We are planning for a trawler but it is going to take a decade to get there.... If the plan works out, I can see taking Excaliber and our large pressure cooker. We have the nine tray unit which I think is the right size. Its not that much more work filling the larger Excaliber vs the smaller unit.

We have made quite a bit of Blueberry leathers and apples get made into slices. Blueberries are harder to dry because they are not the same size. I figured I could work out some sieves to size the berries but it is just easier to blend them up and make a leather. Apples and other fruits are easy to dry as chunks/slices.

Pineapple really tastes good dried but I cannot stop it from turning brown even when dipping in citric acid. Amazing how a big huge pineapple can be dried to fit in a small ziplock back or mason jar.

Later,
Dan
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Old 18-02-2014, 09:57   #39
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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The information about the company selling dehydrated food is a great.

You don't have to be deep in Mormon country to have a Mormon store near you. There are Mormon temples in my area and they have stores the sell food that stores well. I have heard that some of the stores will sell to non Mormons, you just have to call and ask first. The stores near me do not advertise, you have to find them yourself, but they are out there.

Later,
Dan
Just a point of clarification for those whom may not know. The previously mentioned products (Bear Creek, Thrive, and Daily Bread) are not Mormon products. They are just private companies that are based in Utah because there is a big market for that type of product here. But they sell globally and don't have anything to do with the Mormon Church.

Conversely, what was mentioned above is what the Mormons call a Bishop's Storehouse, sometimes called a Mormon Food Pantry. There are about 100 of them last I heard (list here). There is one in my local community that I have volunteered at. As mentioned, they stock a lot of food that stores well, but the list is much more extensive than the freeze dried stuff offered by the other private companies. Everything from dried goods and peanut butter to tuna fish, clothing, and soap. It's more like a small thrift/grocery store. This is because these storehouses are part of the welfare program and operate completely on volunteer effort and donations. They sell to the public for emergency storage, but the vast majority of goods are donated to needy families (both Mormons and non-Mormons).

So if you do purchase from one of these, make a mental note that everything you see was donated for free, either grown on a volunteer farm/orchard or purchased with monetary donations that Mormon families give every month. After natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, according to many news reports one of the first and largest organizations on the scene was Mormon Helping Hands. The goods they are handing out are from these Mormon Storehouses (usually labelled Deseret) and were paid for by the other 5 million or so Mormon families and are in addition to running one of the largest and most organized welfare systems in the world.

I just mention this because I feel that if we get to take advantage of resources like this, it isn't a bad idea to take an afternoon every so often and volunteer a little bit of time. I'll get off my soap box now...
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Old 18-02-2014, 10:56   #40
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Re: Dehydrating Food

^^^^^
Good info thank you for sharing!
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:03   #41
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Another item that I feel might be handy for cruisers along these same lines is shelf-stable milk. I don't know about you, but I'm really not fond of powdered milk, and refrigeration space is at a premium on boats.

AFAIK, the largest supplier of this product is Gossner Foods. Shelf stable milk typically comes in pints and 1/2 pints. Square boxes that can be purchased in bulk and are shrink wrapped in stack-able packages. Many different flavors like vanilla, chocolate, orange, root beer, banana, etc. Of course there is regular flavored 2% and skim as well. Additionally, you can get other dairy like shelf stable whipping cream.

Each of these products can remain unrefrigerated for several months before consumption as long as the packages aren't opened or damaged. These ARE NOT dairy substitutes. They are actual milk from local farms with no preservatives and taste just like normal milk. The magic is that the milk has been heated to a precise temperature to kill the bacteria and then sealed in sterile aseptic containers that don't allow bacteria or light in.

I'm quite familiar with these products as well because I'm related to the Gossner family and some friends of mine are managers at the main facility. It's a large operation with global distribution, and they supply the US military as well. Impressive products for anyone looking for dairy that can be kept in stowage without spoiling.
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:11   #42
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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Originally Posted by Certeza View Post
Another item that I feel might be handy for cruisers along these same lines is shelf-stable milk. I don't know about you, but I'm really not fond of powdered milk, and refrigeration space is at a premium on boats.

AFAIK, the largest supplier of this product is Gossner Foods. Shelf stable milk typically comes in pints and 1/2 pints. Square boxes that can be purchased in bulk and are shrink wrapped in stack-able packages. Many different flavors like vanilla, chocolate, orange, root beer, banana, etc. Of course there is regular flavored 2% and skim as well. Additionally, you can get other dairy like shelf stable whipping cream.

Each of these products can remain unrefrigerated for several months before consumption as long as the packages aren't opened or damaged. These ARE NOT dairy substitutes. They are actual milk from local farms with no preservatives and taste just like normal milk. The magic is that the milk has been heated to a precise temperature to kill the bacteria and then sealed in sterile aseptic containers that don't allow bacteria or light in.

I'm quite familiar with these products as well because I'm related to the Gossner family and some friends of mine are managers at the main facility. It's a large operation with global distribution, and they supply the US military as well. Impressive products for anyone looking for dairy that can be kept in stowage without spoiling.
If you venture over to Europe you'll see this product everywhere -UHT (ultra heat treated) dairy products are very popular.
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:12   #43
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Certeza. Are you sure that box milk is not iradiated? I don't think that it needs to be stated legally.
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:48   #44
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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Certeza. Are you sure that box milk is not iradiated? I don't think that it needs to be stated legally.
I can't speak for all different brands of shelf stable milk, because I know that irradiation is/was common, but the brand that I mentioned (Gossner Foods), which I believe is the largest US producer/distributor, IS NOT irradiated.

Like I said, the company is owned by relatives and managed by my best friends. I'm very familiar with the product. It is UHT processed. In simple terms, cooked at 280F and sterile packaged.

You can find the actual Gossner brand under the following labels, made a bit confusing by the fact that Gossner Foods is a fast growing company that has bought some of the Hershey foods and label rights...

Dollar Tree -- Gossner or Hersheys label
Kroger -- Hersheys label
Giant -- Food Holds label
Amazon.com -- Borden label
Stop n Shop -- Food Hold label

Or you can buy direct from Gossner Foods.
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:57   #45
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Re: Dehydrating Food

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If you venture over to Europe you'll see this product everywhere -UHT (ultra heat treated) dairy products are very popular.
Yes, in fact some countries like Switzerland, Germany, and France use more UHT milk than pasteurized refrigerated stuff. Unfortunately, in the USA and UK the dairy farmers have united against efforts to encourage a switch from pasteurized to UHT. I can understand their reasoning. People buy a lot more milk if it spoils quickly.
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