Dried vs Freeze Dried

Many people have stored large amounts of dried vegetables that store very well for long periods of time but unfortunately I found that they do not reconstitute well. They take long hours to cook and never achieve the texture that you hope for. The dehydrating process also causes much of the color and taste to be lost. I bought a 50 lb. bag of potato shreds knowing that my family loves hash browns, only to find out that no matter how long you soak or cook them they do not keep the integrity of the cell structure and become hard as a rock the moment you attempt to brown them. Some brands are better than others, but I have not found any yet that I would recommend. Carrots, corn and peas dehydrate and become so hard that you cannot eat them until they have boiled for several hours.

Dried onions, garlic and bell peppers on the other hand, are fantastic to work with. They keep their flavor and reconstitute almost immediately. You can toss them into just about any recipe and they enhance the meal.

Freeze dried corn and peas are a miracle. They keep their color and don’t shrivel at all. They reconstitute quickly and can even be eaten as a crispy snack without reconstituting them.

After working with all of the varieties of dried and freeze dried vegetables I have chosen to store a specific list of freeze dried vegetables and a specific list of dehydrated vegetables. You can take my word for it and follow my list. You can also invest in a small amount of each vegetable (like one can) and then take the time to cook with them yourself to make your own list if you don’t believe my research.

I had already bought so much dehydrated vegetables before I realized that freeze dried was better in some cases. So to use my dehydrated carrots, peas and sweet corn, I put them in a quart jar with water and a little salt and cooked them with the beans in the water bath. See Cooking in Glass Jars in Part 2, Meals for the Week. They cook up nicely and can be used in the veggie burger recipe that we call Mega-Meat. They can also be added to soups, cold pasta salads, etc.

If you have a huge amount of dehydrated veggies as some people do, you can set them aside for a time when you may need to feed a large number of hungry people. A wonderful soup or stew will go a long way to satisfy starvation and comfort those without food.

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