Your freeze-dried food won’t lose its taste and nutrients even after several years. After a long period of time, it would still be a great addition to any of your recipes! Here’s a list of food items that you can preserve through freeze-drying.
Eggs are rich in minerals, and freeze-drying them will help preserve these substances. You can freeze-dry both raw and cooked scrambled eggs.
Whisk raw eggs before pouring them onto trays. Once you’ll use them for cooking or baking, pull them out straight from the freeze-dryer. For scrambled eggs, you have to rehydrate them first before you can use them.
Freeze-dried fruits are perfect for making homemade ice cream or smoothies. Don’t forget to slice them before putting them on trays. Some fruits that you can freeze-dry are the following:
Pineapple: Due to its juiciness, this fruit might take a long freeze-drying cycle. To make the drying time faster, make it frozen before placing it inside your freeze dryer.
Apple: Submerge apple slices in lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. You can put caramel sauce, cinnamon, or sugar on top before freeze-drying to make a unique and crispy snack.
Raspberry and blackberry: Both fresh and frozen of these are already good to go on trays. After freeze-drying, you can place them in your blender to produce fruit powder.
Cherry: You can either pit and cut your cherries in half or blanch them before freeze-drying. Doing the latter can avoid stickiness and chewiness.
Lemon and lime: Make thin slices of these fruits before putting them side by side on your tray.
Freeze-dry these berries to make tasty pastries and desserts:
Banana: You can keep your bananas fresh since you might find frozen ones unpleasant. They would still taste the same, but frozen bananas will turn brown. Then, use this freeze-dried food to make banana chips and cereal toppings later on.
Watermelon: Experiment with this berry by removing its water to produce more flavor.
Grape: Slice your grapes in half, then put them on your tray with the skin facing down. Like watermelon, grapes tend to become sweeter when you remove their water.
Blueberry: Prick a small hole into this berry before freeze-drying for better results.
Try something new with your frozen or pre-cooked rotisserie chicken by freeze-drying them. Place chicken pieces on your trays, and chop those that are thick. You can also freeze-dry chicken patties and nuggets, and use them in several recipes later on.
Aside from chicken, another source of protein that you can freeze-dry is turkey. Ground or sliced deli turkey pieces would make for a perfect meal for any type of occasion.
5. Pork and Beef
Freeze-dry pork and beef to make pork barbecue, pulled pork, steak, and Beef Stroganoff. Yet, keep in mind to use lean pork and beef as much as possible. When your meat has lots of fat and it’s freeze-dried, it might result in an unpleasant smell and taste. Preserving meat with high-fat content will also result in shorter shelf life.
Before freeze-drying, cook pieces of pork and beef with broth. Afterward, wash them off with hot water to remove any remaining fat. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
If you want smaller pieces, you can shred the meats before placing them on a tray.
6. Dairy Products
These products will only last a couple of days. Freeze-drying them will help maintain their quality:
Milk: Instead of dehydrating your milk, freeze-dry it instead for better flavor. Fill three-quarters of your tray with milk, then push it inside your freeze dryer.
Yogurt: Spread your yogurt in silicone molds to form adorable shapes. You can use these to entice your little ones.
Cheese: Due to its versatility, cheese is one of the best food items you can freeze-dry. Be it Italian, American, or Mexican dish, you can use this item in almost all your recipes.
Ice cream: After freeze-drying, rehydrate your ice cream using milk. Its texture will turn light and airy, and it won’t be as creamy and soft as before.
For those who have sweet tooth, this is your chance to preserve your candies, except chocolate. Unfortunately, freeze-drying might not work well on it due to its fat content.
Try cheesecakes, Jolly Ranchers, and Skittles. Be careful when you pull them out of your freeze-dryer as they can get a bit huge after some time.
8. Leafy Greens
Stop worrying if you have lots of greens in your yard. You can now use every inch of your harvest and maximize its freshness and health benefits.
Toss your leafy greens in a casserole to rehydrate them. Afterward, you can add water, olive oil, nuts, and berries to make a healthy and delicious snack. You can also put seasonings and use your other stocked food items to make a sandwich, smoothie, or salad.
Freeze-drying these healthy food items will prolong their shelf life:
Green beans: Blanch these beans before freeze-drying them so they would rehydrate better. You can use either canned, fresh, or frozen depending on your preference.
Potatoes: Like your green beans, don’t forget to blanch your potatoes. This will also help avoid making them brown.
Peas: You don’t have to worry if the peas stack on top of the other when they’re placed on a tray. Make sure they would fit inside your freeze dryer.
Carrots: There’s no need to blanch sliced or diced carrots before freeze-drying them. Afterward, you can put them in your soup or salad for that extra crunch.
Candies are one of the freeze-dried food items that you can enjoy even after storing them for a long period of time. Watch this video by The King of Random to see what happens when you freeze-dry a pound of a gummy bear:
Now, you don’t have to worry about what food to prepare in case of impromptu get-togethers. Use your freeze-dried food to provide delicious meals for your family and friends.
What other freeze-dried food do you have in mind that you’d like us to know about?