If you have stocked up on some dehydrated food and it is part of your emergency kit, there
is no telling when you might have the need to eat it.
The very fact that what you are consuming is referred to as dehydrated food would suggest
that it may not be the most flavorsome meal that you are ever likely to eat, but there are
plenty of tweaks and savvy tips available to make the most of your supplies.
Preparing Dehydrated Food
where the water has been removed as part of the preparation process.
All it takes in theory is some water to rehydrate the food and return it to its original state,
but the reality is often different and there are ways and means of improving the eating
experience that go beyond simply adding some water.
Many of us already have plenty of rehydration experience as preparing oats and rice
involves cooking and rehydrating the food all in one step.
The best basic advice for preparing dehydrated food is to use cold water in order to
rehydrate the product and eat it but if you are planning to use the food as a part of a
cooked dish, warming the water beforehand will speed up the process.
The Right Measure
should note that beans and other legumes might require more attentive handling to
get the most out of them.
The reason that legumes are a bit more of a challenge is down to the fact that their
seed coatings contain a fair quantity of proteins, which tend to toughen up when
exposed to levels of salt, acid and prolonged high temperatures during their initial
soaking and cooking stage.
A good tip to counteract the prospect of your legumes becoming tougher than you
would like them to be, is to encourage them to soften up successfully by avoiding
adding any salt, vinegar, wine, tomatoes or any slightly-acidic products until you
reach the final stages of cooking.
The good news is that many dehydrated foods do not require this level of diligence
and preparation in order to get them ready to eat.
The rule of thumb that works most of the time is to measure out your required
amount of dehydrated food and then add three times that amount in water so that
it rehydrates properly.
If your food is properly submerged in the water, it should be ready in about 20 minutes
and at this point, you can add some salt and other seasonings according to taste.
soup plus staples like rice and noodles, it is a chance to get creative and turn your emergency
food into a tasty meal.
Even if you are understandably storing some food for an emergency situation, it helps to get
some practice on turning stored dried foods into delicious meals so that you can enjoy some
great food even when supplies are limited.
Ramen noodles are a good choice for the store cupboard and your emergency pack as they can
be quickly turned into a delicious meal and they are more versatile than you might think.
Out of your stores, you can cook the noodles in water as directed on the packet and then make
a nutritious and tasty meal by adding a drained can of condensed cream of chicken soup together
with a can of mixed vegetables that have also been drained.
You can use frozen vegetables if you don’t have a can of mixed veg to use but the end result is a
great ramen noodles broth that will not taste like it’s come out of the cupboard.
As for versatility, you can actually make some excellent crunch chocolate snacks using ramen noodles.
There are several recipes around such as the chocolatey goodness ramen, which is pretty similar
to the birds nest snacks you might have had as a child and tastes like a better treat than you might
imagine, considering how easy it is to put together.
It is definitely worth exploring the various options you have to improve your eating experience
with dehydrated foods and as long as you learn the basics of how to rehydrate and what to do with
meats and vegetables prepared in this way.
You might even look forward to rehydrating with relish.
About the Author:
Allen Baler is a Partner at 4Patriots LLC, a Tennessee based small business that provides products to help people be more self-reliant and more independent. Allen founded the company in 2008 after 14 years as a corporate executive leading profitable business for the Easton Press and the Danbury Mint. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and resides in Nashville with his wife and 3 daughters.
Have you found ways to prepare dehydrated food in a delicious manner?
Share your favorite tips, thoughts and comments with us.