Sep162009

32 Comments

INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Dehydrate Frozen Foods

survival-mom-button-foodDid you know that you can dehydrate frozen vegetables?  I just read about this and decided to give it a try.  My grocery store often has bags of frozen veggies on sale for $1 a bag.  It’s a good deal, but even more so when you purchase a dozen bags and end up with jars of dehydrated veggies that will last long-term.

There’s no need to thaw your veggies first.  Just lay them out on your dehydrating trays.  The first time you dehydrate a specific veggie, check on its’ process every two to three hours to determine what the total dehydrating time will be for future batches.  When the veggie pieces are completely dry, without a trace of moisture, pour them into jars with an oxygen absorber or store them in vacuum sealed plastic bags.  Just think.  A couple handfuls of veggies, some chicken broth, and rice will make an excellent soup this coming winter or in the winter of 2020!

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(32) Readers Comments

  1. Great tip… never thought of doing this with frozen vegies

  2. Wow! That's fantastic – I guess I never thought about being able to do that. But why not!?! Thanks for the tip!

  3. What a great idea. I buy large bags of vegies at Sam's Club but a lot of the time I can't use them up before they start to get freezer burn.

    • Hi Shawna! The only thing about dehydrating these veggies is that the finished product is little, itsy-bitsy veggies. It was kind of funny to see, the first time I did this. Glad this tip was helpful to you!

  4. If you go to YouTube, DEHYDRATE2STORE (as you link in your roll) has a two part series specifically on doing bags of FROZEN veggies. I will try to link Part One below. If it is NOT hot simply search for her on you tube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfQg0hzFihM

    She has EVERY conceiveable question you might have covered. She shows you how to seal them in mylar, and even how to make a whole CROCK POT meal with what you have dehydrated.

    'TIS THE SEASON FOR FROZEN VEGGIES ON SALE!!! My Wegmans has them for 79 cents/ lb through Christmas! I can't select, wash, trim and cut fresh veggies any cheaper. Not to mention the seasonality and the vitamins in frozen food is second ONLY to what you can grow yourself or get from a farmer in your town.

    The energy to dehydrate is available RIGHT NOW. Canning takes up more space than some apartment dwellers might have, and the canned bounty is NOT easily transportable or readily barterable.I will always can applesauce, pickles, jam and things that are OBVIOUS, but I will never can another pea, green bean or carrot as long as I live, if I can help it.

    • Jane, I just dehydrated two bags of frozen corn and a bag of green beans. It couldn't be easier. Thanks for the tip about the video. Dehydrate2Store is a great resource.

    • I've got a FoodSaver V4835 Vacuum Sealer. With the first bunch of stuff I bagged, half of it lost the vacuum seal in the first day! Needless to say, I am not pleased by the waste. I have been putting it on "gentle" now, thinking maybe the veggies (green beans among them) were poking holes in the bags. What do you think? Any solutions you recommend trying?

      • Try double bagging or putting in a cheaper storage bag first (leaving it open) and then put in vacuum sealer bag and vacuum. Then wrap in clear plastic wrap, the cheap roll at the store. Good for 20-30 years…

        • THANK YOU!! I put the most recent batch in regular ziploc baggies and didn't have the problem with holes. I have to remember to go plastic wrap what I've sealed. I just bought the Costco brand of plastic wrap, so I should have enough.

  5. I've got my first batch in my new little Nesco, although things kept falling down through the racks, which didn't make me happy. I have two bags of soy beans, one of peas, and a tray of cinnamon apple sauce to turn into fruit roll ups. Maybe this will save us enough to make up for all the Steep & Cheap purchases! (JK – we bought a bunch the first week, but we're doing much better now.) Seriously, though, we'll have a much better supply of veggies, cheaper, and more aligned to what we actually eat, and more easily than starting from fresh. That probably would've been enough extra work to really reduce how much got dehydrated. Thanks for the tip!

    • I love it!!! Check into buying tray inserts for those tiny foods, like peas and corn. That reminds me, I need to start dehydrating a few more bags of frozen veggies. Those turn out really well.

      • OK, I found them on eBay!! I even got extra trays for the dehydrator, and more of the trays for fruit leather and liquids. I guess I now have dried pasta sauce in my future. :-)

    • Liz, on the Nesco website you can order "Clean A Screen" mesh sheets that keep food from falling through the holes in the trays. I've used them for years.

    • Liz I have found that the plastic canvus that you can get at joann fabrics or other craft store with the very small holes work extremly well for small vegtables like corn peas celery etc. just cut the canvus the size of your drying tray insert and dry

  6. Thanks for a great tip! Any idea what the shelf life of these dehydrated frozen veggies are?

  7. I just found this article on here after finding the dehydrate2store site from a separate search. I'm so excited to know that I can expand my dehydrating with store bought frozen veggies. I think you should put this article "up front" again. There are probably others like me, big fans of Survival Mom, but late comers who missed this when you first posted it. I can't wait to pick up some frozen veggies and get started. I'll never stop my ordering from Honeyville Grains due to their great packaging and low shipping, but I can only afford to order cases of dehydrated or freeze dried foods occasionally. Now I can regularly add to my long term food storage on a budget.

    • Thanks, Mary! Just be sure to store those dehydrated veggies in airtight jars and away from heat and light. Oxygen absorbers will help extend their shelf lives.

  8. Thanks Lisa, I have oxygen absorbers and am doing just what you suggested, storing them in canning jars with an oxygen absorber. Maybe I just love to hear that little pop from the jars sealing, whether I'm canning or storing dehydrated foods. :)

    • Mary, I bought the cap lids that you use with your Seal a meal which removes the air from jars and seal the regular lid on. Hope this makes sense trying to explain it.

  9. I have several comments so I will have to split them up –

    I have been dehydrating frozen veggies and fruits as well as fresh for several years now. Our dehydrator runs almost 24 / 7 all year long.

    Look for frozen veggies and fruits when supermarkets have them on sale, store in your freezer and dehydrate as your schedule allows.

    Another thing some of you might not know is that you can also dehydrate more than one type of veggie at the same time in your dehydrator. Just be sure the veggies are about the same size so that things will get dry in relatively the same amount of time.

  10. I found like a lot of you that smaller veggies (like corn) falls through the trays once they dehydrate. I shutter at having to pay $16 for a couple of tray inserts – so came up how to make my own.

    A "cheap" way to get tray inserts (so that small veggies don't fall through the trays) -go to the craft section of your retail store and buy sheets of "plastic canvas". Cut them with a pair of scissors to fit your depending on the design and shape of your dehydrator.

    These homemade tray inserts allow for smaller veggies to be dehydrated without falling through the trays. Since they have “holes” they allow for air circulation allowing for correct drying. The inserts are washable and they will not melt or curl in your dehydrator. These homemade trays are ALOT cheaper to make than to buy the dehydrator brand (maybe not quite as pretty but they do the job)! You can usually buy a LARGE sheet of plastic canvas for just a couple of dollars compared to the average $15 for dehydrator brand inserts.

    • I've wondered if plastic canvas would work in a food dehydrator and have even suggested it but haven't needed to try it myself. Thanks for mentioning it and explaining how to use it. I'm dehydrating a bunch of basil right now, but oregano is next, and those tiny leaves don't stay in one place once they're dried out!

    • Thank you for the 'plastic canvas' tip. I've been using a screen…it works, but not ideal.

  11. Lastly, if finances are available buy fresh fruit and veggies (especially potatoes) when they are on sale and process them – this will save you alot of money.

    Many times I use my dehydrated veggies in my everyday cooking instead of fresh because I took advantage of say potatoes at $3.99 for 15 lbs of potatoes. I would buy 5 – 6 bags of 15 lb potatoes and then slowly process and dehydrate them for food storage as well as everyday use. In the end the potatoes cost me very little even for everyday use because I bought them on sale months prior when they were cheaper.

    My everyday dehydrated items I store in mason jars in my kitchen so that they are available when I need them. My food storage dehydrated items I store in vac sealed bags in large buckets.

    • When you say you slowly process the potatoes before dehydrating them, what do you mean? Thanks for responding. Sue

  12. Parchment paper works as liners too. Even tho they don't have holes, the paper will absorb some of the moisture and works anyway. They are also easier to pick up and pour into another container. I do a lot of mixed veggies for soups and they always contain lots of tiny bits. This has worked for me for years. It is also good for doing hamburger rocks. I use the same paper over and over till it gets torn. Then I just cut another piece and fold it in 4 and cut out the center for the vent. Unfold and voila!

    Mushroom

  13. Dehydrating frozen vegetables is something most people, even preppers, may not think of. I've been doing that for more than a year. Here's an article that might help those of you who want to dehydrate frozen veggies:
    http://survivalprep.net/tag/dehydrating-food/

  14. Any idea what the shelf life of these dehydrated frozen veggies are?

    • In general, home-dehydrated food only has a shelf life of about a year. You can extend that some with the use of oxygen absorbers and storing the food in a dark, cool area. Commercial food dehydrators do a much more effective job of removing moisture, so even though home-dehydrated foods look and feel dry, they won\’t have the same shelf life as those you buy from companies like Emergency Essentials and Shelf Reliance.

  15. I’ve been dehydrating all the extra tomatoes. (just like sun dried that you pay big bucks for) and green peppers. Have done some potatoes and onions………this was my first try at tomatoes and I’m very pleased with the results. Threw some in some soup to check em out….great results.

  16. If you cant get those sheets with the small grid to keep the veggies from falling thru, look at the craft store for small square needlepoint plastic sheets and cut your own to size. Viola – instant drying screens!

  17. I would like to know more about how to do the potatoes and hamburger rocks. Thanks!!

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