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Parents of young children are no doubt familiar with the ubiquitous juice pouch. They are easy to pack for quick snacks and, of course, kids love ‘em. Instead of tossing the empty pouch in the trash, here’s a great way to reuse the pouches to store food in your get home bags and other kits.
These are also great on kayaking and canoe trips because they keep the contents dry, even submerged in water. They may even float, which makes finding things a heck of a lot easier if they fall of the boat! This also makes them a great way to keep small electronics safe on the water.
Here’s what you need for this project.
Empty juice pouches
Food to put in the pouches (we’ll get to that shortly)
Looking at the front of the empty pouch, you’ll see the hole for the straw. Cut the pouch open, all the way across, just below that hole. Wash and rinse the inside of the pouch. To dry, turn the pouch upside down over a wooden spoon or something similar in your dish drainer.
Let the pouch dry at least several hours or overnight. It must be absolutely dry inside before you move on to the next step.
Filling the Pouch
Next, you are going to fill the pouch. Suggestions include white rice, dry pasta, or beans. Add a bouillon cube for extra flavor, if you’d like. Measure the ingredients carefully so you know exactly how much rice, beans, or whatever is in the pouch. I usually use ½ cup of white rice.
Shake the pouch a bit to allow the contents to settle to the bottom, then gently squeeze the air out. Fold the top of the pouch down two or three times, going about 1/4 inch down each time. (Note: If you are using them for a canoe trip and want them to float, don’t squeeze the air out.)
Finishing the Pouch
Plug in the clothes iron and turn it to permanent press or another hot setting. When it is hot, lay the pouch on its side and run the tip of the iron back and forth across the fold on the pouch a few times. Press firmly with the iron as you do so but don’t let the iron linger in any one spot. What happens is the fold will melt and seal. Let the bag cool for a minute, then gently tug on the fold to make sure it is sealed completely.
Use a marker to label each pouch with the contents and any preparation instructions. When it comes time to prepare the food, simply cut the pouch open and cook the food.
Note: you cannot cook the food right in the pouch. You’ll still need a pot to heat the food. This is merely a means of storing food in your kit. Being that the pouch, if sealed properly, is water and airtight, the dry food inside will stay fresh for quite some time.
This is a great family project if you’re getting ready for a camping trip, a Scout project, or a way to keep anything fresh and waterproof.