Preserving food at home is all the rage. Canning and dehydrating are the most popular long-term food storage methods, but are they the healthiest way to preserve food at home?
Life is unpredictable, but your food should always be delicious and full of nutrition. There are many reasons people choose to preserve food whether it’s to save money, preserve the harvest from their garden, avoiding processed/packaged store bough foods or for emergency preparedness, it seems like everyone is trying their hand at preserving food these days.
I grew up in a family that embraced freezing and canning as ways to preserve homegrown and homemade foods. And in addition to those methods, I’ve also enjoyed dehydrating for food preservation over the past 15 years in my own home.
But then I started to become frustrated… Having multiple freezers full of important frozen food that can easily be lost in a power outage or mechanical failure…. Long summer days of labor-intensive canning and heavy shelves/boxes of jars that can easily be broken or if too cold, freeze.
While dehydrating helped make things more safely shelf stable, it lacked in quality, taste and variety. Not to mention learning that much of the nutrition of food was being lost with both canning and dehydrating.
Then I learned that there is another option for food preservation at home, Freeze Drying.
Why is Freeze Drying the Best Way to Preserve Food?
Previously, freeze drying technology wasn’t practical for the home. Not only was freeze drying equipment extremely large and complicated, it was obscenely expensive at $30,000!
My dad is the one that introduced me to the ideal of freeze drying at home, when he mentioned hearing an advertisement for a newly released, affordable, at home unit. Immediately I knew I had to have one, since I had already knew what a superiorly preserved product freeze drying produced, both from a taste and nutritional quality standpoint.
25 Year Shelf Life with Freeze Drying
As a food preservation method, not only is Freeze Drying easier than canning and more versatile than dehydrating, it will last 7 to 8 times longer.
Just put your leftover meals, fresh fruits & vegetables, raw or cooked meats and dairy in your own freeze dryer and press start. In roughly 24 hours, your food is ready to be packaged for a shelf life of 25 years.
No need to worry about too-cold storage temperatures freezing your canned food or loss of power defrosting your freezer… Freeze Drying food is virtually indestructible once stored in a sealed container or bag and it is lightweight for easy storage and portability.
Retains 97% of Nutrition with Freeze Drying
Freeze drying is remarkable because it causes no damage to the nutrition of the food being preserved. Other methods of preservation, such as canning and dehydrating, use higher temperatures that can destroy more than half (50%) the food value.
Diane Barrett, a food science and technology professor at UC-Davis, calls freeze-drying “one of the best ways to preserve food.”
Freeze drying does not shrink or toughen the food, but retains the same aroma, flavor, color and shape. Simply add water and your preserved food is quickly brought back to life. Apples, cheese, avocados, meat, raspberries, peas, ice cream and yogurt will still look and taste fresh because, in reality, they still are. Without water and oxygen to spoil the food, it is as if the food has been placed in a time capsule. It will last and last and last!
In-Home freeze drying allows you to preserve large pieces of tasteful, high quality food, such as apricot halves, thick peach slices, large slabs of cooked steak, whole shrimp, ice cream sandwiches, and a lot more. You don’t have to settle for the small dices or shavings of fruit or meat that you find in store bought, freeze dried products. Prepare it and preserve it how you want it.
Waste Less Food
Leftover meals, including excess fruits and vegetables, that are typically wasted and thrown away may be freeze dried until you are ready to eat them. Studies have shown that the average family of four throws away 40% of the food they purchase each year, a value equal to $2,250 or more. Families can avoid much of this waste and preserve large quantities of high quality food that would normally be put in the garbage.
These Freeze Dried leftovers are perfect, not only for emergency preparedness, but also for last minute meals and camping trips. Freeze Dried fruits and vegetables make the perfect snack on the go. And buying in-season fresh fruits and vegetables when they are less expensive and freeze drying them to eat later is an awesome way to extend your food-budget dollars!
Even the most well-intended plans to stock your freezer with leftovers and fruits/vegetables is all for not when the power goes out or your freezer breaks down. With Freeze Drying you always have piece of mind that your preserved food is safe!
Healthy Real Food Ingredients
Prepackaged, processed meals typically include unhealthy additives, such as sodium nitrate, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, monosodium glutamate (MSG), food dyes and colors.
When you freeze dry at home, your food is untainted. It will accommodate any dietary need, including food allergies, vegetarian, or vegan needs. It is perfect for a non-preservative or non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) diet that is designed for a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to retaining nutrition, when you Freeze Dry fermented foods, all those healthy bacteria go dormant until they are rehydrated. You can even Freeze Dry your surplus Kombucha Scobys and you’ll just need to add water to wake them back up!
Our Freeze Drying Experience
We’ve had our freeze dryer for over a year and we have no regrets. Adding a freeze dryer to our arsenal of gadgets was one of the best investments we’ve made.
Here’s our beautiful Red Freeze Dryer, Ray built it it’s own shelf at the end of his workbench. Using a freeze dryer is very easy once you get the hang of it, it’s not plug & use item like a refrigerator or dehydrator. It does have a separate vacuum pump and needs some routine maintenance – but nothing complicated, just changing the oil every few batches – no big deal honestly.
When we got our Freeze Dryer there was only one (standard) size, but in the year since they’ve released a smaller and larger version as well. Our freeze dryer is about the size of a large-mini fridge or free standing dishwasher and holds 4 trays of food, for us it’s the perfect size. Occasionally the larger unit would be nice but I’d never recommend the smaller size.
Not only have we preserved emergency prep-meals to pack away for worst-case scenarios, we’ve also use it to create fun snacks and convenience foods for everyday use.
We transformed 25 gallons of tomatoes into a 1/2 gallon of powder. Blending the freeze dried tomato powder with different dilutions of water to make tomato paste, sauce or juice, flawlessly.
And when it comes to preserving our precious wild foraged mushrooms, nothing compares to the quality of freeze drying for enjoying them out of season.
Currently we’ve preserving spring strawberries and cherries – not only can we use them when rehydrated, just like the freeze dried fruit snack you may be purchasing, they are delicious and healthy snacks!
So, if you are on the fence, I say go for it!!! Get a freeze dryer, you won’t be disappointed. We sincerely and authentically love ours! Click HERE to learn more.
Yours in Health,