As I have posted before, dehydrating is a great way to store food. When you dehydrate, you only take out the water…all of the flavor and most of the nutrients stay in the food. This week there was a great sale on green peppers, onions, and mushrooms. These are things that I use a lot in my cooking…especially in cooking stews and soups. Stews and soups are the foods that are really easy to make, and great to prepare when the weather is not the best. In the summertime I hope to have food from the garden on hand that won’t need cooking. Even so, the surplus from the garden with all its fresh flavors can be dried and stored as well.
We have a snow storm coming our way just now and besides stocking up last week, we have dehydrated several bags and trays of mushrooms, onions and green peppers to use another day. Dehydrated foods last far beyond the shelf life of regular canned items, decades beyond even. To do this we have sterilized mason jars with lids, and a special attachment that hooks to our Food Saver vacuum bagging system. It cost about 25 dollars but is worth a lot more because we can seal up food that we purchase on sale that ten years from now will be maybe ten times the price.
The mushrooms we dehydrated cost us 69 cents per container, and the onions were on sale for 79 cents per bag (7 medium onions in each). We use a lot of onions so roughly a dime an onion is a great deal. Having them ten years from now because we dehydrated and stored them at that price seems even better.
So you might see that purchasing vegetables and even some meat when there is a really good sale makes for some super savings in the future. It also takes up so much less space storing these foods when you take out the water. We love to store food this way and store lots of vegetables from the garden this way, food on sale from the store, and food that our relatives have hunted and shared like deer meat. I’ve posted on how to dry deer meat and beef before, also how to store vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, corn, apples, also herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil.
In this photo you will see four containers of mushrooms in one Mason jar, also a bag of onions in one jar as well. You could fit at least three pounds of dehydrated meat in one jar, and a whole two bags of frozen broccoli in one as well. Ten green peppers chopped and with the stems and pith removed can fit into an 8 oz jar…yes, this is ten chopped green peppers we can preserve up to 25 years! At any time we might toss a portion of these jars into a soup or stew and enjoy all the flavor it had on the day we dried it. People all over the world have been doing this for thousands of years!
If you ever try to dehydrate apples, good luck getting them in storage. They are so delicious that we can hardly help ourselves from eating the whole batch. I think that they are the best treat of all from the dehydrator. A close second is corn and the tomatoes are third I think. Corn makes a great crunchy snack and tomatoes are great when baked into bread and bagels. We’ll have a tons of snack food some day if stores can’t provide fresh veggies for what ever reason…snow storm, power outage, or the proverbial “Zombie Apocalypse” . We’ll be OK by having prepared just a little beforehand. Anyone can do this if they put their mind to it.
This entry was posted on February 26, 2013 by divaofdelicious. It was filed under Uncategorized and was tagged with cooking, dehydrating food, food, food storage, frugality, green peppers, life, mushrooms, on a budget, onions, prepping, preserving, soup, stew, survival.