What Does Freeze-Dried Food Really Taste Like?
The old notion of an emergency food supply used to conjure thoughts of hundreds of home-canned jars lining the pantry walls, full of everything from preserved peaches to pickles. After that came buckets and buckets of heavy whole wheat, ready for grinding into flour in case of an emergency. Then freeze-dried food came along, and it almost instantly got a bad rap. People think of military standard MREs or even astronaut food, and then only one thing comes to mind: flavorless mush.
But what does freeze-dried food really taste like these days? Does freeze-drying itself have any effect on the flavor or texture of the food? And is it really worth it to keep some in your emergency food supply? Let’s talk about freeze-dried food, its flavor potential, and where to get the best of the best for your family!
Does Freeze Drying Food Remove Flavor?
The first thing we should do is break down what freeze-drying really means so we can better understand the effect it will have on freeze-dried food flavor.
The basic process of freeze-drying is this: taking the water in any food directly from a solid state (frozen) to a gas state (evaporated) without allowing it to pass through a liquid state via perfect control of pressure and temperature conditions. The result is a dry form of the food that can then be rehydrated or eaten as is (if properly cooked previous to the freeze-drying process for things like meat). This process makes it possible to store almost any once-perishable food—think anything from chicken to broccoli to milk—for much longer than older preservation methods. And bonus: freeze-drying food skips the use of high temperatures which can mean the death of heat-sensitive nutrients, ensuring that your freeze-dried emergency food maintains its nutritional value!
Unfortunately, many have made the assumption that because a food is now totally dry and promising a 25-year shelf life, it must be incredibly flavorless and boring. But removing the liquid from many foods can often result in just the opposite. Freeze-drying can concentrate and even intensify the flavor of properly preserved foods. Far from being boring, freeze-dried foods can taste just as good (and sometimes even better) than their fresh counterparts! The key is preparing or purchasing freeze-dried food with a focus on quality and flavor rather than cheap meals you may have experienced in the past that can potentially fill your belly but never satisfy your taste buds.
So, if you’re looking for a way to ensure your food supply lasts a long time without sacrificing flavor or nutrition, adding properly freeze-dried food and meals to your emergency food storage is a great option.
Does Freeze Drying Food Change The Texture?
There’s no getting around this one! Freeze-drying your food is absolutely going to change its texture—at first. But the important thing to remember is that sometimes that doesn’t matter very much, and sometimes it’s a really, really good thing.
Removing all liquid from a food typically makes it light and crisp and very easy to break apart, which can make for a very pleasant eating experience. Rather than dehydrating certain foods (which can eliminate key nutrients and create a tough or rubbery texture), freeze-dried fruits and vegetables make for a great snack on their own, tossed together with a fresh salad, or added to a custom trail mix. These are the times we love what freeze-drying food does to food texture.
And all the times the textural change won’t matter very much? When you are properly rehydrating and preparing your freeze-dried food. You’d be surprised at how similar some rehydrated freeze-dried foods are to their originals! And while freeze-dried foods won’t always be identical in texture to their freshly-made counterparts, the difference is often negligible—particularly in meals containing several textural elements anyway. Pasta dishes, soups, and even oatmeal are great examples of common freeze-dried meals that are designed to rehydrate incredibly well without any off putting textures.
Oh, and one of our favorite bonuses of using freeze-dried foods is when their textures don’t exist at all! We’re talking about creating a finer powder out of your freeze-dried foods (particularly fruits and vegetables) for adding to smoothies, muffin and pancake batters, soups, and casseroles for tons of added flavor and thickness, without reaching for additional salt, flour, or sugar.
Which Freeze-Dried Foods Taste The Best?
So now that we’ve established the fact that freeze-dried food doesn’t have to mean eating things that vaguely resemble cardboard in texture and flavor, how do you know which freeze-dried foods taste the best?
Well, the freeze-dried food industry as a whole has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1960s, but that doesn’t mean that every company, meal, or food item is created or prepared equally today. Purchasing the best-tasting freeze-dried food means only buying from reputable companies that value high-quality ingredients and preparation processes, like Hibernate. It also means that trying out a few different options for your family is key so you can know what suits your personal tastes the best and then be able to stock up on your favorites.
Our customers have several favorite meals that we’re sure your family will love, too. And not just for their incredible flavor, either. They’re also unbelievably easy to prepare and store, have a 25-year shelf life, and can be easily customized to your family’s tastes.
Hibernate’s Chicken Veggie Soup
This hearty and homey soup has it all! Packed with nutrition and great flavor, our Chicken-Flavored Vegetable Soup is a soup-er (we had to) comforting take on a total classic. It’s light but filling, packs a fiber punch, and offers plenty of the vitamins and minerals you need daily, but especially in an emergency. This soup is also endlessly versatile, as you could add more freeze-dried or fresh veggies, meat, or spices to the mix to take it to the next level for your family.
Hibernate’s Italiano Marinara Pasta
Customers love our Italiano Marinara Pasta because it’s anything but basic. No one wants something blah for dinner—even during a disaster—and this dish delivers on filling flavor. On its own or filled with extras (think our delicious freeze-dried beef or a big side of broccoli), this pasta will please everyone at the table, even if you’re not really in Italy.
Hibernate’s Cheesy Broccoli Rice
From wrestling matches to family feuds, our Cheesy Broccoli Rice has been known to cause conflict. It’s completely crave-worthy while simultaneously delivering on nutrition and energy needs. We highly recommend keeping several extra packets in the pantry for everyday use (and bribery, where needed).
Hibernate’s Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff
Our Creamy Stroganoff offers plenty of vitamins and minerals alongside its perfectly-umami flavor profile. It’s created with shiitake mushrooms to double down on delivering what your body needs in an emergency and we think it pairs deliciously with more mushrooms, sweet peas, and freeze-dried chicken for a perfectly complete meal you’d never know was freeze-dried.
Hibernate’s Creamy Chicken Rice
This is a favorite amongst all our customers, but particularly the kids. It’s fairly tame without even a hint of boredom, and the texture is truly satisfying. It’s another great dish where every helping feels hearty and satisfying but can also be amped up with chicken, spices, and other beloved vegetables.
We could go on and on about the variety of meals and foods our customers love (we’re talking everything from chocolate pudding and buttermilk pancakes to macaroni and cheese and black bean burgers), but you’d be here all day reading—and possibly drooling—instead of purchasing and preparing. So we’ll move on . . . for now.
Tips For Getting The Most Flavor From Your Freeze-Dried Food
If you’re new to freeze-dried food, we’ve got some great tips on how to get the most flavor into every meal and snack you eat.
- Store it the right way. Allowing oxygen, liquids, heat, or light to damage your freeze-dried food can reduce flavor and even make it unsafe to eat at a certain point. Make sure your emergency food supply is kept in a dry, cool, semi-dark place.
- Rehydrate properly. One of the worst things you can do is water down your freeze-dried food so it is soggy mush that lacks flavor. Make sure to follow the instructions for liquid amounts and don’t go overboard in cooking freeze-dried food down.
- Don’t be afraid of extras. Fresh or freeze-dried spices, herbs, and veggies and fruits are your friends when it comes to adding flavor to your freeze-dried food. If there is a meal you don’t love, make it your own with a custom flavor blend that will make you want seconds. Experiment with something new each time for ultimate flavor diversity!
- Integrate freeze-dried ingredients into well-loved recipes. Add freeze-dried apples and blueberries to pies to amp up flavor and texture. Toss in a few freeze-dried onions to your casserole. Remember, freeze-dried versions are often concentrated in flavor and can quickly take a meal from meh to mouth watering!
Hibernate Emergency Food Supply: Delicious Nutritious For Your Family
Freeze-dried food should never be thought of as a last resort when it comes to emergency preparedness. In fact, it has become increasingly popular to look for ways to make prepping and eating healthier easier. But more than that—the right freeze-dried food actually tastes really good, too.
And we’ve combined 15 of the RIGHT freeze-dried foods into our 2-Week Premium Food Supply to make it as easy as possible for you to be prepared with exactly what your family needs and wants in an emergency. Every person in your home should be equipped with enough food and water for two weeks, in case of an emergency. And with our 2-week food supply buckets, we’ve taken out any guesswork, any fear, and any difficulty of doing exactly that.
At Hibernate, we believe that emergencies suck, but your food shouldn’t. Lucky for you, we’ve got the delicious freeze-dried meals and foods to make that happen. Get your 2-week food supply today!