Cold soak foods are great for young kids that do not have access to hot water (microwave, coffee, tea pot, thermos). If convenience is what you want, then freeze-dried food is what you need. Superior to dehydration, freeze-drying removes most of the moisture from food and maintains more of its nutrients, taste, and texture when rehydrated. Freeze-dried food is lightweight, and unlike dehydrated food, it rehydrates quickly in water. Some freeze-dried fruit does not even need water - it tastes so yummy you can eat it right from the package.
Lunchables: Freeze dry deli slices of turkey, ham, or roast beef. Freeze dry cracker-sized slices of cheese. To rehydrate, spritz meat with water, or soak in cold water and place cheese in a Ziplock bag with a damp paper towel allowing it to slowly hydrate. Cheese tastes great in its freeze-dried crunchy texture as well. Add a side such as freeze-dried fruit, veggies, yogurt bites, or candy.
Deli Wrap: Wrap a deli meat slice over a pickle spear and freeze-dry
Chickpea Salad Ingredients: 2 cans chickpeas, 1/4 cup cucumber diced, 1 /4 cup diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup diced red bell, 1/4 cup sliced Celery, 1/4 cup shreded carrots, 1/4 cup diced onion, 10 chopped basil leaves, chopped, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon dill, 1 teaspoon black pepper. Combine and spread into your freeze dryer pan. Deep Freeze and then freeze dry.
Nori Rolls Ingredients: ¼ cup hummus, ¼ cup carrots, shredded, 1 cucumber, matchstick sliced, 2 Avocados, sliced thin, 4 sheets Nori Paper. Top each Nori paper with ingredients and roll up slowly. Using drops of water to seal the edge. Cut into rolls . Deep Freeze and then freeze dry.
Chilled Chicken Salad Ingredients: 2 cups diced grilled chicken, 1/2 cup diced apple, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup halved seedless grapes, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon black pepper. Combine and spread into your freeze dryer pan. Deep Freeze and then freeze dry.
Smoothies: Combine a variety of diced and powdered freeze-dried fruits and veggies.
Hummus Dip with Veggies: Freeze dry desired veggies and hummus seperately to make it easy to make a dip for your veggies. Veggies that go great with hummus include Bell pepper matchsticks, pickles, carrot chips, celery sticks, and jicama sticks. To make convient go-bags, place humus in the bag first and then seal it half way. Fill the other half with your freeze dried veggies. This makes it easy to cut open each pouch from the middle forming (2) bag bowls.
Cinnamon Cottage Apple Ingredients: 2 cups cottage cheese, 2 cups cooked brown rice, 3 large eggs, 1/4 cup cane sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 cups diced apples. Heat oven to 350˚F. Mix cottage cheese, brown rice, eggs, sugar, and lemon large bowl until well combined. Gently fold in blueberries and pour mixture into pan. Bake at 350˚F for 45 to 50 minutes or until tart is set. Cut into serving sizes and let cool. Once cool, deep freeze and put in your freeze dryer.
Cottage Blue Squares Ingredients: 2 cups cottage cheese, 2 cups cooked brown rice, 3 large eggs, 1/4 cup cane sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon, 2 cups blueberries. Heat oven to 350˚F. Mix cottage cheese, brown rice, eggs, sugar, and lemon large bowl until well combined. Gently fold in blueberries and pour mixture into pan. Bake at 350˚F for 45 to 50 minutes or until tart is set. Cut into serving sizes and let cool. Once cool, deep freeze and put in your freeze dryer.
In addition to Mylar bags being the best for long term storage, they also make great bag bowls to rehydrate and eat straight from the package. For an excuse to enjoy some Talenti Gelato, both their 16 ounce or 32 ounce jars make perfect reusable containers for Cold-Soak lunches. Peanut butter jars also work well if by some miracle you do not have an ice cream craving to acquire some containers.
When rehydrating, add enough cold water to cover just above the food. Leave space in the container for the food to expand as it rehydrates. Put on the lid and shake it periodically to ensure the meal hydrates evenly.
Foods that tastes great cold can also gift a lighter load for backpacking trips. Leave your stove and propane at home. Wouldn't it be nice not having to worry about cooking in the rain during your next outdoor adventure. Out on the trail, the commercial bought Knorr Sides are popular to rehydrate in a couple of hours using cold water for those that don't have the luxury of a freeze dryer. Hikers often keep their container on the outside of their pack in a mesh pocket to let the sun help speed up the process. The grocery store kid favorite, Ramen noodles, takes about 30 minutes with cold water. Thank goodness that freeze dryed food hydrates at a more rapid rate!
The flexiblity of freeze dried meals provides a healthy variety for kid's school lunches, let's your kids enjoy healthier food for less. Freeze dried foods hydrate quick enough for them to enjoy without cutting into their recess time. Most freeze-dried foods will rehydrate within minutes and is super cool to show off and share with friends.
The receipes above are measured to fill a small freeze dryer tray (4 cups). The medium unit tray handles 5 cups, the large handles 7 cups, and the x-large capacity is 14 cups.
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