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Discussion Starter #1
How do they really taste?

Specifically pasta primavera, mac n cheese and rice pilaf??


I'm looking for vegetarian options, but I've never had freeze dried entrees.

Thanks for any input!
 

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I've been using freeze-dried foods for over 25 years (mostly for backpacking), and I've found some to be very good, while some are too salty or spicy for my tastes.

Flavor-wise, while it's not usually the same as fresh, many foods can taste pretty darn close !

IMO, it's really an individual thing.

I would suggest you try out a few different brands and see what works for you.
You may want to look closely at the ingredients before purchasing, to see if there's anything in there that you wouldn't like. Then, give some a try!

I really like being able to order various ingredients separately, then throw meals together myself.

Perkolady
 

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Sounds like you're looking at Mountain House. For vegetarian options, I'd say skip them and go to Backpacker's Pantry. They have many vegetarian and even vegan options. Some of our favorites are Thai Spicy Peanut Sauce, Louisiana Red Beans & Rice and Katmandu Curry. All taste great during a week in the forest. :thumb:

There is one big drawback with Backpacker's Pantry, they don't sell bulk or #10 can quantities. Most of the flavors are only available in 2 serving pouches, with a couple in 4 serving pouches. I had both the Mountain House pasta primavera and mac n cheese back when I ate dairy products. Both were very tasty and filling.

In general, I haven't come across too many bad tasting freeze dried products. My main complaint is the high sodium in most of them. Between the bits that don't completely rehydrate and the sodium, they can leave you thirsty and drinking a lot of water after. Of course, water is the first thing to sort out anyway when prepping.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all of the info! I wasn't considering the sodium content! As a matter of fact I was considering this along with the MRE's because the MRE's are supposedly high in sodium. Still, it will be better than becoming a "breathetarian":D:
 

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Thanks for all of the info! I wasn't considering the sodium content! As a matter of fact I was considering this along with the MRE's because the MRE's are supposedly high in sodium. Still, it will be better than becoming a "breathetarian":D:
Hehe, yeah no plans of becoming a brethetarian here. For some reason people seem to think vegans are skinny. :xeye: My 225 pound self needs to eat. :D:

The Louisiana Red Beans and Rice from Backpacker's Pantry has 1,130mg of sodium per serving or 47% of the Reccomended Daily Allowance for sodium. I can easily eat a two serving pouch. Dolt!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LOL, Very true. I guess if you supplement with low fat/low sodium foods like fruits it would balance out. Most people probably eat that much sodium at McDonald's anyway. I tend to cook from scratch so I don't want to shock my body too much. The red beans and rice sounds really good!
 

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When I rehydrate veges. and also before I use any of the meat I double soak to help get rid of the salt. It makes a big difference. Also with using dehydrated veges. I will use my pressure cooker to cook them. Also remember that the high sodium count can come in handy if under heavy physical work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestion. I watch sodium because some members of my household have a tendency towards high blood pressure if we venture too far from our normal diets. The soaking is a good idea. I am totally unfamiliar with freeze dried foods.
 

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Some of the Mt House is sooo good, you could serve in a 5 star restaurant and they wouldn't know the difference. Like the chicken ala king. I love their spaghetti and meatballs and several others. People say it's high cost, yep about $3-4 a meal, but the stuff will last for 25 years...10 years from now, $3-4 will probably sound cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Actually it sounds cheap now to me. Have you priced "value meals" lately? Even pizza is pretty expensive unless you catch a good coupon. I'm just not sure if their serving sizes are comparable to what the average person eats. I'm looking forward to trying them!
 

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MH

You can purchase 1-2 serving pouches of the Mountain House freeze dried foods to try them before buying the number 10 cans. I like them, but they are expensive, more so since last months price increase. Only buy what you like to eat. I do recommend Mountain Houses freeze dried food to make up a portion of a persons food reserve, but would not let it be the only food stored. You can get the biggest bang for the buck out of a mix of freeze dried food, regular canned goods and the classic bulk storage of dry items, the beans and rice thing, ha. .
 

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Angel you might try getting a dehydrator and just dehydrate home cooked meals that you like and know the content. The book Backpack Gourmet by Linda Fredrick Yaffe is a good one and I am sure there are others. This way you can se the approximate size of the meal and it will always be to your taste and tried before you commit to the trail or what ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I never really thought about doing it myself. I am afraid that I'll do something wrong and poison my family :xeye: It is worth reading up on though. It probably isn't nearly as complicated as I think it is. Thanks for the suggestion! I have heard of making fruit roll ups and things like that, however I'm new at this and never thought about real meals!


Does it last a pretty long time when you do it at home?
 

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Angel a god how to bok is a real helpful tol even though it is a simple process , once the meal(one dish stuf is the best way to go) is dry vaccum seal if possable I would take care to keep things clean while doing this. You can find a dehydrator for les than $50 and the same for vaccum bagger. once all done store them in the freezer they will last a couple of years if not longer. I like them for back packing hikes even just day hikes I even make some for my dog and here in WV usualy finding water(always treat) is not a problem. To prepare the dehydrated meal just cover with water and heat to boil and it is done.
 

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I also store my home-made dehydrated meals in the freezer. Most I will keep for about 2 1/2 years.
Sometimes they will just lose some color and a little bit of flavor, but I don't think I've had anything that I've kept longer actually 'go bad' ...

You can always start with the easy stuff, like chili, or pasta and spaghetti sauce or even macaroni and cheese to name a few. Or you could always dry ingredients separately and throw them together later to make meals.

It's great when it comes time to eat, to just add boiling (or even just very hot) water, wait a bit, and have a meal that tastes like 'home' so to speak. :)

We really like pasta in this family. I've been cooking some and then dehydrating it to store for a while now, a little at a time (it keeps a long time).... it really adds up pretty fast! Pasta usually takes more water to cook than some other things, but if it only needs to be 'rehydrated', you only have to add a small amount of water. Saves on water, AND saves on fuel later on.

There are a fair amount of books with good info on dehydrating out there, and many dehydrators come with pretty good instructions to help you get started. It's really not that hard.... trust me- you'd be a pro in no time! :)

Perkolady
 

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Give it a Try !

I also store my home-made dehydrated meals in the freezer. Most I will keep for about 2 1/2 years.
Sometimes they will just lose some color and a little bit of flavor, but I don't think I've had anything that I've kept longer actually 'go bad' ...

You can always start with the easy stuff, like chili, or pasta and spaghetti sauce or even macaroni and cheese to name a few. Or you could always dry ingredients separately and throw them together later to make meals.

It's great when it comes time to eat, to just add boiling (or even just very hot) water, wait a bit, and have a meal that tastes like 'home' so to speak. :)

We really like pasta in this family. I've been cooking some and then dehydrating it to store for a while now, a little at a time (it keeps a long time).... it really adds up pretty fast! Pasta usually takes more water to cook than some other things, but if it only needs to be 'rehydrated', you only have to add a small amount of water. Saves on water, AND saves on fuel later on.

There are a fair amount of books with good info on dehydrating out there, and many dehydrators come with pretty good instructions to help you get started. It's really not that hard.... trust me- you'd be a pro in no time! :)

Perkolady
 
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