Do It Yourself Hybrid Freeze Dried Menu

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Freeze-dried food is convenient, lightweight and packs well for extended trips. A hybrid menu of bulk freeze-dried food and grocery store ingredients is a more versatile and less expensive alternative for a patrol or high adventure crew. For our week-long canoe trips we’ve developed a hybrid menu of freeze-dried and grocery store food that our Scouts enjoy.

Cost
A traditional  freeze-dried meal costs about $3-5.00 per serving (slightly less per serving if you can find group sizes). Our hybrid meals cost  $2.00 or less  per serving.

Preparation
Since you are packaging the food yourself hybrid menu adapts to the size of the patrol or crew. The hybrid meal does require a few more steps than a prepackaged meal but the results are, at least in our opinion, much better.

Texture Vegetable Protein (TVP)
TVP is a soy-based protein with flavorings that we add to our dishes instead of meats. I’ll be the first to admit that it sounds horrible – like tofu or something like that. It’s not. I have served TVP to people who ask me how we managed to have ground beef  in the middle of the week without refrigeration, it’s actually that good.

Breakfasts
Bacon and Eggs
Freeze-dried eggs are simple, reconstitute the powder by adding the correct amount of water and cook as you would scrambled eggs. We get pre-cooked bacon at the grocery store that just needs to be reheated.

Oatmeal, granola, hot cereal
Grocery store oatmeal, granola or hot cereal (cream or wheat or something similar) with a healthy portion of freeze-dried fruit added makes an otherwise bland breakfast much more welcomed.

Lunches
Our lunches are usually prepared and eaten on the run so we keep them simple to prepare. Grocery store soup mixes, pita bread, cheese, salami or summer sausage, crackers, peanut butter and jelly on flour tortillas,  macaroni and cheese are all familiar combinations that we mix and match throughout the week.

Dinners
The evening meal is where the hybrid menu really shines, a main dish with a side of vegetables and a dessert rounds out a day of hard work and good eating. A key step in preparing these meals is reconstituting vegetables and TVP before cooking. We repackage the freeze dried components in their own plastic bags before we leave so all’s that needed is adding water to the bag and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once they are reconstituted you can cook them like you would fresh vegetables.

These are rough and ready recipes, the amounts needed depend on the group size and your personal taste. We serve entrees with a side dish of freeze-dried vegetables.

Pasta Primavera
Bow-tie (farfalle) pasta, freeze-dried peas, onions, green peppers, zucchini, tomato powder, parmesan cheese.
Cook the pasta while the other ingredients are reconstituting, drain the pasts, add the vegetables and a bit of water, cook for a few minutes until everything is warmed through, top with parmesan.

Chili
Freeze-dried kidney beans, green pepper, onions, garlic powder, beef flavored TVP, tomato powder, chili powder.
Cook the reconstituted beans first (they take the longest)  add the other ingredients and cook a bit more , season to tatse.

Beef Stroganoff
Egg noodles, Stroganoff sauce mix(from the grocery store), beef flavored TVP, a handful of dried white mushrooms (grocery store), dried onions, sour cream powder.
Reconstitute the other ingredients while the egg noddles cook, drain the noodles, add the other ingredients, heat and serve.

There are a lot of other possibilities, red beans and rice, innumerable combinations of pasta vegetables and TVP, soups and stews; the combinations are pretty endless.

Desserts are usually pretty simple. A favorite is instant pudding (the kind that only needs water). We put the pudding powder in a big Ziploc bag, add water, mix by kneading the bag and let it sit while dinner is served. Clip off a corner of the bag and squeeze to serve like an icing bag cake decorators use. No clean-up needed. If we aren’t hurried or too tired we’ll build up the fire and bake brownies or cake in our reflector oven or in our improvised dutch oven (a frying pan with a heavy-duty aluminum pie plate on top).

We buy our bulk freeze-dried ingredients From Honeyville foods, all of their products are available on Amazon or through their own website.

Tomato Powder

Can be added to just about any recipe, it’s intensely flavorful and a little goes a long way. It’s our ‘secret weapon’ if we taste a dish and it’s a little bland a handful of tomato powder kicks up the flavor of just about any entree.  Each can contains 74 servings. One serving size is 2 tablespoons.
Tomato Powder – 3.25 Pound Can

Peas
Add 3 parts water to 1 part green peas. Allow Freeze Dried Peas to hydrate for about 20 minutes or until fully rehydrated. Can replace fresh prepared green peas at a rate of 5 to 1. That means that each can of Freeze Dried Peas is the equivalent of about 6 pounds of fresh green peas.
Uses:  Freeze Dried Peas can be used separately or in combination with casseroles, soups, pastas and more.Each can contains 43 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup. Once rehydrated, a serving size comes out to about 2/3 cup.Freeze Dried Peas – 1.25 Pound Can
Eggs
To reconstitute one egg, mix 2 tablespoons of Powdered Whole Eggs with 4 tablespoons of water. When using with other dry ingredients, it is not necessary to reconstitute egg. Simply add to dry ingredients and increase water measurements in mixture to necessary amount. Powdered Whole Eggs are equivalent to about 80 large fresh whole eggs in each can.
Uses:  Powdered Whole Eggs can be used for anything that calls for eggs in the recipe, including baked goods, omelets, scrambled eggs and moreEach can contains 78 servings. One serving size is 2 tablespoons.
Powdered Whole Eggs – 2.25 Pound Can
Corn
Instructions:  Add 3 parts water to 1 part corn. Allow Freeze Dried Sweet Corn to hydrate for about 20 minutes or until fully rehydrated.Uses:  Freeze Dried Sweet Corn can be used separately or in combination with casseroles, soups, pot pies and more.Each can contains 40 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup. Once rehydrated, a serving size comes out to about 2/3 cup.
Freeze Dried Sweet Corn – 1.25 Pound Can
Green Beans
Instructions:  Add 3 parts water to 1 part green bean. Allow Freeze Dried Green Beans to hydrate for about 20 minutes or until fully rehydrated.
Uses:  Freeze Dried Green Beans can be used separately or in combination with casseroles, soups, pastas and more. Each can contains 36 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup. Once rehydrated, a serving size comes out to about 3/4 cup.

Freeze Dried Green Beans – 5 Ounce Can

Bananas
Instructions:
  Add 3 parts water to 1 part banana. Allow Dehydrated Banana Chips to hydrate for about 20 minutes or until fully rehydrated.
Uses:
  Dehydrated Banana Chips can be added directly to your favorite yogurts, oatmeals, or cereals. They can also be rehydrated in fruit recipes or eaten right out of the can as a healthy snack.Each can contains 32 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup.

Dehydrated Banana Chips – 2 Pound Can

Strawberries
Instructions: Add 3 parts water to 1 part strawberry. Allow Freeze Dried Strawberries to hydrate for about 20 minutes or until fully rehydrated. Replaces fresh prepared strawberries at a rate of 10 to 1. That means that each can of Freeze Dried Strawberries is the equivalent of about 3.75 pounds of fresh strawberries.
Uses: Freeze Dried Strawberries can be added directly to your favorite yogurts, oatmeals, or cereals. They can also be rehydrated in fruit recipes or eaten right out of the can as a healthy snack.Each can contains 34 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup. Once rehydrated, a serving size comes out to about ½ cup.

Freeze Dried Strawberries – 6 Ounce Can

Chicken
Instructions:  Add one part textured vegetable protein to one part hot water. Allow chicken TVP to hydrate for about 15 minutes. Adding ½ cup textured vegetable protein to ½ cup of water will yield about 1 cup of cooked meat substitute.
Uses:  Chicken Flavored TVP can be used separately or in combination with meat as an effective meat extender in enchiladas, soups, salads, pastas and more.Each can contains 49 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup.

Chicken Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein TVP – 2.5 Pound Can

Beef
Instructions: Add one part textured vegetable protein to one part hot water. Allow beef TVP to hydrate for about 15 minutes. Adding ½ cup textured vegetable protein to ½ cup of water will yield about 1 cup of cooked meat substitute.
Uses: Beef Flavored TVP can be used separately or in combination with meat as an effective meat extender in burritos, tacos, soups, pastas and more. Each can contains 40 servings. One serving size is ¼ cup.

Beef Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein TVP – 2.5 Pound Can

Beans

Cook in as little as 20 minutes. Eliminates the need to soak them for hours. Used to make burritos, chili, soups and any recipe calling for red beans.

Instructions:  Add 2 parts boiling water to 1 part beans, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook on simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, drain and serve.

Quick Cook Red Beans are sealed air tight in a #10 can and weighs approximately 3 pounds. A case contains 6 #10 cans and weighs 18 pounds. Each can contains 19 servings. One serving size is ½ cup (72g)

Quick Cook Red Beans – 3 Pound Can

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