Ready-made dehydrated vegetables are compact and generally less expensive than canned vegetables, much lighter to carry and easy to store. The drying or dehydrating of foods is fairly easy but time consuming, as you use a low heat to evaporate the water from the vegetable.
You can store and keep dehydrated foods through all kinds of emergencies. Since dehydrated foods do not require refrigeration, keeping a supply of foods is easy. Some say the flavor of dehydrated foods is not as great as freeze dried but depending how fussy your palette is, you can add flavor and taste with a variety of spices.
You do have a choice of a variety of ready made dehydrated vegetables although you will find more choices if choosing freeze-dried or canned vegetables. The favorably reviewed Ready Store and Emergency Essentials at Beprepared.com mainly offer carrots, peppers and potatoes, that are prepared in a variety of ways.
The Ready Store, for example, offers dehydrated:
Nutrition experts give mixed messages regarding the nutritional values of dehydrated versus freeze dried vegetables. Many believe that since dehydrating often requires blanching and partial cooking that dehydration produces a more nutritious product than freeze dried.
The shelf life of these products is from 10 to 20 or, some claim, even 25 years and reviews support the versatility of the vegetables after you hydrate them and use them in various recipes. Dehydrated foods remove up to 98% of the water in the vegetables and it takes some time to rehydrate them and some loss of texture occurs. However, if cost is a factor in your choice of dry stored vegetables, the cost of dehydrated vegetables is from one-quarter to one-half less than freeze-dried.
Besides hydrating and serving the vegetables as stand-alone items such as the hash brown potatoes or broccoli florets, you can:
Most of the packaging of these vegetables is in a #10 can but the Ready Store is now offering a smaller pantry size can for its potato slices, potato dices and hash browns. You don't have to wait for a catastrophic event to use the vegetables, as some folks use the vegetables in their daily cooking.
You have less waste if you carefully seal the unused vegetables in zip lock bags for example, to keep them from the air and the vegetables will keep for months unlike fresh vegetables that rot and go bad in days or weeks. Using the vegetables now, also prepares you for cooking them when that day comes when you have limited supplies of fresh food.
If you think about the day when food is scarce and times are challenging, establishing and reaffirming family traditions is still important. The simple addition of sweet potato slices from the Ready Store will bring memories of earlier Thanksgiving dinners to older members of your group and create memories for the younger ones.
Dehydrated vegetables are a good product to include in your provisions when you consider the incredible shelf life, cost, nutritional value and even keeping alive family traditions and perhaps, even the family.