The Freeze Dried Food Guide

Even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests that citizens maintain a two-week food supply in case an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm, or other disaster strikes your community. Since we all know the government has our best interests at heart, it’s probably a good idea to have more than that.

Stockpiling food isn’t exactly mainstream. It’s the kind of practice that will get the neighbors talking if they ever find out. And you might just get a nice tinfoil hat next Christmas from the extended family once they’re in the know.

But what the neighbors don’t know can’t hurt you, and maybe you’ve never really been a fan of Uncle Jim anyway. Food is essential to life, and should the grocery store shelves ever run empty, you’ll be glad to have a back-up plan.

Reasons to Stock Up on Freeze Dried Foods.

Once only the fare of soldiers and astronauts, there are many reasons to have a good supply of freeze dried food on hand.

  1. It has a long shelf life. Freeze dried foods stored in nitrogen sealed cans boast a shelf life of up to 30 years if left sealed, and another several weeks once opened. Having this type of food on hand almost eliminates the need to rotate your food stock.
  2. Research has shown that freeze dried fruits and vegetables maintain most of their fiber content and antioxidants through the freeze drying process. In fact, most researchers agree that the amount of nutrients lost during freeze drying is almost trivial.
  3. Once rehydrated, freeze dried food retains most of the flavor and texture of freshly prepared food.

Don’t Forget About Taste.

If you don’t like the taste of your food, you’re probably not going to eat it. Because of this, it’s important that you like the food that in your stockpile or emergency kit. Even in an emergency situation, taste is going to be important, not just for nutrition, but for morale as well.

Make sure you taste test anything you plan to store in large amounts. Testing your meals also helps you adjust your meal preparation and figure out what best suits your individual palate.

Counting Calories.

Your caloric intake is crucial during an emergency situation, especially if you are expending a lot of energy. Even though freeze dried meals contain more calories per weight than freshly prepared foods, once they have been rehydrated, the calorie counts are very similar.

Choose freeze dried meals that will adequately replace the calories you burn during strenuous physical activity. You may find that under certain circumstances you need to eat more than one serving of your freeze dried food. You don’t want to feel stuffed, but you want to make sure your bodies need for calories is satisfied.

Pack on the Protein.

Consuming an adequate amount of protein will feel more satisfied after a meal. Protein also plays an important role in muscle repair and recovery from strenuous exercise. By choosing freeze dried meals that are high in protein, you may be giving yourself and your family a slight survival edge.

The Best Freeze Dried Meals

There are a lot of freeze dried food options available on the market. You can choose bulk freeze dried items or individual meals. For simplicity, we’ve decided to focus on freeze dried meals here. All you have to do is add water and voilà! You have a hot tasty meal ready to eat. It’s like magic.

We looked at taste, texture, packaging, and preparation and these are the best freeze dried meals we’ve come across.

Mountain House Homestyle Chicken Noodle Casserole
Servings: 3 single cup servings per pouch
Calories: 290 per serving

Pros: can be eaten right out of the pouch after preparation, great taste, pouches can be stored for 12 years without losing taste.

Cons: Single serving size is small. You’ll probably need to eat the whole pouch.

Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef 10 Can
Servings: 10 single cup servings

Calories: 290 per serving

Pros: kid friendly, great taste, 30-year taste guarantee

Cons: Noodles need to soak for a long time to achieve the right consistency, serving sizes are too small. You’ll need to eat more than one.

imageBackpacker’s Pantry Louisiana Red Beans and Rice — 6 oz
Servings: 2 per pouch
Calories: 300 per serving

Pros: vegetarian option, high in carbohydrates for energy, spicy flavor

Cons: vegetarian option, shelf life is only 7 years.

Wise Outdoor Cheesy Lasagna with Meat (6-Ounce)
Servings: 2 per pouch
Calories: 370 per serving

Pros: high in protein, good taste

Cons: only 7 year shelf life, “with meat” may be debatable since one of the main sources seems to be “textured vegetable protein”

MaryJanesFarm Curried Lentil Bisque, 3.6 Ounce Bag
Servings: 2 per pouch
Calories: 260 per serving

Pros: vegetarian option, thick and satisfying consistency, great flavor, organic ingredients

Cons: vegetarian option, exotic flavor that some may not enjoy

Bannock Savory Beef Stroganoff – 6 Pouch – 15 Servings – Freeze Dried Camping, Hiking & Backpacking Meals – Cook in Pouch Camp Lunch & Dinner
Servings: 2.5 per pouch
270 per serving

Pros: large servings, high in fiber, good taste

Cons: 3-year shelf life, pouch is relatively heavy

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