Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vegetables and Fruits

I want to keep this list on the minimal side without sacrificing taste, variety, and nutrition. Best to store vegetables and fruits in several different ways aside from using fresh. Such as: frozen, canned, home-bottled, dried, and freeze dried.

Here's the list:
You might wish to store/use several kinds of frozen vegetables and fruits, but freezer storage time is limited to about one year, so it's smart to have other ways with longer storage times.  Look for sales when buying frozen. Watch for case lot sales for lowest price possible buying canned items. Find best prices and sales on #10 cans of dried and FD items. Decide on what to home bottle if this is a skill you either have or want to learn. Vegetables must be processed in a pressure canner, not water bath method.

raisins and other dried fruits such as craisins

applesauce, 15 oz. can
green beans, 15 oz. cans 
tomato sauce, 8 oz. cans
crushed tomatoes, 14.5 oz. cans

dried apple slices
dried carrots
dried celery
dried chopped onions
dried potato flakes
dried potato slices

freeze-dried broccoli
freeze-dried bell pepper
freeze-dried corn
freeze-dried peas

We will be using celery and bell peppers more as flavorings in storage recipes on this blog, thus will not need to store those in large quantities if following this storage plan. 

Also, if you buy, bottle or freeze jams/jellies, that adds to the kinds of fruits/tastes being stored and used. But certainly do add favorite kinds of fruits (canned/ bottled/dried/FD) for storage as you wish. Freeze-dried fruits are sold by several companies, though you might want to choose carefully when buying any type of FD food as they tend to be expensive. 

The #10 cans are usually labeled with instructions as how to re-hydrate dried/FD foods, and what temperature the water used needs to be.  Some just need water, some need hot or boiling water. 

Raisins and other dried fruits such as craisins last a long time, and one serving is usually a tablespoon.

Raisin Spice Bars
1 c. raisins
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. oil
1 large egg
(or 2 T. dried whole egg powder + 3 T. water)
3/4 c. sugar
1 and 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sea salt 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. each: cloves and nutmeg

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.  Pre-heat oven to 375°.  
Mix raisins and boiling water, set aside until cooled to just warm (the raisins will puff up a bit, this is normal and what we want).  
Mix sugar, flours, salt, baking soda, spices.  Add oil and egg to the warm raisins/water; then stir this into dry ingredients until well combined.  Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.  Cut bars with a pizza cutter, finish cutting to edges with a sharp knife.  


Applesauce, canned.  See Wheat Wisdom, Lesson Two on this blog for Cinnamon Applesauce Bread recipe.

[or make applesauce from dried apple slices/pieces: I like to add a packet of dry apple cider mix to enhance the apple flavor when making applesauce from dried apples, but be aware that it does also add some sugar that is in the cider mix].
Image result for spiced apple cider dry mix
Image result for images dried apples  _________________________________________

Green beans for side dishes, such as with garlic bits, olive oil, and butter; or top with bacon bits. Here is a soup recipe: 

Creamy Green Bean Soup
First: make one recipe of "cream sauce in a jar", adding 2 T. butter, set aside. 

Cook in a saucepan, on medium heat: 
1 can green beans, do not drain (take out 1/2 c. green beans, chop in small pieces, add to cream sauce, set aside) 

3 T. dried chopped onions   
1/2 tsp. dried garlic bits (see spice post for picture)
1 chicken bouillon cube 
up to 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon 
1 tsp. lemon juice concentrate

When chopped onions are tender, use an immersion blender to puree this mixture.  Add the cream sauce that has the butter and chopped green beans. Stir in 1/2 c. potato flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 5 minutes or so on low heat while it thickens; add a little water as needed.  Can top each serving with bacon bits.


Easy Tacos and Sauce
This is similar to buying the very expensive already prepared skillet sauces....

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

Mix all dry ingredients before adding the tomato sauce:
up to 1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. minced dried onion
up to 2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed oregano
up to 1/2 tsp. dried chipotle (optional)
1 T. cornstartch

Add to 1 lb. cooked ground beef, stir. Bring to boil, turn down heat, simmer for 1 minute until thickened. Enough to use for 12 taco shells.

Tomato Soup

Make the SOS mix, then scroll down to tomato soup recipe, use 2 cans (8 oz. each) of tomato sauce:

Italian Oven Sauce

Tomato powder is available in #10 cans.....this is a highly concentrated form of tomatoes. Not on our list, but you may wish to research it as a possibility for your storage plan.


Dried apple slices can be used in a variety of ways, recipes are easy to find online. 

Dutch Apple Pie
Have a single pie crust, unbaked, ready ahead

In a large saucepan:
bring 2 c. water to boiling, 
Take pan off heat, then
add 2 c. dried apples firmly 
packed. Let sit for 5 minutes, 
do not drain.

Meanwhile, mix together thoroughly:
1/4 c. sugar 

1 packet dry apple cider mix
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. flour

Stir this dry mixture into apples/water in saucepan. Cook on medium heat until thickened. Stir constantly. Take off heat, let cool 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Have topping ready ahead to sprinkle on top.

1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. unbleached flour
1/4 c. butter

Mix together, cut until crumbly. Sprinkle over thickened apple mixture, bake in preheated 350
° oven 45 to 55 minutes, until done and top is golden brown.

Apple Crisp using dried apples, again, I'd add a packet of apple cider mix to this:


Have made recipes with dried carrots from carrot waffles, carrot muffins, adding in soups, to carrot cookies and cake. Many carrot recipes ask for mashed cooked carrots, which is completely possible with dried carrots....

    Image result for dried carrots                 

               Dried Carrots                                              

Dehydrated Shoestring Carrots
Recently I noticed Honeyville now offers a dried grated carrot....decided to try them in my version of bacon ranch pasta salad. Yes, a good product.

I think this product would work well in making carrot cake.


Dried chopped onions......have used them for years, usually easy to adapt recipes to dried onions instead of fresh:

3 T. dried onions = 1/2 c. chopped fresh onion
1/3 c. dried onions = 1 medium onion

Add 4 times as much water as dry onions to re-hydrate 

Homemade Onion Powder
Grind up dried onions in a blender or food processor. Store in airtight container, does not need to be refrigerated.  1 c. dried onions = ½ c. onion powder  

[Can do this with any dried food such as carrots, green beans, apples, etc. Add to recipes for flavor and to thicken soups, also makes nearly instant baby food]

Caramelized Onions
Put dried onions in fry pan, cover with 4 times as much water. Turn heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring a time or two, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. If they dry out before done, add a little more water. If there’s extra water when done, simmer until it evaporates.  Do not drain, the liquid has some of the flavor in it.   Sprinkle with a little salt to taste.  If you want them a little sweeter, add a pinch of sugar or a bit of balsamic vinegar.

FD broccoli, corn, peas...... broccoli to put in with pasta alfredo, mac n' cheese, and in soup such as creamy broccoli cheese. Corn and peas for dishes such as pot pie, with ramen, and in soups. Could also be used as side dishes.
Freeze Dried Broccoli      

       Freeze Dried Broccoli

An easy dish with this broccoli would be: rice cooked in chicken broth (water + chicken bouillon). FD broccoli re-hydrated and cooked. Mix, add salt and lemon pepper to taste.


Though not too fond of mashed potatoes made from potato flakesI'm learning ways to up the flavor, it helps! [Actually we like potato pearls better but storage life is not long term].
Found the following recipe online, can be adapted to use food storage items and dry parmesan cheese, but don't think the salt is needed:

Potato Soup
2 c. water
1 T. butter
2 T. dried chopped onions
1 T. dried celery (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic bits

Bring to a rolling boil in pan: water, butter, dried onions, dried celery, garlic bits. Cover, let cook until onions are tender. 

Mix well, then add to boiling mixture:
1/2 T. dried chives
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 T. chicken bouillon (optional)
3 T. dry milk 
2 c. potato flakes

Stir well, bring almost back to boiling. Take off heat. Cover. Let sit 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Ways to use potato flakes:

more recipes using potato flakes:


Dried potato slices....a recipe for using them:

Scalloped Potatoes
3 c. dehydrated potato slices
2 T. dried chopped onions
1/2 c. nonfat dry milk
2 T. unbleached flour
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
1 T. dried parsley or chives
3 T. butter or margarine
2 and 3/4 c. boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°.
Place potato slices and dried onions into 9x13 greased dish.  
Mix dry milk, flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, parsley or chives; sprinkle over top of potato/onion. Dot with butter. Pour boiling water over all and stir gently to mix. Cover with foil, bake 35 minutes, uncover, let cook until top is golden.

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