We use dehydrated foods every day, whether we know it or not. They are called “convenience foods,” and include things like Rice, wheat, Hamburger Helper, Bisquick, macaroni and cheese, Pasta Roni, Tuna Helper, potatoes gratin, instant oatmeal, instant soups like Lipton Onion Soup and Cup of Noodles, powdered milk, gravy mixes and dried fruits and anything you “just add water” to.
Dehydrated foods are second only to fresh foods. They are processed under a high vacuum and low drying temperature that removes most of the water. The product is more brittle and hard rather than original feel and leathery like dried fruits such as raisins, dried banana, dried jack fruit, figs, prunes, pineapple, apricots, etc.
Dehydrated foods, when harvested and preserved properly, will retain their vitamins, minerals and enzymes because the food has not been cooked or canned, processes that kill the enzymes that are so vital to the digestive process. So dehydrated food is “live food.”
Dehydrated food is lower in weight and is much easier to store than wet pack food. It fits in cans and buckets and when reconstituted will yield at least double or triple its weight. And dehydrated food is less expensive than wet pack food because you aren’t paying for all the water.
Dehydrated food can be rehydrated to restore it to its natural state. The taste is still great and the food value is excellent. Dehydrated food stores well for long periods of time if properly canned.
A good rule of thumb for reconstituting fruits, vegetables and meats is to add about three times the amount of boiling water to the product. Then let it set for at least 20 minutes. If cold water is used, the product must sit in the refrigerator for about four hours or overnight.
If you have added too much water, you can drain it and use it in cooking. If your food looks like it needs more water, then add more. To speed up the reconstitution process, add the dried product directly to soup and cook as usual.