Cooking for One

If you’re a one person household, cooking can be tricky. While other shoppers get excited about economies of scale, and grocery stores aim to sell family-sized packages and bundles of everything, single cooks are in a never-ending battle with food (and money) waste.

freeze dried asparagus in a jar

The game changes, however, when you have a home freeze dryer. With a home freeze dryer you can take advantage of bulk pricing at the grocery store, or buy any food sold in a serving size meant for two or more. With this strategy, you cook once, put the rest of the portions in the freeze dryer, and save them for other meals. There’s no flavor contamination with the freeze drying process, which means you can freeze dry a meal of roasted turkey breast, fresh asparagus and roasted potatoes, for example, all in the same load. To reconstitute them, just add water until they return to their original consistency. They will each taste just as fresh as the original meal.

sliced freeze dried turkey on a plate

Or, you can make a whole pot of chili, freeze dry what you don’t eat immediately, and preserve the rest for later. That means no more dividing entire recipes by four or eight, and no more skipping favorite meals because they’re scaled up for a large family.

chili in freeze dryer trays

Freeze drying also allows you to buy regular portions of foods that have a short shelf life, such as delicate fruits, fish or shellfish. With a home freeze dryer, you don’t need to ask for six shrimp if you want shrimp cocktail for dinner. Just buy the pound and freeze dry what you don’t eat immediately, including the rest of the jar of cocktail sauce. When the craving for shrimp hits, just reconstitute your leftovers with a little water.

freeze dried shrimp


I receive my freeze drier tomorrow. I am looking forward to using it. One of the things I plan to do, it to cook up a few pounds of black beans. Then freeze dry them. Then I can add the cooked beans to soups and such. It will be so much less expensive then buying cans of beans. A can of beans costs about a dollar and takes up a little bit of space in the pantry. A pound of black beans costs 1 or 2 dollars and creates 20 or so cans of beans. I was putting it in the freezer now the Harvest Right will save room in the freezer. This will work out nicely as I only cook for 2. I can make as much or as little as I want.

I’m freeze drying my second batch in my new Harvest Right. My first batch was zucchini, cherries (cut in half and pit removed), and of course, ice cream bars. It was all fun to sample. Now with all the zucchini showing up, I’ll do some 4 tray batches and store some in large mylar bags which came with my machine. Is one oxygen absorber enough for long term storage? Also, I had some left which I put in a quart mason jar which I’ll probably use within one month, but not all at one time. Same thing with the ice cream bars. So I’ll be opening, closing and reopening the jars. Can I keep them in my pantry, or do they need to go in the fridge. And do I need to use an oxygen absorber, and if I do, do I need to put in a new one each time I open the jar? I hope not. This question also applies sometime in the future when I open a large mylar bag, but don’t intend to use all of the contents. I’m a single person household, so usually I don’t use much of anything at one meal.
I already love my freezer and will enjoy freeze drying leftovers.

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