One of the things the home freeze-drying community is talking about is how simple it is to freeze dry and quickly rehydrate entire meals. This comes in handy in a true emergency, such as a power-outage or storm, and in life’s small emergencies, like when your child announces they have a science project due in the morning. In our new video we’re freeze drying sliced ham, pineapple, mashed potatoes, stuffing and berries in one run. First we sliced the ham and laid the slices on the trays so that they were overlapping. Notice that you don’t have to lay every slice flat on the tray, so you can freeze dry more food in one cycle. And, we’re freeze-drying the whole meal in one run – there’s no danger of the flavors mixing. Ham still tastes like ham and potatoes still taste like potatoes.

At the end of the video, pay special attention to what the food looks like after freeze drying. There’s little difference between how it looked going into the freeze dryer and how it looks coming out. The colors, flavors and nutrition are all perfectly preserved.

To rehydrate the ham, just dip the slices in hot water and pat them dry with a paper towel. For the mashed potatoes and stuffing, you can either add hot water slowly until they are reconstituted to the original consistency or you can add them to a pot of boiling water.  We let the pineapple soak for a while in a bowl of water because it takes a little longer to rehydrate. We added warm water to the berries and topped them with some freeze-dried cool whip that we made and stored in our pantry. The berries tasted just like freshly picked berries. No matter what foods we freeze-dry in our test kitchen, we always get excited when it comes out tasting exactly like it did when it went in.

Watch our ham dinner video to see for yourself how easy it is to freeze dry and rehydrate entrees and side dishes together. Meanwhile, we’re going to go enjoy a nice ham and pineapple snack!