Freeze-Drying and Rehydrating a Pasta Dinner

We’ve been sharing new videos to show you how simple it is to freeze dry and quickly rehydrate entire meals. Our freeze-dry community members can tell you, the ability to make a nutritious, hot, filling meal in a flash starts to feel like a super power. Long day and don’t feel like cooking? One of life’s small emergencies crop up? Just heat up some water and the problem is solved.

In this new video we show you how easy it is to freeze dry and rehydrate cheese tortellini with a creamy tomato basic soup and a mushroom and spinach salad. That’s right, we’re freeze drying and rehydrating pasta! Notice in this video that we’re not shy about filling those trays. For example, mushrooms don’t have to be on a single layer for freeze-drying success.

We’d also like to point out that we’re freeze drying one whole meal – different foods – in the same run. The flavors won’t mix. As you’ll see in the video, when the food comes out of the freeze dryer it is vibrant, colorful and looks exactly like it did when it went it. That’s because only the water is removed during the process, not the nutrients.

To rehydrate the pasta, just add hot water until it’s soft or put the pasta right into a pot of water on your stove and bring it to a boil like you would any other pasta. For the soup/sauce, mix in hot water until it reaches your desired creamy consistency. Although the video doesn’t show this, to rehydrate the spinach, we sparsely spritzed it with water to bring it back. In fact, if it’s a humid day you may just be able to leave the spinach on the counter for a little while to rehydrate. To rehydrate the mushrooms we put them in water for a minute and then let them dry on a paper towel.

Watch our pasta dinner video to see for yourself how easy it is to freeze dry and rehydrate entrees and side dishes. We think this is the perfect brown-bag lunch for the office. Who wouldn’t look forward to that delicious meal?

By | 2017-10-19T02:59:12+00:00 March 3rd, 2016|29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Dorsay West March 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Do you have company that does approving loans for this products

    • Stephanie Barlow March 4, 2016 at 1:07 am - Reply

      We have a great layaway program. Please call us at 1-800-700-5508.

  2. Babette March 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    I want one!!!

  3. Ellen stanley March 3, 2016 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    That’s a great idea but we never get things dried in 18-24 hours. It’s more like 30-40 hours. Our pressure never gets below 550 tor. I’d like to know why.

    • Stephanie Barlow March 4, 2016 at 1:09 am - Reply

      Please contact customer support at 1-800-865-5584. They will help you with any issues that you’re having.

    • Julie April 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      It’s for that reason that we under fill the trays if they are very wet. We never have a batch that goes over 24 hours now.

  4. Kathy Sherman March 3, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Was the pasta already cooked before going into the freeze dryer?

    • Stephanie Barlow March 4, 2016 at 1:10 am - Reply

      This was the “partially cooked” pasta that you can buy in the refrigerated section at Costco. It’s not fully cooked, we believe that they blanch it, though.

  5. Tom Townsend March 4, 2016 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Good Suggestion, I have one since October and I love it. My first batches were Lasagna (7 layers) and Chicken Alfredo.

  6. Tpc March 4, 2016 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Was the spinach and. Mushrooms rehydrated as well? How was that done?

    • Stephanie Barlow March 4, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      Yes. Take a look at the copy on this same post and you’ll see how we rehydrated those items as well.

  7. Jennifer Sarber March 5, 2016 at 8:11 am - Reply

    I am not ding how you store your freeze dried food in canning jars. Is it just closed with an oxygen absorber or is there something that has to be done? I have canned for many years and have many jars that I would like to use. I am intrigued by this freeze dried process. Thanks

    • Stephanie Barlow March 7, 2016 at 9:35 am - Reply

      Yes, you are right. Simply put an oxygen absorber in and seal the jar tight.

  8. Craig thoeny March 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Would it be possible to purchase products you have already freeze dried to see how the hydrating process – flavor-texture are during the eating process. I am not asking for samples. I would like to purchase some of the complete meals you have processed.

    Thank you

    • Stephanie Barlow March 7, 2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Definitely. If you call the main line 1-800-700-5508, a customer service rep will help you do that. Typically, we can get you a sample for free. All you do is cover the cost of freight.

  9. David Van Wagoner March 7, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Some odors do transfer. I did a tray of sliced red onions concurrently with a couple of trays of apple slices, and the apple slices (as well as the rest of the room) acquired a strong onion odor. I won’t do that again!

    • jlevyellow April 6, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Doesn’t this transfer of smell imply a degrading of the food being freeze dried?

      • Stephanie Barlow April 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm - Reply

        Most everything doesn’t transfer smells. We’ve seen this on very few foods like onions and broccoli.

        • Julie April 27, 2016 at 5:03 pm - Reply

          We had the same challenge with the onions when they were put in freshly cut. Not so much when we put them in the freezer first.

  10. laurel March 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Are the spinach and mushroom re-hydrated? The video doesn’t show how they’re reconstituted as a meal. Maybe they’re eaten in the freeze dried form?

    • Stephanie Barlow March 9, 2016 at 11:14 am - Reply

      We mentioned how we rehydrated them in the blog post below the video. Thanks!

  11. Cecil Linder March 11, 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    After taking off the cover of the vacuum pump,which type of solvent do you recommend to clean the sight glass?
    Do you have brand name?
    Thanks

    • Stephanie Barlow March 12, 2016 at 9:41 am - Reply

      Generally hydrogen peroxide (any brand) is a fine solvent to clean with. Thanks!

  12. Linda Belanger March 17, 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I would like to see a video on how to reconstitute a whole meal in a Mylar bag-similar to MRE’s. Do you have a meal planner of what works best with what?

    • Stephanie Barlow March 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Linda, thanks for that suggestion about trying to make more videos. We’re trying to do more of these. The reality is that there are several ways to do things and not one right answer. If you’re rehydrating casseroles/chicken alfredo/rice dishes/scalloped potatoes/etc., you can put them in a casserole dish with your freeze dried food chunks, add water, stir the food and water around a bit and then cover with tin foil and bake in the oven. The food will bake and rehydrate as you go. You can also put your freeze dried food in a bowl (like soups, stews, etc), add water, stir and put in a microwave or on a stovetop to heat. You can also add the freeze dried food right into a pot of hot water on the stove (like vegetables or soups or even chicken alfredo) and cook it until the food or the pasta is fully rehydrated and the proper texture. Also, some foods, like cooked scrambled eggs and stir fry could be put into a frying pan with a little water and rehydrated as the food is reheated a bit. We know that some people who like camping or are preparing for emergency situations also just add their hot water right into their mylar bags and stir them until they are reconstituted. We are working on many of these tips for a recipe/user guide. But, there really are many ways to rehydrate meals, so there’s not a right or a wrong way for many things.

  13. Debbie March 22, 2016 at 8:23 am - Reply

    In one of the videos a statement is made about ‘most’ of the nutrients are preserved. Do you have specific information about the nutritional composition? How does it compare to canning or dehydrating foods? Thanks

    • Stephanie Barlow March 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Freeze drying preserves 97% of the nutrients while canning and dehydrating typically keep 60% (or less) of the nutrients.

  14. Karen Grover March 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Could you freeze dry raw eggs or milk?

    • Stephanie Barlow March 30, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Yes! Both can be freeze dried. Many customers like to do this.

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