Freeze-Dried Food-How To Use Them

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Today, I want to talk about freeze-dried food and specifically several different kinds of cheese. Please note, I don’t freeze-dry my own food, I buy it commercially processed. My favorite companies for freeze-dried food are Honeyville and Thrive Life. Here’s the deal, freeze-dried food is more expensive to purchase in #10 cans compared to dehydrated food. But please keep in mind that it has a longer shelf-life and you can eat freeze-dried food right out of the can. Another bonus, it takes less water to hydrate it and uses less fuel to cook it.

I want to be upfront here today, I used to sell Thrive Life, but it became too hard for me to write posts, teach classes, speak, write my book and take care of clients purchasing food from my Thrive Life website. I stocked up enough food so I could I could sleep at night knowing I have enough #10 cans (7-inches tall and 6-1/2 inches in diameter) filled with so many freeze-dried food options for Mark and me to survive any disaster.

I highly recommend Thrive Life and I refer my readers to my friends, Jodi and Julie over at FoodStorageMadeEasy. They have been selling Thrive Life food for years and know the products very well. I totally trust their opinions and ideas.

Freeze-Dried Food

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

I have used this shredded cheddar cheese in many casseroles and even made grilled cheese sandwiches with it. Yes, it was a little hard to flip the sandwiches to cook the other side of the sandwich. The grated cheese would fall out, but the taste was great! I have used it for tacos, and it tastes great, but it still has a different texture than freshly grated cheddar cheese. I bought 2 cases of it I liked it so much.

You basically hydrate the cheese, drain it and use it in any recipe you have. No special cookbook is needed. It’s cheese. I love it!

Quote from Thrive Life:

“THRIVE Shredded Cheddar Cheese will give your recipes a bold kick of flavor. Try using THRIVE Shredded Cheddar Cheese in your classic grilled cheese sandwiches, festive quesadillas, or tasty soups. Its mild cheddar flavor will add the perfect flavor to make your dish a success.

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Rehydration Instructions:

Drizzle 1/2 cup cold water over 2 cups cheese and stir continuously until water is incorporated. Store in fridge overnight or for several hours before use.”

Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

I have used this Monterey Jack cheese in many baked casseroles. You just hydrate it as directed, drain and use it. Easy peasy.

Quote from Thrive Life:

“THRIVE Monterey Jack Cheese is a great way to add a little extra flavor to your next meal. Its mild flavor compliments a wide variety of dishes from chowder and soups to your favorite steak.

Rehydration Instructions:

Place cheese in a dish or bowl and cover with water. Allow cheese to rehydrate for 3 to 5 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Drain excess water if needed.”

Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

I have always loved Colby Jack cheese, I guess because I used to live in Logan, Utah, and they had the best cheese source, a factory where we could purchase cheese directly from the cheesemakers.

Quote from Thrive Life:

“The mild flavor of THRIVE Colby Jack Cheese compliments a wide variety of meals. Its creamy, moist texture instantly adds to salads, casseroles, and pasta. You can also try topping soups and tacos with THRIVE Colby Jack Cheese for a great twist to your typical meal.

Rehydration Instructions:

Place cheese in a dish or bowl and cover with water. Allow cheese to rehydrate for 3 to 5 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Drain excess water if needed.”

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

I have not purchased this one yet. It has a shelf-life of 20 years (unopened), so I need to order some of this ASAP.

Quote from Thrive Life:

“Made from the best Grade A Wisconsin cheese, these small shreds are perfect for sprinkling over salads or cooking into your favorite Italian dishes.”

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Cheese Blend (it’s a powder)

I have made homemade mac and cheese with this cheese blend powder, it tasted great and was easy to make. I followed the recipe on the can.

Quote from Thrive Life:

“THRIVE Cheese Blend is a powder that is packed with a rich, cheesy flavor. Try using it in fondue or mix it with noodles for homemade mac & cheese. You can also add it to chip dips and casseroles to create a bold and delicious taste.


To make a cheese sauce, prepare 7 1/2 tablespoons THRIVE Instant Milk with 1/2 cup heavy cream, and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1/2 cup THRIVE Cheese Blend. Make a roux with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 1/2 tablespoons flour, stir into sauce, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon THRIVE Iodized Salt and pepper to taste. Makes 8 servings.”

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

This one I use several ways, for instance on pizza and in my lasagna. It is fabulous!

Quote from Thrive Life:

“THRIVE Shredded Mozzarella Cheese is the perfect ingredient to make any Italian dish magnifico! Use it in lasagna, on top of pasta or for pizza. THRIVE Mozzarella is made with part-skim milk making it lower in fat, but still a great source of calcium.”

I felt the need to share my thoughts today on cheese that is a freeze-dried food we can all feel comfortable storing in our pantry or food storage stash. You never run out of cheese if you have some of these on your shelves. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless our world.

Cheesy Potatoes by Linda

My favorite things:

Lasagna Pan

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  1. I have some freeze dried cheese, but find it pretty pricy. I bought a book on cheese making, so if I can get milk, I will be able to turn it into cheese. Mozzarella is really easy and really good.

    • Hi Janet, it’s very pricey, I only have it for emergencies. I know I can make many casseroles with it! LOL! All I need is my cream of chicken soup and a few other items and I can feed the whole street where I live if we lose power. I have never made cheese, I need to get with it. Great comment, Mozzarella here I come. Linda

  2. I wonder how long it lasts once the can is opened. Has that been a problem for you, with cheese or any freeze-dried foods?

    • Hi Beth, most freeze-dried foods are good for two years once open, be sure and check your manufacturer. The freeze-dried cheese I use up within a few months after I open it because it’s so expensive I make sure none of it goes to waste. I only open the freeze-dried cheese if I am totally out of cheese and do not want to go to the store. I freeze my regular grated cheese in the freezer and only pull out what I need for each meal. Regular grated cheese goes bad very quickly so I freeze all of my bags. The chunks of cheese I do not freeze as they crumble when I slice them. I cover the open end with plastic wrap and put a rubber band around to secure it. Thanks for stopping by, Linda

  3. Linda –
    Thanks for this post. I have FD cheeses in my emergency stash but have not used them to date.

    For those of us who are single or a couple, Thrive Life does have cheese in the Pantry Can (16 servings vs the #10 can with 49 servings). I find the smaller cans easier for me to store and less chance of waste if I don’t use it fast enough or, heaven forbid, I don’t like it!!

    That being said, Pantry Cans are a bit more costly per serving: Colby $1.52 vs $1.28 for the #10 can.

    I justify the cost of the smaller cans though, as I stated above. When I was still working, I purchased 6 months of Thrive Life as an insurance policy for my retirement as well as for emergencies. It is comforting to know that I don’t have to run to the store if I run out of flour, sugar, salt, etc.

    ~ Leanne

    • OH, Leanne, thank you for reminding me about the pantry cans. They are so awesome for a single person, college student, or for two people. I take one whenever I teach classes because we don’t have to buy the large #10 can. I need to write a post about that size can. That’s the size I have in my 72-hour bag of food (13 days worth for Mark and me actually). It fits in a sweater bag. I love hearing you bought 6 months worth of Thrive food storage before you retired. You can sleep at night knowing you will be fine today or many years from now. Love this! Linda

  4. Freeze dried food fascinates me because I have zero experience with it. We also have a Survival Store where $20 gets you a session of freeze drying your own food – I have yet to do that, either. Like Janet, I make cheese (soft and hard – you gotta try at least making soft cheese, it’s a blast) but I imagine milk will be a premium in an extreme emergency. Thanks for the post, Linda.

    • Hi Debbie, I have heard about those sessions where you can freeze-dry your own food. The Harvest Right machine I saw here at a local store is too complicated for Mark and me to deal with. It has tubes and pipes out the side and we are not mechanical at all. We can frame a basement, wire it and sheetrock, paint and tile whatever, but we would not use one of those machines. I have heard really awesome stories about using them. My only issue is they have very small trays and it takes about 24 hours to freeze-dry a batch of whatever the demo I watched was doing. Then, I would need to buy some containers with oxygen absorbers and I’m not going to do that. I got burned dry packing $1200.00 worth of food storage at a local church cannery. I call that my very bad learning curve. I only buy commercial products in #10 cans. I can bottle my own food safely. Let me know how it turns out for you if you try doing it. I better learn how to make cheese…thanks again, Linda

  5. Cheryl Hively says:

    I have the Parmesan Cheese – I love it! Thanks for all your posts. They are so helpful and informative.

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