Today it’s all about freeze-dried food in pantry-size cans. When I teach classes or I’m asked to speak to large groups, I always bring some #10 cans (7 inches tall and 6-1/4 inches in diameter), but I also bring some smaller pantry-size cans.
Before I go any further I want to explain the difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried food you can purchase. Please compare apples to oranges so to speak. Not all #10 cans weigh the same. They are not filled to the top, just so you know. Therefore, please compare, ounces to ounces and shipping costs. Compare before you buy.
Okay, most of us buy dehydrated food every day. We purchase cereal, spices, pasta, beans, baking mixes, etc. Dehydration is the way the water has been removed from the products. The water is slowly cooked out of the food without actually cooking it.
It’s one of the most affordable, lightweight, and compact ways to purchase food for storage or everyday cooking. We need to be aware of the dehydrated term, it generally takes longer to cook. You cannot “snack” on it right out of the can. It’s too hard. This is fine for soups, stews, etc. We need to remember that typically dehydrated food does not last as long as freeze-dried. It usually has a shelf life of 5-8 years. They usually have an OPEN shelf life of 6 months to 1 year.
Pros: Dehydrated food is a lot cheaper. It’s ready to stir into a pot of soup or chili. No need to chop, slice, or cut into pieces.
Cons: Shorter shelf-life and you cannot eat the food right out of the can. It must be cooked and therefore uses more fuel to prepare a meal.
Let me explain what freeze-dried food is in a nutshell. The first step to freeze-dried food begins with freezing. The second step is the frozen food is placed in a vacuum chamber under low heat. Then the third step starts when the frozen water crystals evaporate directly from ice to vapor which is a process called sublimation.
What’s really nice about freeze-dried food is the fact that it lasts longer, depending on the manufacturer. Please always look at the cans and see the shelf-life. You can eat the food directly out of the can and therefore uses a whole lot less fuel if any when it comes to meal preparation.
Freeze-dried foods usually have an open shelf-life of 1-2 years. Here again, please look at the #10 can or on the website of the said company.
Pros: Lasts 20-25 years, depending on the company where you purchase the food. You can also eat the food directly out of the can. You do not need to slice, chop, or cut the food into bite-size pieces.
Cons: It is more expensive, but remember you use less fuel.
Pantry Size Cans
The pantry-size cans I have are a bit more expensive per ounce, but in reality, Mark and I don’t need to open a large #10 can for just the two of us. I’m so glad a few readers reminded me to mention the smaller cans.
I thought to myself, oh my gosh, I have got to write a post about the smaller pantry-size cans. Now, I did write a post a few years ago with pictures of them in my bag of food if we had to leave our home with our 72-hour kits.
It’s so hot where we live, I store my 72-hour kits outside in the garage and the food in a sweater bag inside my home. 72-Hour Food Bags. I want to share this picture with the pantry-size cans and the pouches I purchased a few years ago.
Remember, 95% of them have a shelf life of 20-25 years. I don’t like digging through stuff to rotate, so I used a Sweater Bag to store my grab-and-go food. They work great. Please remember that we still need to grab water to go with the food. Just giving you the heads-up here.
The pantry-size cans are 5-1/2 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. The reason I like them is that they are smaller in size and I don’t feel like I have to open one of my #10 cans when it’s time to plan a meal.
Pantry Size Bag Holder
This is what the “sweater bag” looks like when filled with my pantry-size cans and pouches.
I buy a lot of #10 cans, don’t get me wrong, I need them for my long-term storage. But sometimes I need a little cheddar cheese, instant milk, or freeze-dried grapes. Yes, the freeze-dried grapes are awesome in quinoa salads or to eat right out of the can. Yummy!
If you ever buy freeze-dried pineapple it will disappear very fast. It’s my family’s favorite snack. I buy that in #10 cans. I also dehydrate excess pineapple as well. But the commercial products last longer and it saves me money in the long run.
I bought mine from Thrive Life and I highly recommend that company. You can see some pouches above as well, but today I am just talking about the pantry cans.
You may see a can of soup above and some yogurt bites. The shelf-life of those two items is much shorter than the 20-25 years. I feel like I need a soup base where I can just add water and throw in some freeze-dried veggies to make soup. I thought the yogurt bites would be a nice treat to snack on.
My Favorite Pantry Size Freeze-Dried Food:
Update: I can’t find a soup base on the Thrive Life website anymore. I bought some soup bases by Augason Farms at Walmart in #10 cans. I have to have a few cans for emergencies. They do not have a long shelf-life, so please check the cans before you purchase any food storage items.
The website won’t let me grab the pantry links, so here is the Thrive Life Vegetable Link. I have all of these and have tried each and every one of them. Please remember that freeze-dried food is a bit more expensive, but you can eat the food right out of the can.
It uses less fuel and lasts 20-25 years (in a cool room). You don’t have to wash the veggies, slice, or chop them. You can use these in soups, stews or eat them as a side dish after you hydrate them.
Please keep in mind if you see they do not have the one product you want today, it may be out of stock because it is out of season.
Green Chili Peppers
Zucchini: I noticed it is not available at this time. I didn’t like the zucchini anyway, too chewy for me.
I have tried all of the fruits I have listed below, except the cranberries. They are all fabulous, no washing, slicing, or cutting up anything. Freeze-dried food lasts longer, just check the shelf-like of the kind you decide to buy whether it’s this brand or another company. Thrive Life is the only one I am aware of that sells pantry-size cans. Thrive Life Fruits Link
I highly recommend this milk. I don’t drink milk, but I have made this milk for Mark and used it when I make my white bread. Thrive Life Instant Milk Link
Please remember I don’t sell these, but I do recommend them and I have several cases of the ones I have listed. I will never recommend any food I have not tried. When I taught classes in my home before I started my blog, I had my neighbors taste-test all of these items.
My plan today was to let you know that you can buy pantry-size cans of all these items. They are great for one person or a couple. I think even large families may want a pantry-size can of Parmesan cheese because a #10 can might be too much for them to use before it goes bad once opened.
Thanks to all of you who read and apply the things we discuss on the blog. You’ll be so glad you implement a food storage plan for your family. May God bless this world. Linda