Monday, January 14, 2013

The Cost of Freeze Dried Food

As I talk to people about freeze dried food one of the things I hear over and over again is that it is too expensive.   

It is an interesting statement.  I think some of it is about perspective. I used to think the Freeze Dried raspberries were super expensive, $29.99 for a can of raspberries. That is highway robbery right?

Turns out I was wrong. I spoke with my friend Amber, a friend who is also into storing freeze dried foods.   

Amber told me that her family commercially raises and sells fresh raspberries in my local community, mostly at roadside stands and farmers markets.  Her family business is well known to me and I have purchased raspberries from them several times over the past few years.  

 She sells fresh raspberries for the family business at the local farmers market.   Where I live it gets cold in the winter (It was -18 degrees last night) so the market only runs during the warm summer month.   During the summer Amber sells a flat of raspberries for $30.00 each flat has approximately 12 cups of raspberries in it.

Okay now think about the last time you purchased fresh raspberries.  What did you have to do?  You had to use them fast.  Like right now today or they go moldy.   The last time I bought raspberries I ended up throwing away several cups worth because I did not use them fast enough.  I was so sad but what do you do?
Well you can buy freeze dried.  I can buy a number 10 Can of THRIVE raspberries for $29.99 and they will be good for 25 years unopened and once I open them I have 18 months to use them.  Not one of the raspberries in that can is going to go bad.  I can use them every morning on my cereal and they will not go moldy in the fridge.  And guess what.  There are approximately 12 cups of raspberries in each can. I am saving money by buying FD instead of fresh because I'm not throwing them away.   

Do freeze dried foods seem too expensive to you? 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Indoor Smoores


Last week in the middle of the night I could not sleep.  So after a couple of hours of tossing and turning I woke up and got on pinterest.  I saw a great idea of having a s’more bar at a wedding.   I'm not planning a wedding but I am always on on the look out for a super fun idea.  As I looked at the photo I thought.  I think you could do that with the heat cell.  If you are not familiar with the heat cell it is one of my most favorite emergency products.  It is a small can similar to Sterno that emergency contains fuel that is safe to use to cook on or heat your house with.    

The Heat Cell at a Glance
ID Number:  56659
Q club Price:  $3.95 each
Size:  9 oz.  That is about the size of two hockey pucks stacked on top of each other. 
What is cool about the Heat Cell:

  • Contains Ecofuel, a 100% biodegradable, odorless, and non-toxic fuel 
  •  Burn time of 9 hours
  • Unlimited shelf life
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors.
  •  Spill proof design to reduce accidents
  • Easy to relight and reuse.

 I did some checking and the Heat Cell is safe to use when cooking directly over the flame.   I  got some supplies together and made indoor somoores with the family.    My kids who love camping loved it.  (It is currently -7 degrees at my house, so the chances of us going outside to have a camp fire are exactly zero).
We roasted our marshmallows over the heat cell and then added graham crackers, chocolate, and FD strawberries.  Might I just say that freeze dried strawberries are a super delicious addition to traditional smoores.   

Things to consider if you are going to make indoor smores.
  •   The close the lid on the heat cell when finished using just put the lid over the flame and the flame with be extinguished and the lid will get sucked down. 
  •   Be sure to have some FD fruit to put on the smores.  I tried it with strawberries and bananas and it was heavenly.  I’m sure pineapple would also be great.