When in the campsite, a lot of you may be worried about getting hungry or eating food that tastes lame. The latter is actually one of the reasons why there are many people who dread camping. To make sure that your appetite will be in for a treat, freeze-dried foods will offer the perfect solution for a filling meal, which is also easy to prepare.
If you are searching for the best freeze-dried food to purchase, keep on reading the rest of this post and we will extend a helping hand. We will start by giving you some tips on how to choose, and later on, we will also tackle five of the best products that will provide the best bang for the buck.
What is Freeze-Dried Food?
Freeze drying is a process of preserving food. It is believed to be a practice that has been around since the ancient times. Since the 1250 BC, freeze drying has been apparent from the traditions of the Incas in Peru. Both in World Wars I and II, machines have been developed for freeze drying. Since then, these machines evolved to offer better freeze-dried foods.
How exactly is food freeze-dried? It all starts with freezing the food. With the use of a vacuum pump, water will be removed from the food, which is the process of drying. It will also be placed in a heat source. The latter will aid in the removal of ice crystals.
A lot of people might think that since water is taken out from the source, there is no health value at all. Truth is, more than 98% of the nutrients from the raw ingredients, which will make it still capable of providing the best for your health.
The short video below will show you more about freeze drying:
Benefits of Freeze-Dried Foods
Still not convinced that freeze-dried foods are great? Below are some of the things that can provide you with compelling reasons to buy a pack or two now:
- Nutritional Value: One of the best things about freeze-dried food is that nutrients are not lost. Regardless of the process that it has been through, the food will still have the vitamins and minerals that you can find from the raw ingredients that have been used.
- Weight Reduction: This benefit is primarily because of the elimination of water. This makes freeze-dried food portable and easy to transport. With this, there is no wonder why it is a common choice for backpackers and campers.
- Easy to Prepare: When you are camping or hiking, you surely do not have the luxury of time and effort. With this, freeze dried food is great because it can be prepared in a few minutes. You do not have to wait for a long time before your food is ready.
- Tastes Great: If you are picky with what you eat, freeze-dried food will be great. They are available in a variety of flavors and they are also palatable. Whether you want something that is sweet or salty, this will make a great choice.
- Long-Lasting: Most of the freeze-dried products will have a shelf life that is 15 to 20 years. This means that even after a long time of being left untouched and unopened, your food can still be eaten without worrying of poisoning.
Choosing the Best Freeze-Dried Foods
To make it easier for you to come up with the right choice, below are some of the most important things that you need to take into consideration:
- Reviews: Start your search by consulting with the opinions of other people, specifically in the form of online reviews. Pay attention to their insights and personal experiences, which you can use as a way to differentiate the possibilities that are available in the market.
- Taste: Just like in the case of buying any other food item, you need to consider how it tastes like. Taste is personal. With this, it is impossible for others to dictate which one tastes good and which one is awful. Consider the foods that you normally want to eat, and from here, you will have an idea on which freeze-dried foods will be the best choice.
- Packaging: If you intend to bring the freeze-dried foods when camping or hiking, it is better to choose one that is packaged in a pouch as they are more portable. On the other hand, if you intend to keep it longer, those in cans are good since they can resist external elements that could possibly damage the quality of the food.
- Calories: For people who are health-conscious, it is also important to consider the caloric content of the freeze-dried food. Keep in mind as well that you need one that has high calories if you will be doing a lot of physical activities for the day. This will provide you with more energy.
- Protein: Similar to calories, protein is also important to have the energy that you will need for all the tasks that you have to complete. Protein is also essential because it helps the fibers in the muscles to repair themselves. This means that you will be able to recover quicker from a physical activity.
- Sodium: According to health experts, you only need 2,300 milligrams of sodium in a day. With this, choose freeze-dried foods with low sodium content, while also considering the sodium levels in other foods that you will be eating throughout the day.
- Ease of Preparation: Especially if you intend to bring the freeze-dried food in the campsite, see to it that preparing the food will be quick and effortless. Some are ready to eat while others will require you to add hot water.
Top Picks for the Best Freeze-Dried Food
Still unsure on which one makes a great choice? Below are five of the brands and models that I personally believe will be worth your attention.
Whether you are on the campsite, beach, mountain, or even in your motorhome, this is one of the best freeze-dried foods that you should bring. From its delicious flavor to its ease of preparation, you will have plenty of reasons to have it considered above many others.
One thing that makes this hard to rival by many others is the industry-leading shelf life. This means that even after several years, the taste will still be great and it will still be filling. Of course, this is if you pay attention to its proper handling and storage.
More than the taste, it also has a nice texture in it. You will feel like eating a beef stroganoff that has just been recently cooked in the kitchen. It is even made better by the fact that it comes with noodles, making it more filling.
Each serving of this beef stroganoff and noodles will provide more than the calories and carbohydrates that you will need. This will provide the energy that is necessary to survive the rigors of the outdoors.
- Has a great taste
- Effortless to make
- Can easily make you feel full
- Contains allergens
- Freezing takes quite a while
This is similar to the freeze-dried food that we have mentioned above, with the only difference being the fact that it comes packaged in a can while the other one is packaged in a pouch. It has more contents, but bringing the can in the campsite can also be too bulky.
The ingredients that are used in this product are worth noting. You can expect savory and tasty treat, providing you with the energy to handle the physical demands of camping. It uses only tender and flavorful beef. It also has noodles, onions, and mushrooms. To top it off, it has a sour cream sauce for a richer flavor.
It is also a good product because the preparation will be quick and almost effortless. If you are impatient, you will most probably love this product. All that you have to do is to add hot water. In less than ten minutes, your food is ready for you to enjoy.
- Tasty and filling
- Can provide you with energy
- Easy to prepare
- Quite bulky since it is in a can
- Has allergens
100% fruit – this is perhaps the best thing that you can expect from this product. The manufacturer is true to the name of their product. They are made without using any artificial sweetener or additives. Nonetheless, despite this, some people notice that there is a bit of a chemical-like smell in the product.
This specific pack is perfect for people who are looking for variety. This will prove that healthy snacking does not need to be boring. The flavors are tangerines, Asian pears, and apples. Regardless of which one you choose, there will be an explosion of sweet and tangy flavors in your mouth.
The product has undergone an innovative process of freeze-drying, which is another reason why this can prove to be an exceptional pick. Through the latter, water is removed from the fresh fruits while making sure that the flavor retains. To add, the process does not also take out the nutrients that you can find in the fruits that were used.
- Affordable price
- Sweet and flavorful
- Filling but has low calories
- Can be too small for adults
- Has a strong chemical flavor
Among others, one of the things that we liked the most about this product is the fact that it is healthy. It is made from 100% pure vegetables and herbs. The manufacturer did not use fillings or any artificial flavorings that can be bad for your health. To be specific, it contains tomatoes, carrots, celery, peas, parsley, green beans, and green bell pepper.
The vegetables that are used in this product have undergone a sophisticated process for drying. While water is eliminated to prolong its life, the nutrients are retained in the vegetables.
We also loved how versatile this product is. You will be able to use it in more ways than one, depending on how creative you get with your recipe. For most people, they simply add it to their soup or ramen for a more distinct texture.
- Made from healthy vegetables
- Does not contain MSG and fillers
- Some pieces are too hard
- Taste can be off for some
If you are the type of person who cannot survive a meal without having rice, this is the perfect choice for freeze-dried food. The chicken goes well with the rice, although there are some people who were disappointed with the few bits of chicken that they found in the pack.
The taste guarantee that is offered by the manufacturer is one of the many reasons that can convince you to choose this from its competitors. The manufacturer guarantees that it will taste virtually the same even after 12 years.
Lastly, if you want to have peace of mind, this will also be a great choice. The manufacturer has been in the market for more than five decades, which will provide you with an assurance that the quality will be hard to match.
- Lightweight and portable packaging
- Easy to prepare
- Delicious and filling
- Can be bland for some people
- Not a lot of chicken
Choosing the best freeze-fried food will not be an easy task, given the fact that there will be endless options in the market. Nonetheless, this is not one thing that you should do in haste. Consider the factors that we have earlier mentioned and make sure that you decide not only on the basis of price, but also of quality.
If there is one product that I can personally recommend, it would be the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles. Whether in can or in pouch, you will be happy with the way it tastes, providing you with a flavorful and filling snack even without the comforts of a fully-equipped kitchen.