I don't know the size of your family, but there are only two of us in this household. Say, for instance, I open a #10 can of freeze dried broccoli and we eat some for dinner.
How long will it take us to eat the rest of it?
How long will it last once opened?
We really don't want broccoli every night for dinner — we would like a variety.
So what do we do?
Once a can of food is opened, I measure a cup or two into a FoodSaver bag and vacuum pack it.
I have also poured the contents of the #10 can into canning bottles — which I also vacuum seal with the FoodSaver attachment — like this bottle of tomato powder. I used part of it in a recipe and sealed the rest in this bottle.
You will notice a bit of paper towel folded in the top of the bottle. When sealing with a FoodSaver attachment, the paper towel is needed to keep the fine powder from being sucked into the tube and under the lid. It will not seal if the powder gets under the lid.
When I opened a can of shredded beef and used part of it for a recipe, I sealed a cup or two in the FoodSaver bags, then put all the sealed bags back into the #10 can. That way I will know what is in the bags and the instructions are still available on the can.
FoodSaver now has attachments and zipper bags that are oh, SO handy for foods that you may want to use a portion and seal up the rest. I just purchased this attachment for my FoodSaver along with a supply of zipper bags. I'm so excited to get these, mostly because of refrigerated items, like cheese or sliced meat. Just open the zipper bag, take out enough meat and cheese for a sandwich and zip and seal the bag.
I have been asked this question several times:
The short answer is, yes, and it's a great idea. There are several ways this could be done.
Using any of these three methods would avoid having an open #10 can of a food for many months. Just open a bucket, take out one packet that you need for your meal, and put the lid back on. Keeping the bucket vacuum packed is not necessary - only the packets should be oxygen-free. Use oxygen absorbers in each packet.
Using freeze dried foods to create your favorite recipes? This is the fun part of food storage!
Can you imagine how easy it would be? You come home from work tired to the bone and wonder what to fix for dinner. Just grab a bottle out of the pantry, pour it into a pan, and add hot water. Go kick off your shoes, change into something comfortable, hug the kids and return to the kitchen to dinner all ready to eat.
These meals can be stored for years or fix them on a night when you're in a hurry.
This photo is taco soup (recipe below). The beans are quick cooking and the only place I know to buy them is at Honeyville Grains.
This recipe came from Meals in a Jar by Stephanie Petersen. I love her book as it is filled with delicious recipes and complete instructions including how much of each food, what order to put the food into the jar, how to fit it all in, and then how to prepare it. Here's another Meals in a Jar by Julie Languille. (You can never have enough easy recipes, right?)
I bought a couple of buckets of vegetables and fruits just to try them. It was a great choice.
The best part? There is hardly any work involved to package the food or prepare it for eating. (They have a 25+ year shelf life too!)
One bucket of food with a variety of meals included, provides one person with food for one month.
Or one bucket can contain several packets with a variety of just vegetables, or a variety of just fruits.
The metalized pouches can be used to rehydrate the food — just add water to the pouch, wait a few minutes and it's ready to eat.
When preparing a meal, I will grab some individual packages out of several buckets. It would be easy to make a delicious casserole for the family with a package of veggies, one of rice or pasta, a package of beef or chicken, some kind of sauce and cheese (also comes freeze dried). Throw them into an appropriate pan, add hot water and in a few minutes, I have a nourishing meal.
That's why I prefer to buy my buckets filled with just veggies, or just fruit, or beans, or rice, or just drinks.
Have the fruit for dessert — right out of the package or mix with water to rehydrate. Or, if you really have a sweet tooth, there are buckets containing yogurts, brownie mix, and cookie mix.
And a bonus? They stack easy with a locking groove (safer for stacking in earthquake country where I live).
These are so easy to use and buy. Give them for Christmas to your family — that's what I do, yes, every year (no surprises for my family). And, they're on sale OFTEN — so hurry and grab a few for yourself.
How do you like to package your food storage?