Freeze dried vs. dehydrated

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    Locale: East Bay

    OK, be kind, I'm new here. What are the advantages and disadvantages of freeze dried vegitables vs. dehydrated? Are there significant weight/taste/rehydration times between them? I like to add veggies into all our dinner dishes and am looking to stock up on some larger quantities. Good sources to buy besides Just Tomatoes and Harmony House Foods?

    Mary D
    BPL Member


    Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge

    Be careful with home-dehydrated veggies. I once dehydrated a dish containing peas and took it out without testing it at home. I cooked and cooked the food for over 20 minutes (the rest was mush), but the peas were still the consistency of buckshot, hard enough to break a tooth. Now I buy freeze-dried veggies and add them to the meal after dehydrating it. Spinach dehydrates well at home; just break it up so there are no large lumps afterwards.

    I use freeze-dried fruits on long trips because they are lighter, but I really prefer the dehydrated kind, if I can get them without sulfur dioxide.

    If you haven't checked out Sarah's website,, I suggest you do so. I've become an enthusiastic fan of hers, since freezer-bag "cooking" (really rehydrating rather than cooking) eliminates a chore that I hate, washing dishes. She has lots of ideas for dehydrating as well as using readily available foods.

    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    Harmony House tends to be cheapest (buy the middle sized containers). Also check out for goodies!

    Now…on veggies? Lets say that I like freeze dried over dehydrated in most cases – they come back to life faster and are full size. Green peas, green beans and sweet corn are good examples of where FD is superior. But for things like spinach, tomatoes and cooked beans (legumes) dehydrated is just fine.

    Keep everything uniform and diced for best/fastest results on trail. Diced sized veggies come back in minutes.

    Another one…zucchini! I way prefer FD.

    Sarah Welton


    We've written up quite a few articles here:

    These two articles in particular may be helpful:

    Freeze-Dried & Dehydrated Explained
    Backpackers and campers oftentimes struggle with choosing between dehydrated or freeze-dried ingredients when planning a backcountry menu. Learn about the pros and cons of each type of food.

    Fresh/Dry Equivalencies
    Ever wonder how much an ounce of freeze-dried or dehydrated spinach really is? Check out our chart to find out how much fresh corn it takes to make a single ounce of dried corn.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    One trick with dehydrated veggies is to have a small sealed container , put your veggies with at least twice that amount in water at lunchtime , walk with that for the afternoon and then they will be ready to cook at night.

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