*Honeyville Dehydrated/Freeze-Dried Vegetable Combo Review*
30 March 2019
My first experience with long-term freeze-dried food storage was this Honeyville vegetable combo back in 2006. What I received was six #10 cans of assorted basic vegetables, and this is still one of the company's most popular combo packs.
You get one can each of freeze-dried corn, peas, onions, potato flakes, celery and carrots. The verbiage on the Honeyville site raves that you can snack on these straight from the can as a tasty treat while backpacking, hiking or camping. I was overcome by curiosity and grabbed a nibble of peas and carrots.
Suffice it to say that I am not fond of vaguely veggie-flavor cardboard. Once rehydrated, they make a decent stand-in for their fresh counterparts when included in stews and casseroles. I found them lackluster as side dishes by themselves.
This is where a handful of fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil or a dab of real butter makes all the difference in taste, something to keep in mind when you're first starting out using storage foods. A sprinkle of lemon pepper or a dash of hot sauce improves nearly anything made from freeze-dried foods.
Rehydration is pretty straight forward. Add three parts water to one part vegetables and let the mixture stand for about 20 minutes. They're ready to use.
These are a great way to stretch a can of beef stew or chicken and dumplings if you find yourself with more dinner guests than you planned on. For example, add carrots, peas, celery, onions and corn to beef stew and serve it over mashed potatoes. For chicken and dumplings, I would go with just the corn and stretch it further with some cooked potpie noodles and top it with chopped parsley.
The nutritional numbers vary according to which vegetable you happen to be eating. For example, the corn and peas don't provide a lot of vitamins A and C, but they both offer some beneficial anti-oxidants that your body needs when under stress.
Carrots, of course, will give you much-needed vitamin A for healthy eyes and a robust immunity system. Eat carrots or another yellow vegetable at least twice a week for this reason, more during a grid-down event.
Onions provide a taste boost, along with small amounts of vitamin C and anti-oxidants that protect the heart and bolster your immune system.
Celery is not a nutritional powerhouse, but it does add flavor to boring foods while providing a modest amount of some trace minerals.
Potatoes are one of the mainstays of the Western diet. While they are primarily a source of energy-giving carbohydrates, they provide a decent amount of vitamin C. And if you pair them with grains or beans, you have a complete protein that provides your body all the essential amino acids it requires. Serve up a side of mashed potatoes made from the Honeyville flakes to stretch the protein, too.
As with most Honeyville freeze-dried and dehydrated products in #10 cans, you can expect a 10- to 15-year shelf life if you store them in a cool, dry and dark place.
Each can, according to the Honeyville site, contains 35 half-cup servings, for a total of 210 servings per case. The cost per serving is $0.38 as of the time this is written.Gottin_Himmel
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