Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dry and Powder

There are so many things to think about when we are trying to stock our long term pantries.  You don't want to stock things you will never use - AND you want to have plenty of what you do use.
There may come a time in the near (or distant) future, that we will have to become self sufficient through NO real choice of our own!  The world is scary, and we just never know what can happen week to week.

We all seem to have our freezers full - and that is wonderful, unless we are without power for a long while (and do not have generators).
Home canned goods and even store canned goods can pretty much all be eaten straight from the jar or can if we HAD to!

I figure if the worst happened I can heat foods up over a gas grill or a wood fire.  You could cook in a fireplace as well.
I like having powdered and dehydrated goods on hand as well.  Many people dehydrate about everything do to little storage area.  You can get a whole lot of food in a quart jar when it's powdered or dried!

Things I keep on a normal basis:

Milk and buttermilk
Cheddar cheese
Ham - beef - chicken seasonings
Homemade cream of soups
Spices and herbs

I keep:

Herbs and spices
Green beans
Tomato skins (also goes under powdered)
Vegetable soup mix (I buy by the gallon)
Berries - raisins, craisins, and other dried fruit

Zucchini and yellow squash are easy to dehydrate.  Great for soups.

Tomato skins dried and powdered.  Great for seasoning.  I do this with all my herbs I grow as well

I consider a lot of things for dry storage.  In my opinion, ANY dried beans or peas go in this category, also rice, and pasta.  They can all be kept in dark dry locations for ages and ages.

I like using jars of all types and sizes for my kitchen pantry storage of beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, etc. (gallon jars are also used for my long term storage).  The cabinet holds all my flavor extracts (I am an extract junky!).

Not all spices and herbs are dehydrated at home.  I like to keep several large containers of store bought spices as well.

Another item that I deem an absolute necessity is SALT.  I keep iodized salt, Kosher, canning, and several grades of pink Himalayan salt (fine grind to coarse).  At present time I probably have 25 lbs. of salt on hand.  It is great for pickling, preserving, seasoning, and can even be used for health reasons.  Salt is a great barter item in desperate times.

ALSO I think sugar, flour and grains are important to keep as dry goods.   Oats are good and healthy to eat, great to cook with and can be ground into flour if necessary. 
Sugar is so important in preserving and flavoring. (It's a great barter as well)
Rice and dried corn can also be ground into flours if necessary. 
Wheat berries are a wonderful addition to long term storage (they last for years and years), and can be ground.
I think of coffee and tea as dry storage items as well.

Of course I like to keep other things like baking soda and baking powder on hand.
My WANT LIST includes powdered honey and vanilla (I have a tiny bit of powdered vanilla).  I will be adding those things in the near future (among other things).

There really aren't too many things that can NOT be dehydrated.  I have heard of people scrambling eggs and drying, cottage cheese, canned and frozen fruits and veggies, meats - you name it!
Once dried, about anything can be powdered.  They kind of go hand in hand.

What items do you like to keep on hand that are dried OR powdered? 
What items do you dehydrate yourself? 
I know I for one, am eager to learn what others do - it is so helpful to me in planning my future preps!  I am sure it will help others as well.



  1. I have never tried dehydrating foods, so thank you for the information. So hoping that I can stock up more this month. I want to buy more rice and beans and oatmeal. Where do you buy your gallons of vegetable soup mix?

    1. Kathy dehydrating is really easy. I first used the oven (lowest temp), then I moved up to a dehydrator. I have also used the microwave for herbs.

      I buy the vegetable soup mix in gallons from Spices, Etc. We buy several things there, and can order over the internet. It is nice super cheap - but it sure is nice to have on hand. I sometimes just add a little to my home made soup. I especially wanted it JUST IN CASE!

      Have a good day!

  2. Hi Cheryl, Do you dry your green beans in a dehydrator? Do you soak them before using in soups? How about the dried zucchini? Do you soak them before using in soups? I tried drying carrots before for soups but they didn't seem to rehydrate very well and were chewy in my soup. Do you do carrots and if so, do you have any problem? Thanks. Oh, I do dried apple slices! Nancy

    1. Nancy - green beans and zucchini & mushrooms I just throw in the pot of soup as it is cooking. The soup mix I have has beans, potatoes, peas, carrots, etc in it and it does well.

      I haven't tried carrots yet. I did celery too and it came back fine in the soup.

  3. Thanks for this post Cheryl. I am only just exploring dehydrating foods. I have a small cheapie dehydrator that I use for partially dehydrating tomatoes. I save these tomatoes in herbed oil. They are delicious and make a great gift in a hamper.
    Right now my dehydrator is humming away on the veranda. I have lemon skin, oregano and chilli drying away. I have several Chinese Cabbage just about ready to pick. I am going to play at dehydrating these. I have been encouraged to blanch these first by another blogger. This is a whole other world of food preservation to explore.

    1. Jean I am glad to hear that others are trying their hand at dehydrating as well. Yes indeedy there are more than a couple ways to save food for the future.
      Your tomatoes sound really good.
      Enjoy your adventures.

  4. Dear Cheryl,
    I notice how dried goods take up so much less space in the pantry! i.e. dry soup mixes take a fraction of the space of tinned soups. Then I figured this applies to just about everything! Also the food is intense i.e. dried tomatoes vs fresh tomatoes... they really pack a punch! So I am trying to increase my dried goods and also dry more myself. Very interesting subject! With love Annabel.xxx

    1. Annabel you are so correct that the flavor is more intense. I actually got 2 entire bunches of celery dried and it only filled 1/2 of a jelly jar!! It is amazing.
      Thanks. Have a wonderful day.

  5. Cheryl, this is a very good post with lots of good and helpful information. I want to get some strawberries, dehydrate them and then powder them. I'll use the strawberry powder in smoothies, etc.

    1. Patsy - Oh yum on drying the strawberries for smoothies. Now you have my mind churning with other fruit possibilities for that reason! YUM
      Fruit powder could be used for endless things.
      Thanks for a great idea!

  6. I love all your dry goods and I'm going to have to dry more I think! Wheat berries sound like something to try for sure. Strawberry powder oh my! Great ideas~!

    1. Vickie it is such an easy thing to do. In my opinion it is just better to be prepared than not!
      YES on the berry powder! I love that idea.

  7. Thanks Cheryl, I will have to try green beans this year. Do you chop hem up before you dry them in one inch pieces or how large? Nancy

    1. Nancy that is what I did. Approx. an inch or so.
      Hope that helps.

  8. Do you ever dehydrate pears? That is one I haven't done. I was given a good amount of pears

    1. I have done pears and peaches, they come out nice and leathery, you may want to do slices instead of wedges for more even drying

    2. Lisa I am glad Ellen chimed in, as I have not. I really just got started last year, and now I am addicted! I plan on so many things this year.

  9. Sorry! One more question! Do you blanch them before drying? Thanks for your help. I want to do them this year. Nancy

    1. No Nancy I didn't. Just did them raw - like most things, they aren't real pretty - but it works!

  10. This is a great post Cheryl!

    I have been dehydrating food for quite a while but have never made powder with them, they never last long enough lol!

    I use outdoor drying racks mostly but do own a dehydrator. Outside at the moment I have oregano and parsley drying. I have dried apricots, nectarines, peaches, quandongs, pears, apples, figs, grapes, zucchini and tomatoes that I can recall. I have also made fruit leather which is easy.

    I use most of my dried in my homemade mueslie and baking :)


    1. Tania it sounds like you are really good at this dehydrating thing!
      Most of the powdered items I have - milk, eggs, butter, etc. are store bought.
      I love the idea of powdering fruits and veggies to add to other things.
      Love dried fruit in baking.
      Have a good one!

  11. My latest foray into dried foods was to get powdered peanut butter at a sale, haven't tasted it yet, and wonder if the usual jar of peanut butter has a long shelf life, but the dried does for sure

    1. Ellen - that is one I haven't seen! I will check into that for long term storage.
      It is amazing at the things that either we can dry or that we can buy powdered.
      Thanks for that info.

  12. I keep many of the same things on hand that you do Cheryl. You are right that tomato powder adds good flavor to things and I use mine frequently! I too have quite the collection of extracts. They do come in handy for adding just that extra little hint of goodness. :)