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Onions, Green Onions, Peas & Corn
This morning as my mind was in the chaos of our uncertain world, I had a few moments of peace where I gazed out my kitchen window at a simple sight. It was our rustic mountainside with tall, wide blades of grass that were catching droplets of water from the sprinkler.
Each droplet of water sparkled with the sun’s rays and reflected it back to me in the form of bright colors of the rainbow. There were yellow, gold and shades in between–reds, oranges and shades in between, blues and greens, etc. Each droplet was a different color and then they were repeated like a beautiful chandelier, except in the green backdrop of nature.
A butterfly danced around like it was playing a game; trying to not get hit by the water, but basking in the same amazing light show our Creator displayed for both of us to enjoy. I know I’ll think of that each morning as I look out that window.
I feel that same peace each time I open up the Freeze Dryer to take out whatever amazing things that have finished processing. I’m helping my family prepare for the uncertainties of the future so we can all feel the peace that comes from that. Isn’t that something we all want?
I love to do freeze dry vegetables. Freeze dried veggies are so much fun to get put away and my sweet husband is the “master chopper” in our house. He always makes sure the knives are sharp and ready to go.
How Do I Freeze Dry Onions
Ready to FD
This particular time we’re working on onions. He did a mountain of them!
Four large bowls full; more than the freeze dryer could hold in one batch. So, I began putting some into zip lock bags to freeze and loaded up 4 trays to start freeze drying.
Onions turn out looking beautifully white and full. They took about 45 hours (one of the longer items to freeze dry) and there was a lot of water in my bucket, but they are so nice. I’ve used dehydrated onions and they go dark and are all shriveled up.
Onions are very versatile, they are a real staple in our house. I can start with a pound of venison burger (as Bonnie said, we’re a family of hunters so we have Elk and Deer in our freezers) with chopped onion and turn it into at least 20 different meals.
I love the idea of boiling some water and grabbing a handful of freeze dried onion, chicken/meat, carrots, peas, corn and whatever else I have stored in freeze dried vegetables, spice it up and have a quick, easy, healthy soup, especially if I find myself in a power outage or other emergency.
How Do I Freeze Dry Green Onions
We use garden boxes and it’s amazing how much produce you can grow in them! Many years ago, I planted green onions at the end of one of my garden boxes. They grew like crazy and I enjoyed just snipping off the tops all summer. I don’t pull them up by the roots.
As a few of them began to flower, I just let them go to seed and sprinkled it around in the same spot amid my green onions. By spring, they came up almost before the snow was gone. I’ve done that each year for many years and have been able to continue enjoying fresh green onions any time I need them. They are the first thing to come up every spring.
Bag of fresh cut green onion tops
Slicing green onions
On cookie sheets ready to freeze
Now, with my freeze drier, I don’t want anything to go to waste. This year I’ve kept cutting them, freeze drying and sharing them with our kids and their families.
They seem paper thin when freeze dried, so you can add them to a salad, tacos or whatever you want, just the way they are. They will take on the moisture of the food and give you just the right flavor you’re looking for.
How Do I Freeze Dry Peas
I’ve always preferred frozen peas to canned, but you can’t depend on the power always being on. That’s been one of my goals since getting our HarvestRight freeze drier: to empty my freezers as much as I can. I always keep a few cans of canned peas on hand. But they end up getting old because I’ll always grab the frozen first!
Everybody likes fresh peas from the garden. I grow them exclusively for grandchildren and love to see the joy they get from picking their own! You’d have to grow an awful lot to make up a bag that you can purchase for $1.50 at the store. And how I wish I had time to sit on the porch in a rocking chair shellin’ peas all afternoon!
Frozen peas make a nice little snack when thawed and taste like garden fresh peas. Freeze dried peas do as well, I found. In any kind of emergency, I wouldn’t hesitate to hand someone a bag of freeze dried peas to munch on if they were hungry.
This was one of my first attempts freeze drying them. I’ve done many trays since and found that you can really load the trays up. They freeze dry quick and are very light, little green balls of wonderful flavor!
The nice thing about purchasing frozen veggies to freeze dry is that they are already blanched. All you have to do is pour them out on your trays.
How Do I Freeze Dry Corn
We freeze dry vegetables as much as possible.
Corn has been one of my go-to’s when I don’t have enough of something to fill a whole tray. We love it. I plan to do a lot, so I keep it on hand. It freeze dries quickly and seems to turn out perfect no matter what I put it with. I have actually started loading the trays a lot more than I did in the beginning with all of my veggies–they do fine.
I hope we’re inspiring you to pursue all kinds of different foods so that if and when we need them we can all have great peace of mind knowing we’ve prepared the best we can!
HOW DO I FREEZE DRY Vegetables?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum. This collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it and an end in sight!
WHAT SETTINGS DO I USE TO FREEZE DRY VEGETABLES?
On the Harvest Right freeze drier – this works on all sizes – after putting the trays inside the drum on the shelves, I put in the drum cover and then tighten the handle as I lock it shut. On the computer touch screen, I selected START > NON-LIQUID > NOT FROZEN > CONTINUE. After inputting the settings and making sure my drain tube was closed, I walked away.