Making our own dehydrated soup mixes is a practical way to use our dried meats and dehydrated vegetables. There are several ways to go about this: one is to keep big batches of dried materials individually stored, and dip into this supply to get the ingredients for your favorite soups, and another is to combine all these dried veggies and meats in a separate container and reconstitute them as needed. You can also store all the materials for a dish in one container. There are some limitations to storing multiple dried foods in a single container, however, as you should not necessarily store all dried materials together. Some dehydrated foods have higher water contents and while they store well by themselves, the water content can spread to the other materials – this makes some dried foods partially dehydrated and more prone to mold. Other dried foods have a high fat content that can turn rancid quickly, so they should not be included in your mix. There is one way around this problem: Separate storage for some of the ingredients.
When you’re making dehydrated soup mix, you can’t just take all the ingredients and dry them together. It just won’t work, since different foods dry best with different times and temperatures – some dry in four hours and some need 12! Instead, you’ll have to take your individually dried foods and place them into your soup.
How to Prepare Dehydrated Soup Mixes
Recipes for your homemade soups can be pre-made with dried veggies and dried meats and stored in your pantry so that you can rehydrate and prepare the soup later. Remember that dried foods are much more compact than the rehydrated ones, so measure carefully!
Any dried vegetable that normally goes into soup is great in reconstituted soup. I especially love dehydrated carrots, zucchini and other squashes, okra, and onions, to name just a few possible ingredients – and don’t forget to add a few dried beans (they may need additional cooking time depending upon what kind of bean it is). I have no experience with drying potatoes but would love to learn if you know anything about dehydrating and using them. Tomatoes? They dry great and I especially love ground up tomato powder in homemade soups. In fact, I used to keep a jar of it by the stove to add dried powdered tomatoes to many dishes while they cooked.
Don’t forget that you can also add dried noodles to the mix!
If you have any dried meat, biltong or jerky, don’t store it in the same package as your veggies. Keep it separate, and attach it to the prepared vegetable package so it is right there when you’re ready to cook.
Try adding powdered milk for a creamy soup – season it with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices, and add it right to your soup mix!
The shelf life of your soup mix will be limited by the shortest usability period of any ingredient. A good idea is to separately package any of these materials so if they go bad, you can still use the rest of the mix.
Storing the Batches of Dehydrated Soup Mix
When you have the ingredients gathered and are ready to assemble them, consider vacuum sealing the batch ingredients in bags. This way you can combine any separately-bagged items with the original batch and place them all in another bag, preferably vacuum sealed too, assuring that everything is there together. I like to store these bags in the freezer to extend the shelf life of the dried foods even further.
Corina Kernan says
I love your site! I have a question about dehydrating meals for long term storage.
There are a lot of companies who sell dehydrated soups, beef stroganoff, chili, etc.. And you can store them for up to 25 years.. But when I search online for info on dehydrating meals at home for long term storage I find things that say meat can only store for 6 months, and fruits and veggies a year or so. Even your dehydrated soup mix recipe says not to package the ingredients together because it will spoil quicker. So my question is, how do you make your dehydrated foods and whole meals last for 25 years like the ones stores are selling..? Thank you for your time! By the way, I’m a mother of 4 kids all under age 6 and I love that your website has so much info on preparing with and for children. Thanks again.
Grandma Prepares says
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how they can package dehydrated foods and make them stable for so long. Perhaps if we perfectly seal our homemade dried foods with absolutely no oxygen or light ours will last as long. I’m just a stickler for “making sure it’s safe” so I say don’t count on long term when you do it yourself. However, you may get it all right and it CAN last. We are all learning together and I do appreciate your question and will investigate it more myself. Another possibility for the long shelf life I’ve wondered about is do they radiate the dried foods to kill off any and all bacteria and other spoilers? I don’t know but suspect some manufacturers may but have not investigated to see. -Grandma Prepares
Hi! Just found your site…thanks for sharing what you know. I have found another site that will tell you how to pkg for long-term storage…I have been pkging now and love it….after dehydrating, vacuum seal with an oxygen absorber, wrap in plastic wrap and then seal in a mylar (3mil thick) bag…..store time can be 15-20 years or more….the key is to getting out all oxygen and keeping it from light. Also, you can store in mason jars with oxygen absorbers and keep out of light and also you must keep the food cool as in a basement….use a dehumidifier and keep aroun 70 degrees at maximum. HOpe this helps. GodBless.
Michelle Anderson says
I’m guessing, many dishes which are dried for long term storeage (commercially), are “freeze dried, hence the long shelf life…..
I believe rotation is the key. Keep using what you have dehydrated and replenishing your stores with freshly dried items
They freeze dry them to make them last longer.
CHARIS BARKS says
It’s because usually their ingredients are industrially freeze-dried, not dehydrated.
Many are freeze dried, which is much harder to do at home. I’ve only seen 1 freeze dryer for in home use (meaning not commercial), and it was almost $4000.
Commercially dried foods are freeze dried, It’s an entirely different process than dehydrating
On many of the “long term” storage soup mixes you can purchase, just look at the ingredients: LOTS of preservatives. That’s why they will likely last longer, but they are not nearly as healthy for you as making your own, which is free from all those nasty additives!
This is such a wonderful website, and I know many of us appreciate all the hard work you put into it and wonderful info provided, so a BIG Thank you! ;)
Also, many of the prepared dehydrated meals are freeze dried, not dehydrated the way we dehydrate at home. Sometimes they have soy meat substitutes rather than real meat, too. However, if you keep your foods cool and dry, most of them should last for a long time. The exceptions would be meats, which will go rancid after a period of time because of the fats in them. Also a few things like cabbage do not last as long as most other items.
For more info on on dehydrating for longer term look on http://www.dehydrate2store.com She has videos too, very informative. It’s great everyone is sharing a they learn.
You can also use mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. They sell them on ebay. Using those, your dehydrated food can last up to 5 years. I make emergency meals and seal them with my mylars. I label them with instructions on how to rehydrate and now I have meals that will last a long time!
Dehydrating potatoes (and sweet potatoes) is fairly easy. First, boil the potatoes whole until you can stick a knife or fork or skewer through them. You don’t want them mushy but just barely cooked through. Then refrigerate them until they are completely cooled. This usually takes 4-6 hours. I like to boil mine at night them put them in the fridge until the next morning. When they are cooled, peel them which is extremely easy to do. Then slice them or cube them or shred them (depending on what you want to use them for) and place them in your dehydrator until they are translucent. They should click on a counter or table when you drop them. To re-hydrate, add boiling water and let sit for 30 mins. Then add to your soup and cook for another hour or so.
As for the comments about storing dried food for long term storage, you ABSOLUTELY can store it for long term. All you need is a foodsaver system or some type of vacuum seal system. I dehydrate my fruits and veggies all week long. I put them in regular ziplock bags until the weekend. Keeping them in ziplock bags does two things: first, it allows me to only have to use my foodsaver once a week and second, it allows me to test and make sure the food is truly dehydrated. Then on Saturday I grab my food, my foodsaver, my bags, and my oxygen absorbers and get to sealing. I put 1- O2 absorber in each bag smaller than the gallon or 2 in the gallon size. Then I add my food of choice. Then I seal it and store it in a tote which I buy at Walmart. The foodsaver and O2 absorber keep out the air and the tote keeps out the light and pests. You can go as far as buying mylar bags to store the foodsaver bags in as well which is just another layer of protection but I find the totes work just fine. These foods will store indefinitely!!
I have potatoes I dehydrated THREE years ago and they are still good. ?
I dehydrate potatoes by boiling freshly scrubbed clean whole potatoes for about 20 minutes. I then place them in the fridge for 12-24 hours (I want them very chilled). I then slice them and put them on the trays for dehydration (you can choose to peel the skins or not depending on your preferance). It usually takes 10-12 hours. For potato flakes I make mashed potatoes and spread a thin layer on a fruit leather sheet. It takes only 4-6 hours (depending on thickness of mashed potatoes). Once dry I carefully (it’s very brittle and will break apart easily) break the sheets apart in my food processor and grind to flakes. For rehydrating: if you use 1 cup of flakes add 2 cups boiling water, so whatever amount of flakes you use add double that amount of boiling water.
yetunde olawale says
am having difficulty preparing dehydrated stew mix. can u help me on research work about dehydrated instant stew?
Zann Reid says
I dehydrate potatoes quite a bit. I leave skins on, soak in vinegar water for 20 min or so then scrub well. I slice thinly with slices going into lemon water until I finish. I then blanch the slices for 2-3 min, drain well, spread on trays & dehydrate for 3-4 hrs at 125`. If I am doing hash browns I follow same procedure, except I don’t slice, I shred, then blanch for 1-2 min. They come out great.