Freeze Dried Friday

Welcome to Freeze Dried Friday on SurvivalBlog! We’ve been making so many things in the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer that we want to share some of them with you. If you have something wonderful you’ve prepared in your freeze dryer that you would like to share with SurvivalBlog readers, take a photo of it and send it in along with a description. We might just feature you here!

More Tomatoes!

This week was a continuation of the tomato harvest. The freeze driers are working 24/7 now and we are still canning two to three times as much as what we can freeze dry. In addition to the tomatoes, the garden has a plethora of Jalapeño peppers, onions, cilantro and garlic. Anyone that has spent time in the southwest knows what that means! Salsa! As soon as this current batch of tomato sauce finishes, we will be canning Mrs Latimer’s fresh salsa. Salsa works really well because you can reconstitute it in as small a quantity as you desire. If you’re into binging on chips ans salsa, you can reconstitute a full quart of it, or if you just want a quick snack, all you need is a couple of tablespoons in a ramekin.

garden bounty

o o o

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  1. We have an abundance of cherry tomatoes.
    We, my wonderful Wife, has a nice recipe.
    Slicing enough tomatoes to cover the bottom of a cookie sheet.
    Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them out in the pan and in the oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.
    She chops a little fresh basil and we also have chopped left over cooked chicken on top. In the bowl and you have a very healthy fresh dinner.
    God bless and thank you for what you do.

    1. Sorry that I don’t measure things out to share a “Salsa recipe”. You will need to adjust it to your family’s taste, too. We like ours “HOT” according to what most people say. My “secret trick” is in the searing to add a great smoky flavor and also keeping the juices that flow out after the vegetables are removed from the grill and pouring them into the salsa mix. Here are the ingredients:
      * tomatoes, seared on grill or broiled in oven until skins begin to blacken and then peeled
      * onions coated in olive oil and seared until begin to blacken in spots (do not peel, the blackened onion gives a wonderful smokey flavor)
      * jalapeno peppers coated in olive oil and also seared to blacken slightly (do not peel black off but remove stem and seeds)
      * garlic (regular, not seared)
      * fresh cilantro
      * salt
      * white, distilled vinegar
      Then pulse in processor or blender to desired consistency. We like ours a bit chunky but pureed is fine too. It can be eaten right away but flavors blend after it sits for a few hours. Freeze-dried salsa, once reconstituted, tastes exactly like the one that has sat for a few hours…amazing!

    1. The oil picks up the smell and you can certainly smell it in the dryer itself. This is only an issue when the dryer is not under a vacuum (such as during the freezing period.) If you pre-freeze your items, it has no effect. I would not run a batch of a strong smelling food and a bland food at the same time though.

      If you change and filter your oil after every batch, you should have no issues with residual smells.

      1. Is it just me or what. I change and filter my oil after each batch but after 15 or 20 cycles, I develop an oil leak around the pump shaft. IMHO the channel that lubricates the seal gets contaminated with water and food particulates. I wish HR would sell a separator to keep that stuff out of the pump. It takes a hour or more to change out a bad leaky seal. I know.I just did my third one tonight. Other than that, my DW loves our freeze dryer.

  2. those of you who store HR freeze dried product in quart jars that have been vacuum sealed, – do you place an oxygen absorber in the jar as one does for the mylar bags ?

    1. Oxygen is the culprit. If you have a good vacuum sealer, there is no need for O2 absorbers. The goal is to remove Oxygen and whether you do it by an absorber or by vacuum sealing, it’s all good. Note that some vacuum sealers do not pull a good vacuum. To my knowledge, the Tilla Food Saver is one of the few that does a good job.

  3. This has been another week of FDing sirloin tip. I have one more load to run then next week I start on sweet peppers.

    I like to run like items at the same time, meaning I run an entire 4-trays of meat, or of peppers, or poutry, or veges /fruit. I don’t mix fruit with meat.

    Have a great week.

  4. I like Lee and Denise’s suggestion. It is similar to something I do a lot with either Roma-type or our cherry tomatoes. I use some flat, crispy bread (whether matzah or other flat cracker) lay thin sliced Havarti cheese on the cracker. Then I sprinkle with garlic powder and layer with thinly sliced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes and place this under a broiler. When cheese melts, I sprinkle with chopped, fresh basil and a little black pepper. It makes for a great lunch with some fruit. One of our garden time favorite lunch meals and easy to prepare.

  5. In one of your FD reviews you mentioned doing a defrost/restart. How do you do the defrost/restart. The only way I see out of the dry cycle is to cancel. Which would take me to defrost, but can I get back to just the dry cycle then. Do I really want to cancel the dry cycle?
    I guess I don’t quite understand all of the possibilities with this machine yet.
    Thank you,

  6. We got our FD delivered last Thu. Since it is the large unit and requires a 220V connection I took the weekend to wire up an outlet in the garage close to the fuse box and also to setup up the unit. I also already had a large stainless steel cart that I wanted to put it on so I could move it around easily. It weighs a bit over 160lbs and and even though I could have had my wife and son help me lift it on to the cart I didn’t want to take a chance of any accidents. So I took off the two lower side panels and wrapped two heavy tow straps around it side to side and front to back and used my hydraulic engine hoist to lift it up on the the cart. Easy breezy! I took the side panels off because they can bend easily and the frame on the sides at the bottom is recessed and inch or so. The frame on the front and back is right up against the panels so no problem there with support. I also threw a moving blanket over the top before putting the straps on to keep from scratching anything.

    We had a busy day yesterday so today we will start our first test batch. Most likely bananas and cauliflower.

    One thing I noticed with the unit is that there had been lots of complaints of oil mist when the vacuum pump starts. The outlet at the end of the handle now has some sort of small mist collector made of PVC installed. Hopefully that will help keep the mess down that has been reported.

  7. I have also put an O2 absorber in the mason jars and foodsaver bags I had been using for dehydrated foods. I wasn’t sure of the vacuum level I was getting with the foodsaver so figured it was cheap insurance. I did try a hand brake bleeder vacuum pump that has a gauge and was able to tell I got a decent vacuum but it takes a long time and is hard on the hands. Harbor Freight has an electric AC vacuum pump for only $18 that supposedly pulls to 28.3in/hg and with one of the foodsaver mason jar adapters for less than $10 you could have a cheap vacuum seal setup.

  8. First time poster here, I have been lurking Survival Blog for many years now. Have purchased a few items because the articles were so much fun. One purchase was a Scanner, That soon went south. I signed up for this website (scanners) and got all excited about getting started. Not being into electronics at all, it was mission fail at getting this thing up and running, see i could not get it programmed. Very frustrating. i was offered by members of the site to ship it to them and they would do the programming for me. Well i am a do everything myself person and the thought of asking for help was out of the question..i mean if i cant operate the thing, forget it! I mean wow! Did i really just get beat up by a stupid scanner? I sold it for a loss on ebay 🙁 But now I am anxiously awaiting arrival of our new HR Freeze drier. (hopefully I will not have to program it) Thanks to Survival Blog i got in on the recent sale! Now to start reading every article that you all post. Thanks everybody! Cant wait to get started.

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