While there are many different types of “survival foods” on the market, ranging from military MREs to freeze-dried and dehydrated plus any number of types of off-the-shelf foods that last a long time, today we are looking at dehydrated foods from Valley Food Storage.
Having been a Prepper since I was a little tyke, I’ve tasted all manner of “survival foods” over the years. Some were better than others and some much, much better that others. Then we have some that aren’t very tasty, but they will keep you alive. My family and I are always on the lookout for something new to try and add to our food stores, and we make a point to eat what we store. I’m not a very picky eater, but some would say otherwise.
Give me a good ol’ fashion Chicago-style hot dog or a nice juicy burger or a pizza, and I’m content, more than content. My family is always cooking food that I don’t especially like. But so long as they are cooking, I don’t complain all that much. Given my druthers, I’ll take one of the above foods every day of the week. My favorite food is pizza, and it can be prepared so many different ways that I never tire of it.
We still keep “lifeboat” rations in our emergency boxes in our rigs. They last a good long time and don’t take up a lot of room. While boring in taste, they are okay for a few days in an emergency. We also keep MREs in our rigs and swap them out once a year for fresh ones. The only problem we all have with MREs is the short shelf-life, and they all have added sugar, promoting thirst. But they are usually high in calories, which is a good thing. These two foods are ready to eat. There’s nothing more you have to do, other than open the package and eat. That’s nice!
Preparing Freeze-dried and Dehydrated Food
We have freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, and they are usually much tastier. However, they take a little time to prepare. On average, it takes 15-20 minutes to rehydrate these foods before you eat them. They are already cooked, so that’s a good thing. However, you need to have a water source, which you should have in your vehicles and at home. You also need a cup or pan to boil the water to rehydrate these foods, and that takes a little time. Yes, you can rehydrate them in cold water, but it takes longer and the foods aren’t nearly as tasty, unless you are rehydrating fruit. In the case of fruit, then cold water is fine.
Ingredients In and Obstacles Of Various Brands of Freeze-dried Foods
There are a couple of brands of freeze-dried foods that also add more salt, and many people don’t like this. I salt almost everything I eat other than fruit. Maybe that’s why I have high blood pressure. Then again, I’ve tried cutting salt out of my diet, and it didn’t lower my b/p. However, I went to using sea salt, and that actually did lower my b/p. The doctor can’t explain it. So, there are good and bad points when it comes to freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. One is cost. These foods are a bit more expensive that some others, because of the process involved in “drying” these foods for a 20-30 year shelf life.
I find one brand of freeze-fried foods, which is actually produced in my neck of the woods, to be very expensive. You buy a pouch that has one or maybe two meals in it, and it can cost you upwards of $8 – $12. That’s a lotta money in my opinion. And, their pouches are only good for about five years. Their canned stuff is good for 20-30 years. I’m forced to spend my money wisely, period!
Valley Food Storage
The folks at Valley Food Storage www.valleyfoodstorage.com recently contacted SurvivalBlog and asked if I would be willing to taste-test some of their foods. It was outstanding timing, because I was buried with gun and knife articles and needed products to break up this routine. In short order, I had a large box of dehydrated foods to test.
In the box was peanut powder, for making peanut butter, which is always a good staple and survival food. The box also contained freeze-dried sausage crumbles, freeze-dried beef, coconut bites, freeze-dried vanilla Greek yogurt bites, Irish Pub cheddar potato soup, freeze-dried yellow corn, freeze-dried blueberries, and freeze-dried raspberries. So, there was quite a selection to test, and test it we did!
Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup
The first thing we tried the day we received the above foods was the Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup. We had two packages, and we prepared them both. We were really hungry that day. Each package is 2.5 servings. It takes about 20-minutes to “cook” (read rehydrate) this soup. It smelled great. My only “complaint” is that this isn’t really soup; you can eat it with a fork because it is that thick. We could have easily added twice the amount of water and it would have still been thick and tasted as great.
This is gourmet soup and not some off-the-shelf stuff, hands down. I’ve never tasted better potato soup, and I make a dandy large pot of potato soup several times per year. But this one from Valley Food Storage beat my potato soup hands down. One could double the water that is required and add some rice to extend this soup.
Vanilla Greek Yogurt
My oldest daughter opened the freeze-dried vanilla Greek Yogurt package and wouldn’t give the package to me to try. She said, “You can’t have any.” But she eventually relented and let me taste these little parcels. And they didn’t need to be rehydrated. They were great out of the package, seriously! When my wife came home, the oldest daughter told her the same thing– “You can’t have any.” But eventually the wife got a handful, and then the package was passed back and forth between the wife and oldest daughter. Yeah, it really is a great snack, or you can rehydrate them and put on fresh fruit or some other freeze-dried fruits, which is coming up next.
Raspberries and Blueberries
The raspberries were nice and red and tart, which was excellent. Ditto was true on the blueberries. We all at them right out of the package to start with. However, I did get a bowl of water and placed some of the raspberries and blueberries in it to rehydrate. They were nice and firm and delicious. They made a great fruit to put over a bowl of cold or hot cereal.
Pork Sausage Crumbles
The next morning, the wife prepared some scrambled eggs, rehydrated the pork sausage crumbles, and added the sausage to the eggs. I’m here to tell you, this pork sausage was seasoned just perfectly. Many times, I’ll buy pork sausage in the grocery store, and it is either not seasoned enough, or worse yet, the seasonings they used were overpowering. Ugh! My brother-in-law makes some pork sausage every now and then, from pigs on his farm/ranch, and he doesn’t add any seasoning, at least none I can detect. So we have to season it to out tastes. Not so with the Valley Food Storage pork sausage crumbles. We had scrambled eggs with this sausage in it for four mornings in a row. Yes!
The beef crumbles were just as good as the pork was, except I added a little bit of BBQ sauce to make sloppy joe’s out of it. It was nice and lean and not greasy at all. We used the entire package and had some left over.
Corn and Peanut Butter
We haven’t gotten around to making peanut butter yet, but we will. As for the freeze-dried yellow corn, well my wife has been eating it right out of the package. It’s that good, too. I’m gonna rehydrate some and add a little butter and test it for myself. I mean, come on, that’s how yellow corn should be eaten, right?
Food Pouches With Guaranteed 20 Year Storage
Now, the above foods come in sealed pouches, not #10 cans, and there is a good reason for this. The founder of Valley Food Storage had a lot of #10 cans of food for emergencies, and they were supposed to be good for 20-30 years, but he opened them long before that, and the food had gone bad. It wasn’t properly prepared. So he set out to do it better, and better he did. His sealed pouches are guaranteed for 20 years. No one else makes that kind of a guarantee. And if you don’t like his food, let them know. It is guaranteed to be the best of the best.
We’re Placing Our Orders
My oldest daughter is already putting together an order for her own Valley Food Storage foods. I know that the vanilla Greek yogurt is on the top of her list. She went crazy for it. The wife is talking about placing an order, too. The food is outstanding, and they have a huge menu to pick from. Right now, they are offering free shipping on all their foods. That’s a deal you can’t pass up. Quite honestly, everything we tasted was excellent, and the Irish pub cheddar potato soup was gourmet quality with not a doubt in my mind. That one is on my life. We are going to get more of it.
So, take a look at the website for Valley Food Storage, and place an order, even a small order, and I assure you that you will be ordering more of their food. And prices are more than okay, too.
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio