The Emergency Pantry Handbook (Skyhorse Publishing, 2013) by Kate Rowinski, is a guide for anything you and your family may need in an emergency. Find out the basics you will need to know to survive and how to prepare for the emergency ahead of time. This excerpt is located in Chapter 7, “Using Your Storage Pantry.”
Using Dehydrated Vegetables
Although many convenience foods are nothing more than a combination of dried ingredients, dehydrated vegetables may be somewhat unfamiliar to the average home cook. I wasn’t sure how I felt about dehydrated vegetables until I started using them regularly. I quickly discovered that they are not only highly nutritious, they are also really handy for making a quick soup or side dish. With dehydrated vegetables, there is no waste, no peeling or chopping, so soups, stews, and casseroles go together in a snap.
The texture of dehydrated vegetables is a little different than that of canned or frozen vegetables. If you are using the product alone, you may notice the difference. If you are adding it to a recipe with several other ingredients, you won’t notice a thing.
Dehydrated vegetables can be reconstituted by soaking them in cool water or broth before cooking, or if you are making a recipe with plenty of liquid, like a soup or stew, they can be added directly into the pot along with your other ingredients. Dried greens and tomatoes do not need to be soaked ahead of time.
To sauté dehydrated vegetables, reconstitute them with a little less water than you might normally use. You want the vegetable to be soft, but not soggy, before adding them to the oil or butter.
- 10 cups water
- 1 teaspoon tomato powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
- 1⁄2 cup dehydrated carrots
- 1⁄2 cup dehydrated onions
- 1⁄2 cup dehydrated green bell peppers
- 1⁄2 cup dehydrated celery
- 1⁄2 cup potato dices
- 1⁄2 cup dehydrated peas
- 1⁄2 cup rice
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Combine all ingredients into a soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for thirty minutes. Add in rice and continue cooking until tender.
Kate Rowinski is the author of a number of books, including The Wilderness Guide to Dutch Oven Cooking, The Ultimate Guide to Making Chili, and The Quotable Cook. She co-owns the Horse and Hound Gastropub in Charlottesville, Virginia with her husband Jim, her daughter Brooke, and her son-in-law Luther Fedora.