I have never tried freeze dried foods with the exception of ice cream that my mom ordered from REI back in the 1970's. That is my only recollection of freeze dried foods, but I remember that my brother and I liked it, and mom bemoaned the cost. Any of the dried foods I use are invariably dehydrated. Most of my dried food supplies are items like pasta, rice, and beans, and dried soup mixes, with some dried apples, potatoes, and mushrooms on the shelf as well. When I have purchased dried foods the foods were dehydrated because they are so much cheaper. When I have browsed websites that offer dehydrated or freeze dried meals in a can, I always looked past them because of the cost.
A while back I was visiting the Apartment Prepper's blog and entered a contest with suggestions of what people who live in an apartment can do to be prepared. You can read my entry here. I was very surprised when I got an email from Bernie saying I had won, and the prize contributed by Ready Made Resources was 6- #10 cans of freeze dried chicken and rice by Mountain House! I was so excited and happy to have actually won something. Especially something like freeze dried food that I never buy because it is so expensive, and something that I can add to my supplies. I eagerly awaited the arrival of my chicken and rice.
My package from Ready Made Resources finally arrived and I was eager to try my supply of chicken and rice. Much to my surprise, it was a variety pack. Yeah! There was chicken teriyaki with rice, lasagne with meat sauce, beef stroganoff, spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken stew, and chili mac with beef. How was I to decide which food to try. Well, I had it in my mind that I was going to be getting chicken and rice, so we tried the chicken teriyaki with rice.
I opened up the can and mixed up the ingredients. There were some pretty generous sized pieces of chicken in there, along with peas, red peppers, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. I boiled up the water and mixed in the dry mix measured out at one cup per serving. I only had to wait 5- 10 minutes for it to be ready. It re-hydrated very quickly. It was very flavorful and the chicken pieces tasted like real chicken and the texture was great! I cooked up some zucchini and pineapple to go alongside. The combination was tasty, and best of all, it filled us up. I thought maybe 1 cup would be a small serving, but we were satisfied, and I will eat this meal again.
I checked out the case price here at Ready Made Resources for the Chicken Teriyaki, and it is currently on sale for $133.60 for 6 cans. At 9 servings per can, that is $1.48 per serving. That is a pretty good price for a satisfying meal that tastes good. If you buy cans individually, it is $29.70 at full price, which obviously costs much more per serving at $3.30. I must say that I am now convinced that freeze dried foods can be a good value. They also have a very long shelf life for years under favorable conditions.
I want to thank Bernie over at the Apartment Prepper blog for his contest, and Robert at Ready Made Resources for donating the case of freeze dried foods. Without those two people, I probably never would have bought freeze dried meals, but now I am happy to say that the meals are tasty, filling, and easy on the wallet.