Easy Summer Cooking: Just Add Water

I hate to spend a lot of time in the hot kitchen in the summer so I try to prepare meals that take little heat and little time.  I have found that using dehydrated foods can fill those two requirements as well as save me money.
We also spend a lot of time on the road vacationing and taking our family on day trips and adventures.  So over the years I have streamlined the type of meals I prepare so I can play with the rest of the family and not spend all my time cooking for the crew.

Most of the foods I will recommend can be purchased at your local grocery store and are often on sale or available for pennies on the dollar with coupons.  These dehydrated foods may be purchased in different sections of your grocery store as "convenience foods” or from stores like Food 2 Store that specialize in food storage and sell freeze-dried or dehydrated foods in number 10 cans directly to the public.

Dehydrated foods can be easily substituted in any of your favorite recipes,  To substitute dehydrated foods for whole foods simply follow the directions for reconstitution on the can or package.  Here are a few ideas of items that can be purchased at your local grocery store or food storage providers.  The items underlined can be purchased on our website by clicking on the item.:
Hot cereal
Biscuits and instant gravy mix
Instant hot cereal
Muffins and fruit
French toast
Cold cereal
Instant soup   
Ramen noodles
Cheese spread   
Peanut butter spread
Hamburger helper                     
Tuna helper
Chicken helper
Turkey helper           
Suddenly salad
Macaroni with cheese sauce
Rice-a-roni with meat
Spaghetti with marinara sauce
Sugared drink crystals
Cider mix   
Herbal teas        
Instant coffee
Gatorade powder
Sugar free drink crystals
Mashed potatoes & gravy
Refried beans
Hash browns   
Fried potatoes
Stove top stuffing   
Instant cheese cake
Cake mixes
Dried fruit   
Cookie mixes
Reconstituted fruit
Instant puddings
Instant chocolate mousse
Vanilla wafers
Dried fruit   
Trail mix
Brownie mixes
Instant bread mixes
Instant muffin mixes
Instant cornbread mixes
Biscuit mix
Instant cheese sauce mix
Peanut butter powder
Shortening powder
Salad dressing mix
Margarine powder
Liquid Butter Buds
Butter Bud sprinkles
Home made syrups
Instant gravy mix
Butter powder
Tomato powder
Cream sauce
Also check out our manual:

I also like to minimize the amount of food that has to be refrigerated when we travel.  To do this I have converted most of my fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and cheese to freeze-dried.  This not only drastically cuts down on needed refrigeration but also storage space and weight from canned goods.  I have found that Food 2 Store.com is a great place to buy these foods.  They are one of the few companies that fill their cans completely, so there is no wasted space and you get more for your money.

There are a few tricks that I’ve learned over time when using dehydrated or freeze-dried foods in place of fresh or frozen.  Register for our upcoming class Just Add Water on Tuesday, April 8th (2014) to learn how to use these products and cut your time in a hot kitchen — or get a copy of our Just Add Water manual for recipes and processes for using either freeze-dried or dehydrated products.
Click here to register for the class

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