So, we know we can freeze-dry candy, but… can we freeze-dry oranges? What about cheese? Wait, what about lasagna? Freeze-drying is an innovative and great tool that helps you preserve food. Once the food of your choice is freeze dried it can stay fresh for up to 25 years if stored correctly. If you’re new to this phenomenon, you might be asking yourself, what is freeze drying?
The freeze dryer freezes the food below zero. It is then heated up in the freeze dryer, and a vacuum is used to suck the water out of the food through sublimation. This means that it does not pass through a liquid form, but is changed straight to air. In most cases, this helps the food to retain its shape, but with candy, the shape can often turn into something completely different and super fun!
So, what is safe to freeze dry and what isn't?
Foods you CAN Freeze Dry:
- Cut up fruits and vegetables
- Small pieces of meat (raw and cooked)
- Eggs (raw and cooked)
- Prepared Meals/Entrees
- Herbs and Spices
- Fish & other Seafood
Foods you CANNOT Freeze Dry:
- Whole fruits and vegetables
- Large pieces of meat
- Peanut Butter
- Pure Chocolate
You cannot freeze dry whole fruits and vegetables as a lot of them are dense or have thick membranes, making them harder to fully freeze. The same goes for large pieces of meat. Since freezing is essential to the freeze dry process, it's safer to use bite-size pieces.
As for the rest of the list, the thing all of these foods have in common is that they are oil-based. As explained earlier, freeze drying works by removing the water in the food, since these are oil-based foods, the freeze drying process would not be able to fully work as it would leave behind oil.
So the answer to our question is yes you can freeze dry candy, but also an orange, and even cheese. And yes, it is definitely possible to freeze dry lasagna (though we here at That Sweet Lyfe prefer it fresh out of the oven). The key is to do the right prep so your food comes out just as tasty as the way you put it in! Stay tuned for our blog next week on the advantages of freeze drying.