I said in my "Pizza Makes a Boy Happy" post that I'm not a lover of cooking. For that reason I seek out fast ways to cook a good meal. I learned about dehydrating foods through some YouTube videos that I found. The site is called dehydrate2store and there are 10 videos that teach about dehydrating and how to use it in cooking fast meals in the crockpot. I was so impressed with the information that I invested in the dehydrator that she used. It's called an Excalibur and has a fan in the back with 9 trays. I ordered it online and have been dehydrating and then putting the food in canning jars.
Today I timed myself on how long it took me to make a crockpot full of a nutritious, delicious soup. It was 10 minutes from start to finish. I have made this once already and it fed us one dinner and a few of us lunch the next day.
All I did was take 2/3 cup of several of the jars, added 1 can of beans I had on the food shelf, a can of tomatoes, water, a hot pepper, and a small frozen tupperware of refried beans I had made awhile back, grabbed pieces of ham I had in the refrigerator, added these and dinner was done.
Amazingly, the dehydrated food goes back to its original size and flavor and is easily stored as it dehydrates into a very small size. It's better than freezing to me as I don't have lots of freezer space after purchasing part of a cow and taking advantage of sales on fruit. Also, I've thought about the "what if" on power outages. Dehydrated food can last for years and years.