Dehydrating Hot Sauce

Until recently it had never dawned on me to dehydrate my sauces in our food storage. I saw several videos on you tube on how to do this and thus my adventure begins.

This particular article is about dehydrating Louisiana Hot sauce. Our family loves this on chicken and fajitas. (Well, mostly me. 🙂 )

I started with a 64 fl oz container of sauce I bought at Sam’s Wholesale for just under $4.00.

hot sauce 1

I then lined my Excalibur trays with Non Stick Dehydrator Sheets. I have heard of people using wax paper, but I prefer to use these because they are thicker and when doing sauces or fruit leather it peels off very nicely and wipes clean. (My opinion is that it is more cost effective to purchase something I can use multiple times verses throwing something away and re buying more of it.)

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Next I measured a cup and a half of sauce per tray. Surprisingly, the entire 64 oz bottle of hot sauce fit on all five trays doing it this way. However, when I do it again I may only use one cup so it dries faster.

IMG_20131026_161629I set the dehydrator on 145° which is the setting used for fruit leather. I started this at 3:00 pm and let it run for about 8 hours at which point I had to go to bed. It was not dry in the center. I turned it down to 125° for the night because I was scared of over drying it. (silly, I know) In hindsight, it probably would of been alright to leave it at 145°, but being my first time I was leery.

When I awoke the next morning it still was not dry in the center so I cranked it back up to 145° and let it dry for another 9 hours for a total of 17 hours.

IMG_20131028_103736The key is that you do not want it to have the consistency of fruit leather. (fruit roll-ups) You want it to crack like a potato chip so when you blend it it forms a powder.

IMG_20131028_103728-1Now its time to pull out the chopper/blender. It is better to use a smaller one for these sorts of projects. Begin breaking off pieces of the hot sauce and packing it into the chopper.

IMG_20131028_103719I used my rival brand chopper and it did ok. However, I have been told by several people to purchase a Bella Rocket Blender to use when I want to do projects like this.  So now mine is on the way!! 🙂 Because of its reviews by preppers I have since added it to my *Amazing Gifts For Preppers* article.

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So what was the final outcome? A 64 fl oz container of hot sauce turned into a 2 cup, pint size jar of dehydrated hot sauce. Talk about saving space in your food storage pantry!! I was amazed.

Lousiana Hot SauceTo rehydrate the sauce, simply add a 1 to 3 ratio. One part powder to three parts (more or less to taste) hot water. It turned back into its original form in a matter of minutes and you would never know the difference.

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Fettuccine Alfredo – Meal In A Jar

IMG_20130824_101817Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic Italian dish made up of Parmesan cheese, butter and fettuccine noodles. Although Alfredo is widely known in Italy, the term Fettuccine is not, it is simply known as pasta with butter and cheese.  In the US people often add things such as broccoli, parsley, garlic, cream, shrimp or chicken.

This dish is a favorite of many, many people, including our family. So when thinking of meals I wanted for food storage this came to mind. I realize there are other meal in jar recipes for this dish, however, I am bringing my own to the table on this one. As with any other meal you create, you can add or remove any items you like to meet your families likes and dislike.

Recipe Yields 4 meals that will feed a family of four adults. One thing I love about making these meals is that often times I will already have most of the ingredients on hand from other meals I have created. Leaving me to purchase whatever I am missing, usually the meat.

alfredo 4Tools needed:

Ingredients: (per jar)

alfredo 2Directions:

  1. In your quart size jar, add about half the bag of noodles and shake down so they are packed as well as you can.
  2. In a baggy, add 1 cup of Alfredo mix and 1/2 cup powdered milk. Seal with as little air as possible. Place baggy on top of noodles and seal jar. If you do not want chicken or any other ingredients in your pasta then you are done. 🙂 However, if you do want to add chicken, onions, mushrooms or any other ingredients then you will need your pint size jars as well.

In a pint size jar layer FD food as followed:

  1. 1 cup of FD Chicken
  2. 1/4 cup FD onions
  3. 1-2 tablespoons garlic and herb mix
  4. Shake down mix to pack tight.
  5. Add 1/2 cup FD mushrooms to finish filling jar, shake down
  6. Add lids and seal with Vacuum sealer or add Oxygen absorber and screw on lids.
alfredo 3Cooking directions for label:
  1. Boil 2 cups of water, remove from heat and add contents of pint jar. Stir Once. Let sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate. Drain off excess water after food is re-hydrated.
  2. Mix Alfredo/milk mix with 4 cups of hot water, whisk well, set aside.
  3. Bring 8-10 cups of water to a rolling boil in large pot and cook noodles AL Dente, drain. (Almost done, but still firm.)
  4. Pour Alfredo/ Milk mixture into large pot and turn on medium high heat, whisking periodically as it heats.
  5. Once mix starts to boil slowly, add pasta and meat into pot, bring to a full rolling boil. (It will seem watery at first, it will thicken as it cooks.)
  6. Boil for approx 5 min stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is of desired consistency.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with garlic bread and/or salad.

Buffalo Spice Mix

IMG_20130531_090255Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Note: The ingredient list above is for one serving. Not for a complete Quart Jar

Home Made Cheese Sauce

IMG_20130531_090307This is a recipe that we make with powdered cheese sauce that makes it taste so much better. This sauce can be used with anything that requires cheese in a recipe for dehydrated meals. We also use this a LOT for mac n cheese versus buying the boxed kind. The measurements below are for one small batch that would be used for making one meal. We will typically make up a large half-gallon mason jar of the mix for food storage and every day use. Just make sure to add directions on the out side of the jar. (You will use about one cup of mix per use if mixing a batch in a large jar.)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of powdered cheese blend, ( #10 can of Powdered Cheese Sauce)

1/3 cup basic sauce mix, click here for basic sauce mix.

2 tablespoons dehydrated butter

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Add sauce mix and whisk together until sauce starts to thicken. Pour over pasta.

Basic Sauce Mix

Photo: Rainy Day Food Storage

Photo: Rainy Day Food Storage

This recipe is used in a lot of the meals in jars recipes that I will be posting. It was made by a wonderful prepper girl at Rainy Day Food Storage. It is used for many things such as Alfredo, Pizza, or basic cheese sauce recipes.

 

Mix well together in a medium sized bowl. Store in a mason jar and label.