Preparedness Challenge Week 8
The challenge this week is to add dehydrated potatoes to your food storage.
Why Are Potatoes Important in Your Food Storage?
Potatoes are a well-loved, all-American food. They are tasty, versatile, filling, inexpensive, and easy-to-store. They can be prepared in a long list of satisfying side dishes and are surprisingly healthy—lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They provide healthy calories along with a dose of comfort—both needed in an emergency. Potatoes are a smart choice for your preparedness plan!
Four Kinds of Dehydrated Potatoes
Dehydrated potato flakes are an excellent food to add to both your everyday pantry and your long-term home storage. Instant mashed potatoes are extremely easy to prepare, which makes them especially helpful in an emergency. Simply mix dehydrated potato flakes with boiling water and fluff with a fork.
Enterprising food companies have created gourmet mashed potato options with add-ons like cheeses, roasted garlic, bacon, chives, sour cream and onions, etc.
Dehydrated potato flakes can also be used to thicken soups, to make bread fluffier, and as breading for fried foods.
DEHYDRATED SHREDDED POTATOS
When reconstituted, dry, shredded potatoes can be used like fresh, grated potatoes. To use, they need to be soaked, drained, and patted dry. They can be substituted in any recipe that calls for hash browns or shredded potatoes.
DEHYDRATED POTATO SLICES AND DICES
Plain dehydrated potato slices and diced potatoes are reconstituted to use in scalloped potatoes, potatoes au gratin, potato casseroles, stews, soups, or as roasted potatoes. Or, they also come as easy-to-use side dishes, complete with cheese, sauce mix, add-ins, and spices.
DEHYDRATED POTATO SOUPS
Potato soup mixes are still another way to add potatoes to your preparedness pantry.
How Many Potatoes Should You Store?
You may want to store potatoes for both short-term and long-term use. Your circumstances will help determine how much to store.
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR DECISION
- Does your family like potatoes?
- How often to you eat them?
- How many people are you planning to store food for?
- How many servings of potatoes do you want to have in your food storage?
- How long do you want your food storage to last?
- What other foods do you plan to have in your storage?
- How much storage space do you have?
- What is your budget for food storage?
KEEP IT SIMPLE TO START WITH
Begin by storing enough potatoes for one month and, over time, increase it to three months. The preparedness challenges are designed to help you prepare for short-term crises and emergencies. If you also have long-term food storage goals, plain dehydrated potatoes are a good choice because they have a long shelf life.
Potatoes in Your Short-Term Food Storage
To keep it simple, for the immediate future, add 100 servings of dehydrated potato products to your short-term food storage. This is just a guideline, a starting place, so don’t hesitate to add more if it better fits your circumstances.
To add 100 servings, one option is to buy 25 four-serving packages of dehydrated potatoes. Choose a selection of packages, including mashed potatoes in several flavors, potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes, and a variety of potato soups. These products only require boiling water to reconstitute. One hundred servings will give a family of four enough servings of potatoes for almost a month.
A second choice is to purchase two or three #10 cans of dehydrated potato flakes. Most cans of instant potato flakes contain about 40 servings of potatoes. Add your own bacon pieces, dehydrated chives, sour cream, cheese, etc.
Potatoes In Your Long-Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage could be called “food insurance.” You hope you will never have to use it, but if you do, it will keep you alive. If this is your goal, store dehydrated potato flakes in #10 cans. They are compact, economical, and have a long shelf life. You can also purchase them in giant Mylar bags stored in 5-gallon super pails.
Potato granules, used as an ingredient in food manufacturing, is another choice for long term storage. They are more compact than potato flakes and will take up less room in your food storage. A #10 can of potato granules holds about double the number of servings as a #10 can of potato flakes. The price per serving is usually comparable. They are available from Rainy Day Foods.
What Is the Shelf Life for Dehydrated Potatoes?
If stored properly, dehydrated potatoes have a shelf life of twenty years. Ideally, use them within five years and replenish your supply.
For a long shelf life, purchase dehydrated potatoes in #10 cans or large Mylar bags packaged in food storage buckets. Be sure they are packaged with oxygen absorbers, and store them in a cool, dry, dark place.
Tips for Purchasing Potatoes for Food Storage
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE DEHYDRATED POTATOES?
Look for packages of dehydrated mashed potatoes at grocery stores. You can sometimes also purchase directly from the manufacturer such as Idahoan.
The Home Storage Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sells dehydrated potato flakes in #10 cans. Check availability at local Home Storage Centers. Rainy Day Foods also sells dehydrated potato flakes and dehydrated potato granules in several types of packaging.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU PAY FOR POTATOES?
Dehydrated potato flakes packaged in #10 cans should cost around twenty cents a serving. Flavored mashed potato and potato casseroles in pouches should cost between twenty-five and thirty cents a serving.
Be sure to take the time to calculate the cost per serving. (Just divide the cost of the package by the number of servings stated on the nutrition label.) Be aware that some food storage companies sell dehydrated potatoes for more than triple these prices!
Dehydrating Your Own Sliced Potatoes
You can dehydrate potatoes that will be just like the ones you buy. Begin with a good product—choose firm, fresh potatoes. Peeled potatoes turn brown very quickly, so, if you want nice white dehydrated potatoes there are two important things you must do.
First, keep peeled potatoes and potato slices submerged in cold water during preparation. You may want to add citric acid or lemon juice to the water. Second, blanch sliced potatoes four or five minutes to stop enzyme action before you place them in the dehydrator.
TIPS FOR DEHYDRATING POTATOES
- Clean and scrub potatoes, peel if desired.
- As you peel each potato, immediately place it in cold water.
- Use a mandolin to make slices a uniform thickness, between one-eighth and one-fourth inch thick.
- Wear a protective glove to protect your hand from getting cut.
- Immediately put sliced potatoes back in cold water.
- Blanch the potato slices in a large pot of boiling water for four to six minutes. They should be fork-tender.
- Drain potato slices, place on a kitchen towel, and pat dry.
- Arrange potato slices on dehydrator trays.
- Dehydrate slices at 125 to 130 degrees for six to eight hours.
- Slices should be crisp when dry.
- Store potato slices in a resealable bag to even out the moisture.
- Store in airtight containers for up to two years.
Find out more about storing foods and how to preserve food for storage in Crisis Preparedness Handbook, Third Edition (2020). If you don’t already have a copy, you can find it here on my website CrisisPreparedness.com. Or, read it on Amazon in the Kindle version or hard copy version.
5 thoughts on “Tips for Adding Dehydrated Potatoes to Your Food Storage”
I have potatoes I want to dehydrate but didn’t know how. Thank you for printing how to dehydrate potatoes. This is the “hole” I’m working to fill this week.
Good. Glad that helped. Thank you for your comment.
I’ve got tons of instant potatoes I’ve been storing away, also filled a Charles Chips with dehydrated sliced potatoes that I dehydrated myself. Got a great dehydrated and love using it.
Charles Chips can. Forgot to put the word can in there
Glad it is working for you!