One of the things that stopped me from using freeze dried/dehydrated foods in the past was the fear of the unknown. I was too scared to open those intimidating looking #10 cans so they just sat there for years! I’m hoping to alleviate any similar fears some of you may have by giving you a peek into my pantry. Let me know if there are any other cans you would like to take a peek in and I’ll be happy to oblige.
One of my new favorite freeze dried ingredients is chopped spinach. For years I thought that I thoroughly detested disliked spinach but I recently realized that I only despised cooking with spinach. I would buy fresh spinach at the grocery store with every good intention of using it but homework, scout meetings, soccer, debilitating fatigue, life would get in the way and my good intentions were left decomposing in the refrigerator. Then I tried using frozen spinach but hated the whole process of thawing and squeezing the water out of it. The finished product just did not look as appealing to me as the fresh spinach.
I was skeptical of the freeze dried spinach at first but am now a firm believer in the power of freeze dried veggies-.my kids are actually eating it without complaint! I just opened our third can today and have two more on order.
There are several different ways you can use this product.
> Toss it as is into spaghetti sauces or eggs (just add a little extra liquid to the pan to refresh the spinach)
> Rehydrate it and use it in recipe that calls for spinach (like spinach artichoke dip)
> Rehydrate it and add it as a topping for your pizza
> Use it in make ahead jar meal mixes like the Sausage Skillet Lasagna or Make Ahead Spaghetti Mix
I’ll add more details and pictures to this post as I figure out more ways to use the spinach but for now you can check out the spinach and other freeze dried veggies here. Happy Cooking!
This is rapidly becoming one of our favorite jar meals! It is versatile and be customized for your family. These measurements are for making a quart size jar which is more than enough to feed my family of 5 (including my ravenous teens). If you would like to make a smaller portion you can half the recipe and put it in a pint size jar.
To make the jar meal (quart size jar)
Add all of the base ingredients to the jar in the order provided. Next, add up to 2 cups of your favorite add in veggies.
To cook the saghetti sauce (quart size jar) Add the contents of the jar and 5-6 cups of water (depending on desired thickness) to a cooking pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables and meat are fully rehydrated and tender. Add more if needed. Serve over cooked pasta or rice.
For my friends in cooking group
The spaghetti sauce jar that I demonstrate includes the following add ins:
1/4 cup Zucchini
1/4 cup Spinach
2 TBSP Mushrooms
2 TBSP Mixed Bell Peppers
1 tsp Green Chili Peppers
Tonight was one of those nights. The kids were enjoying the beautiful weather outside with friends, my husband was stuck at work, and I was focused on prepping for the upcoming school year. Before I knew it, the kids were done playing outside and were looking for dinner. I ran to my collection of THRIVE veggies to see what I could throw together super fast and came up with this recipe (on the fly! I’m so happy it worked out).
Time: the time from “Seriously? It’s 7pm already?” to “Dinner’s Ready!!” was about 15 minutes
Ingredients (for the pizza shown in the pic)
*Ingredient measurements non specific. Measure ingredients “to taste”
It makes sense that one of the first food changes in our household would be our weekly pizza order. When our kids were younger our family used to break out the baking supplies to make our own pizzas every week. I’m not sure why we ever replaced our little tradition with the more expensive, less tasty alternative but we decided it was about time to claim pizza night.
We dusted off our favorite recipe and adjusted the toppings to include our new THRIVE LIFE items. This recipe is super fast and easy to begin with but it definitely helps to not have to chop veggies or cook any meat! All of the toppings in the pizza shown below (except the pepperoni) were scooped from #10 cans, rehydrated, and added to the pizza prior to baking. Delicious!
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105º to 115º F)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
5 cups flour
> Dissolve the yeast in the water and wait for it to proof (about 5 minutes)
> Add the sugar, salt, and oil to the yeast mixture
> Gradually add the flour a little at a time until you have a doughy ball
> Dump the mixture onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough
> Separate into 3-4 smaller dough balls (depending on the number & size of your intended pizzas)
> Roll out & press dough onto a greased pizza pan
> Add toppings and bake at 450º for 8-10 minutes (until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned)
Popular THRIVE LIFE Toppings
[Pour the desired amount of toppings into a bowl and add a little bit of water to rehydrate. Let the toppings sit for about 5 minutes, drain excess water, then add to your pizza prior to baking]
Do you have one of those closets? You know what I’m talkin’ about. It’s the landing zone for discarded jackets, mismatched gloves, lost shoes, outdoor toys, umbrellas, old printer cartridges, broken laptops, a tangle of cords that plug to something from 2001…. you get the idea. Our hallway closet was so full that we used to pretend it was the entrance to Narnia!
Our family is more committed to our new food journey than we are to 2001 printer cables so we decided to chuck the whole closet and start fresh! I wish I had a “before” picture to share with you but honestly, I would be too horrified to post it. I’m going to try and be real on here about our journey but some things should just stay private (*grin).
These can rotators were the first thing that I purchased from Thrive Life and I couldn’t be happier with them! I’d been pining over them for years and knew they would be the first thing I bought when I finally took the plunge to start this food journey. Thankfully they were on sale so I got a great price on them.
The rotators on the top are the Cupboard size Cansolidators and the bottom ones are the Pantry size Cansolidators. These can rotators were easy to assemble and customize. You simply snap the side panels to the bottom grid bar in the desired can width and then snap on the top grid bar to stabilize it. You can also take them apart and reassemble them easily if you need to readjust the can widths at a later date. My favorite thing about the cansolidators is the way that I can easily tell in a glance if I am running low on something like spaghetti sauce. I also like the fact that my kids now love to stock the pantry after a grocery run so that’s one less thing I have to worry about. An added bonus is that I know we are always using the oldest cans first so I no longer have to worry about the cans in the back of the pantry expiring.
If you are now motivated to run out and get your own can rotators, be sure to order through a Thrive Life consultant! Consultants are able to get you a better price through unadvertised specials and consultant prices than what you can find on the main website. You can also shoot me an email and I will let you know when they hit a great price so you can gobble them up and turn your underutilized spaces into a fabulous new pantry!