Saturday, December 15, 2012

Freeze-Dried Food Recipe: Zucchini Raisin Cookies

Today we have a guest post from the lovely Empress of Drac, Agnes Embile Jimenez.  Agnes asked me if she could write a guest post for Life, Love, and Food, and because I am the curious type, I said sure!  If you are interested in writing a guest post for this blog, feel free to e-mail me at lifeloveandfood [at] gmail [dot] com.  I’ll probably say yes, but if it’s a science-related post, you’d better be up to the task.  I take my science seriously around here.

And now for the cookies!

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It is always important to be prepared when emergency strikes.  A person should amass a supply of food that stays fresh for a long time.  There are many places that sell foods with a long shelf life.  Most often people purchase freeze-dried or dehydrated foods to stock pantry shelves.  These items take up little space and tend to stack nicely.  On the downside, many people do not know how to use these foods in everyday meal preparation, especially when it comes to dessert.  Here is a tasty treat that is easy to prepare from stored ingredients: cookies! 

Before beginning the recipe, it is necessary to reconstitute the dehydrated ingredients.  To rehydrate food, it is important to take into consideration how much water will be necessary.  Dehydrated food normally doubles in size when reintroduced to water.  Many dehydrated products come with instructions that should be followed to obtain best results.  It can take a few hours for food to become rehydrated.  There are many benefits to using dehydrated ingredients in recipes. Since they have a long shelf life, they can remain untouched for years without worries about spoilage.  Also, dehydration is a process that retains most vitamins and minerals.  They are also safer than canned foods because there is no risk of botulism.  In the end, no one will ever be able to taste the difference between dehydrated and fresh ingredients.

Zucchini Raisin Cookies

1/2 cup Crisco*

3/4 cup honey

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1/2 cup freeze-dried shredded zucchini, rehydrated (or 1 cup fresh shredded zucchini)

1/2 cup freeze-dried raisins, rehydrated (or 1 cup fresh raisins)

To begin the cookies when all of the ingredients are ready, the oven should be preheated to 350 degrees and the cookie sheets are greased. Crisco, vanilla, and honey are creamed together in a large bowl.  An egg is beaten and added to the mixture until well combined.  In a separate bowl, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt are combined.  They are slowly added into the honey mix.  The rolled oats, nuts, zucchini, and raisins are added.  Cookies are dropped by teaspoon onto the cookie sheets and flattened with a fork.  They are baked for approximately 10 minutes until brown, and then cooled on wire racks.  The resulting cookies are a nutritious and delicious dessert treat.

* Agnes recommends Crisco for crispiest results but says that butter could be used as well.  Rosiecat only uses Crisco for seasoning her cast-iron skillet, so she’d lean toward using butter, preferably from cows that got to eat grass in a pasture.

About our guest author:  Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer.  She writes for many online establishments and supports those that offer alternative lifestyles to consumers.  She is a frugal living and self-sufficiency advocate and also a self-proclaimed foodie.  She recommends for those budget-conscious home cooks who want to get big savings in shopping for freeze-dried foods.  You may follow Food Insurance on Twitter.

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