5 Sustainable Fall Recipes with Freeze-Dried Foods to Reduce Food Waste
From apples to pumpkins to broccoli, autumn is a time of abundance for produce. Hitting the local farmer's market is one way to stock up on them. But freeze dried foods are an excellent alternative if you want to take things a (sustainable) step further. Thanks to their longer shelf life, they help us reduce food waste and are friendlier to the environment. So, if you want to enjoy the season's most flavorful bounty without burdening the planet, these sustainable fall recipes with freeze-dried foods will help you minimize food waste while keeping your taste buds happy.
1. Black Bean Pumpkin Chili
Beans and pumpkin scream fall, and in this sustainable fall recipe with freeze dried foods, the two join forces for the ultimate chilly-weather meal. To make things even easier for you (and sustainable thanks to the fewer cooking utensils required), make the dish in a Crock-Pot. To top things off, serve the chili with a slice of toasted bread.
- 3 cups dehydrated black beans
- 2 cups dehydrated lentils
- 1 14-ounce can of pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups dried tomato flakes
- 10 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup dried onions
- 2 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 3 tbsp dried jalapeño peppers
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Add the beans to a pot and fill with enough water to coat the beans. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to the pressure cooker and add all the remaining ingredients. Cook for 30-35 minutes until the beans are fork-tender. If the chili is thick, add 1/2 cup of stock. Serve immediately or cool and freeze for up to 3 months.
2. Sweet Potato Soup with Peanuts
Creamy is the name of the game for this sustainable fall recipe, as a blend of sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and almond butter thickens the soup. A pinch of peppery ginger and other savory herbs add spice to the mix, making the dish a wise choice for cold evenings.
- 3 cups freeze dried potatoes
- 3 tbsp dried onions
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- A pinch of chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add the potatoes and 5 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain the water and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for a minute. Add the chili powder, ginger, and turmeric (if using) and sauté for 20 more seconds to intensify their flavors and aromas. Add the potatoes and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the stock and coconut milk and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Transfer the soup to a food processor and add the peanut butter. Pulse until the potatoes are pureed. Transfer back to the saucepan and add a little water if the consistency of the soup is too thick for you. Otherwise, the soup is ready to serve.
3. Cheesy Broccoli Mac'n'Cheese
While simple and easy to make, mac & cheese is one of those dishes that fits any occasion, from weeknight dinners to holiday sides. This sustainable fall recipe with freeze dried foods proves that the meal is far more versatile than we thought, as it can feature veggies like broccoli and still keep our healthy eating goals in check.
- 1 lb short pasta (elbow, penne, etc.)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups freeze dried broccoli
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add the broccoli and 3 cups of warm water to a pot. Turn the heat to medium-low and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until fork-tender, strain, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package's instructions. Strain and set aside with the broccoli.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat to make the cheesy sauce. Add the flour and whisk until the roux is clump-free. Cook for a couple of minutes until the roux is golden.
- Pour in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to low and cook the sauce for about 10 minutes until it thickens. Add the Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese and whisk until melted.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and pour it over the pasta and broccoli. Stir to combine and serve.
4. Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread
While cranberries are a flavor bomb in their own right, they stand out even more when paired with oranges. Combining sweet with tart and sprinkling some warm spices and crunchy walnuts in between, it is comfort snacking at its finest. But that's not just what this recipe does best. Adding freeze dried cranberries produces almost zero food waste, and the treat can be frozen for up to 3 months for sustainable snacking.
- 1 cup freeze dried cranberries
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Add the cranberries and 2 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325oF and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
- Add the orange juice, boiling water, and butter to a bowl and stir until melted.
- Add the sugar and egg in a separate bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the orange mixture. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts.
- Blend in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
5. Apple Muffins
Perfect for a simple dessert or a busy morning breakfast, this apple muffin recipe is a great way to ease your way back to your kitchen after a long, hot summer of oven-free cooking. Plus, it's sustainable as it calls for freeze dried apples that leave no food waste behind.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups freeze dried apples
- 3/4 granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the apples and 3 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain the water and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375oF and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a bowl. Mix until combined. Set aside.
- Add the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl and whisk for about a minute. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract and whisk again for 10 more seconds. Stir in the apples, walnuts, and the flour mixture.
- Divide the batter between the liners and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Which of these sustainable fall recipes with freeze dried foods has inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments below!
- Media Contributor