Freeze Dried Onions – Sautéed

 

Making Freeze Dried Onions Is A No-Brainer

Onions ready to be sautéed.

Most folks who own a Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer have freeze dried onions.  But, how many have thought about freeze drying onions that are sautéed?

Not many, I would imagine.

Well, I’m here to tell ya that there is nothing better than sprinkling a generous amount of freeze dried sautéed onions on top of a salad or any number of cooked or baked entrees in which onions are added!

 

Here’s How To Put It All Together…

Sautéed onions ready to be freeze dried.

Whip up a frying pan full of onions; add a tablespoon or two of a quality cooking oil.  I prefer olive oil – but, canola oil works well, too.

Some people who sauté onions add any one of a host of condiments for additional flavor.  Garlic salt is the ongoing favorite additive.

I like to add 3 or 4 tablespoons of Soy Sauce – along with a generous sprinkling of garlic powder – not garlic salt, since the soy sauce is already pretty salty.

 

Time To Freeze Dry Onions

Harvest Right Silicone Mats

First, lay some Harvest Right Silicone Mats in the freeze dryer trays to help reduce the chances of the juicy sautéed onions sticking to the trays during the freeze drying process.  Using the mats make cleanup much quicker and easier.

Then, add the sautéed onions to the trays – and load the trays into the freeze dryer.

  • Press the “START” option on the main screen of the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer.
  • On the next screen, pick “LIQUID” – since the onions are extra juicy from the sautéing.
  • Next, select the “NOT FROZEN” choice.
  • Finally, make sure the drain valve is closed – at right angles to the drain tube – and push “CONTINUE.”

For additional details, take a look at Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Operation.

That’s it!  Simple as can be, isn’t it?

One of my trays of sautéed onions before sticking them in the freeze dryer:

Sautéed onions before sticking them in the freeze dryer.

I hesitated putting this image in the article – but, as long as you know that they are onions, it doesn’t seem so off-putting to look at, huh?  After all, these are ONLY sautéed onions – for goodness sakes!

Normally, raw onions can be freeze dried in about 36 hours – give or take a few hours.  But, sautéed onions – that contain all that extra sauté juice – will take around 48 hours.

Process complete!  This is what the freeze dried onions – sautéed, of course – look like now:

Freeze dried onions – sautéed.

French’s Crispy Fried Onions

They not only look better than the store bought French’s Crispy Fried Onions – but, they taste better – they’re a whole lot cheaper – and, there won’t be a ton of preservatives in them!

Plus, when these sautéed onions are packaged and stored as they should be, they’ll last up to 25 years on the shelf!

TIP

Make sure that the onions are thoroughly freeze dried – both top and bottom – and break a few apart to double-check dryness.  Onions are very juicy and, sautéed onions are much juicier.  Freeze dried foods should be 100% dry before storage.  Any residual moisture will provide an inviting home to any harmful microbes and bacteria.

 

Properly Package And Store Freeze Dried Onions

Storage choices can be either Mason jars or Foodsaver bags.  Whichever you choose, add a 100cc oxygen absorber to each container.

I prefer using Mason jars – since they can be used an endless number of times – thus, it saves money.  Quart or half-gallon sized jars work best.  Choose “wide mouth” jars for easier insertion of food.  Those “regular mouth” jars can be difficult to fill up – creating quite a mess.

Mason jar packed with sautéed onion.

  • Fill the Mason jars – leaving a half inch or so of space at the top. Also, leave a bit of space in the Foodsaver bags – if that’s what is being used.
  • Add an oxygen absorber to each jar or bag.
  • Place a lid on each jar and vacuum seal – using a Mason jar attachment plugged into a Foodsaver Vacuum System. I like to add the screw-on metal bands to the jars for an added measure – but, don’t screw them on too tight or, the bands could warp the lid and ruin the vacuum seal.  The Foodsaver bags can be sealed directly with the Foodsaver Vacuum System without utilizing the attachment.
  • Label the containers with the vacuum sealing date and the contents – and then stick them on a storage shelf.

Now, you’re done – except for an occasional spot check – every couple of months – to ensure the jar or bag seals are holding well.

Now, we can move on to the next freeze drying project!

 

Bringing Sautéed Freeze Dried Onions Back To Life

Most freeze dried foods can be rehydrated by soaking in water for a few minutes – up to a half hour or so – to resume their original taste, texture, and feel.

But, the water will leach out some of the sauté flavor – weakening the taste.

Instead, I just sprinkle a generous portion of these freeze dried onions wherever I have a yen to do so – salads, baked dishes, stews, spaghetti sauces, chili, baked beans – you name it.

They are also very tasty as a standalone snack!

 

Time To Get Your Own Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer!

There’s never been a better time to own a freeze dryer.  Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryers are a very smart and cost effective tool to preserve all your foods!

Leave me a comment or send me an email for answers to questions or to relate your own freeze drying experiences!

 

Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com

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