Freeze-dried food is commonly recognized as a staple in backpacking and emergency food supplies. Add boiling water, and voilà: A delicious hot meal. But the truth is that freeze-dried food is remarkably versatile and has hundreds of different applications. Below are five simple ways to incorporate these power-packed foods into your diet.

1. Sprinkle it on top

Freeze-drying preserves the full flavor of your favorite fruits and vegetables, and can provide a unique textural contrast to the existing flavors and textures of a meal. Try sprinkling chopped freeze-dried strawberries on top of ice cream, or adding a dash of freeze-dried tomato on top of a slice of pizza for a healthy crunch.

2. Snack time

Taking a handful of freeze-dried fruits or veggies along is the perfect complement to an on-the-go lifestyle. There are plenty of ways to transport freeze-dried snacks: plastic baggies, Tupperware, or in the palm of your hand. These tasty snacks also come in a variety of different forms in stores, packaged and ready for purchase.

3. Mix in with dessert

Freeze-dried foods open up the field for many different dessert opportunities. Try out a deconstructed apple pie with ice cream, caramel, scones, and freeze-dried apples (sort of like this recipe). Or try mixing freeze-dried strawberries into chocolate mousse. Freeze-dried food’s incredible ability to remain crunchy or rehydrate into its original form makes it a powerful and creative addition to any treat.  

4. Pack it for later

Have a meal you want to save and eat later, or need to keep something fresh for a long time? Freeze-dried food keeps for as long as you might need, which makes it the perfect companion for a car trip or in an emergency kit.

5. The entire meal

Freeze-dried food is a great snack and a nice addition to a meal, but if you are looking to double down on delicious and nutritious food, why not make a whole meal out of it? Freeze-drying can bring the best pre-prepared meals from professional kitchens to your table. You can find these sorts of meals in a number of stores, and many of them only require the addition of water to be ready-to-eat.

If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own freeze-dried meals at home. Just combine all the various freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and spices you are interested in, and you are ready to go!

If all this talk about incorporating freeze-dried food into your diet is exciting, discover Mercer’s lineup of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. If you have great recipes you would like to share, let us know on Twitter or Facebook, and make sure to get in contact with us to make your freeze-dried ideas a reality.