June 09, 2013

My taste test of Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Orange Pieces (UPDATE: Brand now called "Emergency Essentials")

**Updated to add;  the Provident Pantry brand changed their labels and name to Emergency Essentials.  SAME product.  Same company - they just updated everything in 2014 to the Emergency Essentials branding.)

Sometimes my posts come from something I am currently eating or drinking;  that is where this idea was born.  We have a stocked storage pantry with foods that are for long term emergency storage.  Last week I was craving vitamin C.  However, we had no oranges or citrus fruits in the house.  No problem.  I knew I had bought a can of freeze dried orange pieces - which I had not opened nor tried previously, so I decided this would be a good idea to take a can out of storage and give it a taste-test.

Although there are few different brands of freeze dried oranges on the market, the one I had purchased was Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Orange Pieces.  A large #10 can (think; restaurant size) although shaking it, you can tell it's not packed to the top and you have to keep in mind freeze dried foods are extremely light so the weight of the whole can is only about 6 ounces!

Opening up the can I saw it was about half full.  It had settled in shipping so that was understandable.  I wasn't happy to see there was a lot of powder in the lower 1/3 of the can, but that is also understandable as the orange pieces are so delicate in their freeze dried state.

My personal thoughts upon reviewing the product was that there were many full sized pieces of oranges, so that was a plus.  They reminded me of the look and feel of a styrofoam peanut or even a can of pork rinds.  The pieces feel like packing peanuts and are crisp to the touch.

Eating them dry as a snack was my initial plan.  They had a good flavor and I could taste the tang of the citrus and the taste of real, fresh oranges.  Reconstituting the pieces wasn't in my plans but I did so to see what a piece would look and feel and taste like.  Reconstituted with water for a few minutes, they reminded me of small Mandarin orange pieces you buy in a can of liquid at the store.  If you like 'little canned oranges' then you would like these.  I preferred them dry and right out of the can!

While not crazy about the powdered product, it didn't go to waste.  By mixing the powder with water I found it made an instant orange juice drink that was perfectly fine to drink and extremely healthy as there is no added sugars.  It was like a pulp orange juice drink.

Here is the product description I found for them on Amazon;  Fresh orange segments are flash frozen, dried, and packed for long-term storage to allow you the nutrition and great flavor of this fruit anytime. It's delicious even straight from the can. Net Weight: 6 oz. The Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Orange Pieces is packed in a # 10 size can (approx. 8/10 of a gallon) with an oxygen absorber.

My final thoughts are that for every day use they are far too expensive for a family -  and it would be more affordable to simply keep fresh oranges on hand.  However, for emergency storage, hiking, camping or road trips, I love this product and this idea.  Just be prepared for a lot of powder.

I think they resemble packing peanuts or pork rinds

Very light, airy and crisp with a tang

You might also be interested in starting to search for some of the other hundreds of freeze dried and dehydrated foods available - these from Amazon;
Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries 7 Oz Can
Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Banana Slices - 16 oz
Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Super Sweet Corn - 16 oz
Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Celery Pieces - 4 oz
Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Cinnamon Apple Slices
Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Peach Slices - 9 oz


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