My Thoughts on Dry Potatoes:

Potatoes are such a great food.  There are so many ways to use them!   I love them as hasbrowns, in soups, as a thickener for sauces, mashed etc.  There are also many ways to add potatoes to your food storage, or home store.  In fact, through THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) and their THRIVE brand, there are three ways.  I love having this type of versatility in my home store.  So, today, I thought I’d highlight these three types of potatoes so you know just what the differences are and can be sure to add what you really want to your home store.

The four different types are (1) Freeze Dried Potato Dices, (2) Dehydrated Potato Chunks, (3) Potato Beads, and (4) Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

Freeze Dried Potato Dices:

Potato Dices are real 100% potatoes. They have been pre-cooked and then freeze dried and have a 25 year shelf life.  The only difference between these potatoes and fresh is that they don’t have any water.  If you hydrate them, they will work just like potato dices you froze and then defrosted.  They have no additives or preservatives.  Nothing but potatoes here!  When dry, you can very easily crush them to a powder.  That powder works wonders as a thickener in soups, stews and gravies.  They hydrate very quickly and can be used in soups, breakfast casseroles or as hash browns.  They also make very tasty mashed potatoes: not like instant mashed potatoes, these taste just like fresh!  And they save time: no more washing and peeling and dicing.   The only thing these potatoes don’t do well (in my opinion) is give you big chunks in soups, potato salad etc.  This is because they hydrate very quickly, and if you cook them too long, they just become extremely soft.  Each#10 can has about 1650 calories worth of potatoes.

 

 

Dehydrated Potato Chunks:

Potato Chunks are 100% real potatoes.  But they are dehydrated instead of freeze dried.  They still have a 25 year shelf life.  They are not as similar to fresh potatoes as the freeze dried dices b/c heat was applied to the chunks to remove the water and that changes their structure a bit (similar to how a grape is changed to a raisin).  They are very hard when dry and cannot be broken with with your hand or crushed to a powder.  However, they are just potatoes: no additives or preservative here either!  And still no washing or pealing or dicing! They take 20-25 minutes to hydrate in boiling water and even then, they are still a bit chewy.  They work well in potato soups when you want a chunkier potato (like a chowder).  They also work well in potato salads.  Each #10 can has about 8100 calories worth of potatoes.

 

 

 

Potato Beads


Potato Beads are not 100% real potatoes.  While the main ingredient is dehydrated potatoes, they also contain salt, oil, artificial colors and flavors and other preservatives.   They have a 8 year shelf life.  They can easily be crushed to a powder.  They hydrate very quickly and are meant to be used as a thickener in soups & stews or as quick, flavorful mashed potatoes.  You can make instant mashed potatoes in just 2 minutes with these beads.   Each can includes about 950 calories.

 

Tips:

Many of these I already mentioned in the descriptions above, but a few are worth repeating:

Know which is which!

Make sure you know the difference between the potatoes!

  • The freeze dried dices cook very quickly and eventually kind of dissolve.  Don’t use them if you want hearty chunks, or add them to a soup just a few minutes before eating.
  • If you want hearty chunks, use the dehydrated potato chunks, just remember, you will need to cook them for quite a while to make them soft enough to eat.
  • If you need mashed potatoes quick or need to thicken a soup or stew that ended up a bit to watery, use the potato beads
  • If you just want a quick, delicious side to add to a meal, use the scalloped potatoes!
Overcook vs Undercook

It is very hard to overcook the dehydrated potato chunks.  Plan more time than you think you will need to make them soft.  But, I almost always overcook the dices!  Check them often!

Conversions etc

I store and use THRIVE Potatoes.  As such, everything else I mention below will be about THRIVE Potatoes.  Other brands may differ.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also sell these beans and will make a small commission if you purchase them after clicking through those links.  You can read more about that here.

Conversion:

Dices:

1 cup dry = 1 cup peeled, diced potatoes.

 

Chunks:

1 cup dry = 2 cups peeled, diced potatoes

 

Beads:

1 cup dry  = 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

 

Scalloped:

1 pkg (2 cups dry) = 4-5 one half cup servings

Price vs grocery store?

All are more expensive than potatoes at the grocery store, but in my opinion are worth it for the shelf life and convenience (no cutting, peeling dicing etc)
See current pricing here.

 

*Current through Oct ‘12.

Sizes Available:

Dices & Chunks:
Available in a pouch (about 1 cup dry), pantry can (about 3 cups dry) and a #10 (about 12 cups dry)

Beads:

Only available in the pantry can or #10 can

 

Scalloped:
Available as a single pouch (2 cups dry) or a 5 pk of pouches (so 10 cups dry total)

Find All Sizes Here

Shelf Life:

Dices:

25 years unopened and 2 years opened.

 

Chunks:
25 years unopened and 18 mo opened.

 

Beads:

8 years unopened and 2 years opened

 

Scalloped:

5 years unopened