I am going to share a simple recipe that requires no stove and any electric cookers. But it is one of the favorite food in space for astronauts. It is the Peanut Butter Honey Taco Sandwich. Yes, no bread but we use tortilla to make this sandwich. When our November Toka Box is all about astronomy, the recipe needs to revolve around the space too right?
More than the recipe, today’s post is all about food in space. What do astronauts eat? On board, the space shuttle, dehydrated foods, and drinks make up much of the menu. The foods are dehydrated and stored in airtight Ziploc bags? But why?
Why Dehydrated Foods
The primary reason for using dehydrated foods and drinks is that water, a byproduct of the shuttle’s fuel cells, is abundantly available for food preparation. Using rehydratable food and beverages significantly reduces weight and has an increased shelf life too. Astronauts need food that stays fresh for more than two years. So how do we dehydrate foods?
Dehydrating has been a food preservation practice for thousands of years, dating back to at least 12,000 BC. The Romans and Middle Easterners would dry fruits and vegetables in “still houses” which would use fire to dry out and smoke foods. Modern-day dehydration is done by circulating hot and dry air across the food. The temperatures are high enough to remove water but not high enough to cook the food. The dehydrated food is usually withered and harder.
One such example is the fruit loops and it was our last year toka chef recipe pick. Basically, you puree the fruit and bake them at low temperature for prolonged hours to dry them up.
Freeze drying was used during World War II as a way to preserve blood plasma, medicine and later, food for the troops.It is a relatively simple process. The food is placed on large racks inside of a vacuum chamber. The temperature is lowered to below freezing and then slowly raised. The water in the food moves from a solid state to a gaseous state – maintaining the structure of the food and keeping the nutritional value. [ Referred here]
Toka Chef Moment
Now coming back to the recipe, we came across quite a few recipes for SPACE and this one intrigued us. It was the kiddo who picked this recipe and he wanted to try it all by himself. Yes, you read it right. 🙂
Why is this recipe popular in space? Because it is prepared with a tortilla. When you make sandwiches with bread, there is a good chance of breadcrumbs falling and that is a big no-no in space. We don’t want breadcrumbs floating around the space shuttle.
Check this easy peasy recipe below
- Soft Tortilla (Astronauts use a special one in space that stays good for up to 18 months) – 1
- Peanut Butter – 1 tbsp or as required
- Honey – 1 tsp or as required.
- Spread the peanut butter generously on the taco.
- Then add the honey and spread it again.
- Fold it and enjoy.
It’s as simple as that. Now you know, how kiddo was able to prepare this all by himself. 🙂
Toka Yum Moment
The Peanut Butter Sandwich with honey is an acquired taste. Kiddo had a bite and then added some more honey and then more jam and gobbled it up. 🙂
Now tell us why we can’t use jam or jelly in space or what will happen to all the condiments?