Alternatives to Freeze Dried Meal Packs

I did a lot of tramping in my youth, short and some very long trips. Coming back into it now kids are at school, I've been surprised how much everyone seems to be relying on Back Country Cuisine packaged meals. I never went that way in the 80's, think we were too poor/stingy. Old habits die hard, I find it hard to shell out for something in a package that costs more than $60 per kilo. We used to be able to buy kilo bags of cheese powder for about the same price as milk powder, also kilo bags of freeze dried mince at what I recall was a reasonable price. In North America we could get big bags of cheap instant refried bean mix that took care of most of the protein needs. Staple meals were therefore pasta and cheese powder with a maggi soup and a few surprise beans, or mince curry plus rice or refried bean mix plus rice. None of this stuff seems available here/any more. BCC dried mince comes in small packets at at least $60 per kilo, parmesan cheese powder is at least the same price per kilo. What are people who aren't going the BCC route taking now days? I'm looking for recipes / ideas that are cheap, don't require huge amounts of time fiddling around with a dehydrator before a trip, but are light and keep indefinitely for a long trip while taking little time/fuel to prepare on the trip.
28 comments
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Most "bacon bits" are soy based
The dehy spud can have nasties in it too such as BHT but I still buy it. For a while I was buying dehy organic spud dehy from Germany at our local organic supermarket but then they stopped stocking it. Darn it.
hi, i was wondering if anyone knows whereto buy dehydrated/dried vegetable mix? been looking around bin inn, supermarkets and asian grocery stores but havnt found anything apart from the soup mixes,potato flakes and split peas. thanks in advance van
I make my own now. Instead of a dehydrator, I have a cardboard box with a bunch of windows cut in it that I put in an insect netting bag and hang under the roof of my woodpile where it gets reasonable air flow. I'll slice up zucchinis from the garden and thread the slices on bamboo skewers and hang them in the box. Similarly with mushrooms. Sliced up onions and garlic go on kitchen towels and are held off the bottom of the box by bamboo skewers. Leave for a hopefully dry and breezy week and then put in a ziplock bag with a couple of packets of desiccant. I'm doing Biltong now in the same box, can do a couple of kilos of rump or topside steak into biltong without too much effort, it then seems to keep indefinitely and is good for a snack or in a stew. I can post a recipe and more info later if anyone is interested.
You used to buy Continental Surprise veg mix, but now they only have peas. You can get dried mushrooms from Asian supermarkets. They need soaking for a while, but tastes out pretty good with some spicy noodles
Backcountry cuisine have a good mixed veg product in their 'ingredients' range. Found it in some supermarkets and most outdoor shops. Our local NW was selling fried shallots in their asian section which were considerably nicer & easier to use than dried raw onions as they are precooked then dried - so just need rehydrating. Not seen them for a while but imagine asian food stores will still have them.
Get a dehydrator. There are heaps of tramping meal options using dried mince as a base. We even have a dumpling meal - a real favourite. We also dehydrate fruit - eg nectarines - these are just the best snacks. Mix with nuts and bits of chocolate if you must. We did the NW circuit on Stewart Island with easily enough food for the 10 days by dehydrating everything. Meals for 5 and rehydrated and heated in the one big pot.
I made my own beef jerky. Lasted 3 months. You must make it very dry to last. I bought kings soups and combined with water at breakfast time and simmered it for an hour over a used cooking oil candle. I had a basecamp so not so good for tramping. You could put the lot in a plastic or metal bottle at the start of the day.
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Forum Food
Started by Ian_H
On 12 November 2015
Replies 27
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