Home dehydrating of tramping meals
This thread branched from "What is your favoutire Back Country Cuisine meal?" on . Explore the branch.
Who has a home dehydrator, who is using it and how? bernieq mentions creating cooked meals and then dehydrating them, also dehydrating ingredients like veggies. I tend to 'semi-dehydrate' a cooked meal or two for a 2 - 4 day trip, bag and put it in the freezer, figure it will last for those first three days, go to homemade dehy meals with bought dry ingredients - freeze dried mince, dried veggies and mushrooms from the supermarket, soup packets, curry block, herbs, coconut powder... from then on. I've dehydrated mince myself successfully, but after counting yield / cost starting from fresh mince it wasn't worth the trouble. @bernieq (and anyone else): Do those dehydrated meals you make last for say day 10 or 12 of a 14 day trip? I'd hate to get to that point on a trip and pull out a liplike (ziplock - spell check is funny!) bag and find it full of green fur.
Slightly off the topic, we make our own dog treats by buying a piece of liver from the supermarket, cutting it up and putting it in the dehydrator for a day or two. The dogs love them and they are allot cheaper than the packs of dog treat you buy.
I have a dehydrator. Tbh find it a pain in the ass. But I do buy a bag of mixed veg blanch them, dehydrate then put into individual serve baggies. Goes well with my couscous and tuna.
I use our dehydrator all the time! Easiest meal to dehydrate is some sort of mince / chilli con carne, which goes well with instant spud. Making your own dehy mince may not be much cheaper than Backcountry, but we find it much tastier (once you learn the art of rehydration) and like the ability to pack it full of veges for extra nutrition. I also dehydrate fruit (apples, feijoas etc. - whatever is cheap) to go with our muesli. Apple crumble tastes really good on day 6! Drying your own fruit works out ridiculously cheap if you use whatever is in season. See my blog for a few recipe ideas: http://waitakathlete.blogspot.co.nz/p/tramping-recipes.html A good website to browse is http://www.backpackingchef.com If food is properly dehydrated it won't go mouldy unless it gets wet. We've used mince meals that had been sitting in the pantry (in a ziploc bag) for at least 6 months and they were fine.
@Briar We like your Blog :) Have you done the Hillary trail?
Ian, yes, the dehy food keeps for many months (on the shelf - even longer if refrigerated) . I recently had a few meals that I'd dehydrated over 12 months earlier (shelf stored) - no fur but not a lot of taste. First job getting into camp is to put a cup of water in the ziploc bag - an hour is enough to re-hydrate fully. As Briar says, dehy fruit is great. My breaky (hate muslie) is 40g of dehy fruit that I've rehydrated overnight - drink the 'fruit juice' and eat the fruit - together with a couple of fruit/nut bars (and, of course, proper coffee). Mango, kiwi (fruit, not the bird), apple, pineapple, peach, etc.
BTW, Briar, I know others who do meals like con carne - all cooked together then dehydrated. To me, that finishes up like a sauce over the potato (or rice etc). and lacks a varied texture. Dehydrating the veggies separately gives the cooked meal more variation and, for me, more enjoyable.
I've done a little dehy using a Breville benchtop oven. It's digital, programmable & does convection cooking. https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Breville-Smart-Oven-Review.jpg There's been dehy threads before and some knowledgeable helpful contributors.
My workmate donated me a Sunbeam dehydrator she'd impulse bought and then got sick of. So far I've only used it to dehydrate a beef chilli but it went well - meal rehydrated pretty well and was far tastier than BCC stuff. It seemed though that dehydrating concentrated the flavours - was far spicier reconstituted than fresh.
all sorts of fruit.... either sliced and dried for the bigger fruit, some of the smaller ones you can do whole like apricots cut in half. the more watery ones you can pulp and turn into leather, kiwifruit is great for that , you can make toffee out of yoghurt.... look at what you like to eat and experiment with dehydrating it
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