So you’ve got a great multi-day trip coming up and you’re determined not to give all your money to the outdoor shop by buying ready-made freeze-dried meals, right? If you’re anything like me, you’ve got the regular go-to meal that you’ll throw in the dehydrator (that’s spag bol for me), but I’ve been craving some variety lately and so I decided to look to the experts for some ideas for dehydrated meals.
Heck, if anyone is going to know what types of meals are going to dry (and re-hydrate) well, it’s going to be the companies who create the commercial brands. They’ve gone through loads of tests and tastings to ensure that what they sell, is going to stand up to the rigours of hungry hikers.
A quick visit to the websites of companies like the ever popular Backcountry and their lesser known (slightly more expensive, but definitely tastier) cousin, The Outdoor Gourmet gave me a few ideas, so I thought I’d share my results. I hope you find some ideas here and that it helps you too!
Over a couple of days I cranked out the standard bolognese sauce (with kangaroo mince) and then decided to try a Coq au Vin and Green Chicken Curry (thanks Outdoor Gourmet) and then translated Backcountry’s Beef Curry into Massaman Curry (I’ll share my recipe very soon!). The next big experiment was to try and dry cauliflower mash (which I’ve been eating loads of lately), which although took a long time (14hrs) the results are delicious – even as dried chip-like pieces. (nb: warning, I haven’t tried rehydrating this little puppy yet, so if you’ve done so, please let me know how it goes!).
- Use the best recipe you have for each meal and either substitute the meat for mince prior to cooking or use standard meat cuts (chicken breast, etc) and simply briefly whizz the finished meal with a stick blender or food processor (very briefly… don’t turn it to soup) before you dehydrate it.
- Reduce amounts of oil added to the meal. eg: instead of frying onions and garlic with a few tablespoons of oil to begin with, use an olive oil spray instead.
- Save time and energy by cooking enough for portions of the fresh meal for dinner that night and then throw the rest into the dehydrator.
- I’m a little bit excited about my food saver gadget that I’ve just bought to remove the air from the finished food. These aren’t absolutely necessary as I’ve used ziplock bags for years with not any problem.