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 Post subject: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 9th, 2015, 1:20 pm 
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Joined: October 27th, 2006, 5:51 am
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My wife and I are prepping for 2 weeks of paddling and for the first time ever plan on eating home-dehydrated food for our dinners and some snacks. So far our on-line research has indicated these two strategies.

1-Cook a one-pot meal, dry it, bag it.
2-Make a menu, dry the various ingredients, and combine them according to each recipe. Has lee-way for one's preferences for ingredients.

Pros? Cons?

A third strategy involves various combinations of the above two strategies.

Has anyone tried using yoghurt in Indian food recipes? Any problems?

As I write this my wife is heading to Indigo to pick up a reserved copy of Linda Yaffe's book.
Incidentally, I really liked this guy's web site:

http://www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-food.html


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 Post subject: Re: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 9th, 2015, 2:24 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
I mostly do the one pot meals; they're easy to rehydrate. I've had issues with certain meals that have ingredients that dehydrate at different temps or need to be added to the pot at different times. One example is a chili I make with kale and butternut squash. The first time I tried it I loaded the tray too full and it actually grew mould overnight in the dehydrator.

Now, I boil the squash and dehydrate it separately. It allows for different temps and allows me to put it in the top tray since it doesn't need a sheet. I cook the rest and skip the kale (I dehydrate frozen kale) and vegetable stock. I put the dehydrated chili in a zip-loc bag with the squash. I then put a boullion cube and the dehydrated kale in a separate bag inside the zip-loc bag. At camp I can add the kale near the end so it just rehydrates.

It's my favourite backcountry meal.

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition/ ... -with-kale

When making it fresh I have to double the spices and jalapenos and I'm not big on spicy. When dehydrating, I find that spice can be left stuck to the sheets so I add a little extra. I've also made the recipe with adding ground turkey (and more spice) and this year we're trying it with TVP.


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 Post subject: Re: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 9th, 2015, 5:07 pm 
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Joined: February 24th, 2005, 1:15 pm
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Neil, it's about time you joined the food dehydration crowd.

I do several favorite one pot meals...casseroles, chiles, stews, and the like. I also do separate ingredient for other kinds of meals. Some one-pot meals can end up with monotonic flavors... or partially mushy and partially underdone. Keep in mind that mouth feel and separate flavors are important factors - otherwise you end up with yucky pureed baby food - or unpleasant under hydrated chunks.

Separately dehydrated ingredients give you the choice of combinations with supermarket preparation options... such as instant mashed potatoes with home dehydrated veggies, and a meat of your choice (maybe dehydrated ground beef, or something commercially packaged) for example. Another very easy and simple breakfast favorite is to dehydrate canned corn beef hash (low fat variety), along with home dehydrated hash browns (from the frozen bricks of the stuff). Add a package of McCormick's Country Gravy and it will keep you going all day.

Linda Yaffe's book will get you thinking about all kinds of odd possibilities. Many of her recipes are a bit unusual and strange sounding, but end up very good. Others will depend on your taste preferences. Redhawk began his Hawk Vittles business with recipes directly from the Yaffe book. After you follow a few of those recipes you will learn much about how to create your own delicious concoctions in ways you never imagined. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Basic rules are to cut ingredients to a consistent smallish size, and to rehydrate in a cozy for 20 minutes. Minimize oil/fat content, but it is not necessary to go overboard to overly zero oil/fat content, especially if you are eating not long after preparation, or if you keep the dehydrated product in the freezer before your outing. Oil can be carried separately in tiny nalgene bottles for special recipes that are better with it. Variations apply.

Although there are many books out there, I recommend just 3. Mary Bell's "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook" for general information about home dehydrating food. Linda Yaffe's "Backpack Gourmet" for backpacking focused meals. And Glenn McAlllister's "Recipes for Adventure" for a different approach from the Yaffe book.

The first Yukon 1000 mile race event held in 2009 required 3 weeks of food, a minimum of 20 kg on board for each person (even if dehydrated), to be carried by each race team. The race director was guessing and overly cautious with the 20 kg requirement. Turns out to have been a ridiculous amount of food for a finish duration of 6 days. However, following the rules I prepared all breakfast and dinner meals for my Y1K seven person voyageur team (do the math) using what I learned from the books I mentioned above. I think we all gained weight during the race. The food minimum requirement was eliminated in 2010, and when we returned for the 2011 race I prepared food for only 10 days (4 extra days backup in case of emergency on the river).


Last edited by nessmuk on July 10th, 2015, 11:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 9th, 2015, 7:10 pm 
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Joined: October 27th, 2006, 5:51 am
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After a half-dozen batches of beef jerky and some dried fruit (Sylvie made excellent fresh strawberry leather today and I did some kiwi) our next job will be to dry some actual suppers for our upcoming trip. Since both time (leaving in 2 weeks) and experience are in short supply we will be beginning with Jaffe's tuna dish and a chile recipe off of Glenn McAllister's web site. http://www.backpackingchef.com/how-to-make-chili.html

Both dishes look pretty easy and seem good.

Any other suggestions for fool-proof dishes from Jaffe?


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 Post subject: Re: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 10th, 2015, 7:50 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I do mostly the ingredients dried separately approach which allows mix and match. I also use a fair amount of stuff I'd never use at home like Zatarains rice mixes and hamburger helper type stuff. And horrors. Ramen. All you need is more veggies and a protein


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 Post subject: Re: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 10th, 2015, 2:29 pm 
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Joined: October 6th, 2005, 8:02 am
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Location: a bit south ofWinnipeg
We do a mixture of both.
Often do a mix of pre-dried ingredients as that what we are drying as they are harvested from the garden or as we find them in Extra Foods. LIke LRC we'll use these to add to packaged meals. Adding dried butternut squash to a risotto mix gives a fantastic result.

On a recent trip we took a veggie chili that was left over from a batch Selena had made. There was so much left that I decided to dehydrate the remainder. Usually she uses Bulgar wheat but this time had used steel cut oats to add bulk. We were very pleased with how it worked and re-hydrated evenly and pretty quickly.
One of the problems we have previously found with drying complete meals is that some things re-hydrate more quickly. Keeping all the bits small certainly helps even things out.

I also dried a batch of ricotta that we re-hydrated to mix with spinach and pasta. You have to re-hydrate separately or the cheese goes green!

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 Post subject: Re: Dehydration MO
PostPosted: July 10th, 2015, 7:08 pm 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
We do 1 pot meals but dehydrate the ingredients separately. A favorite is pasta. We dehydrate the ground beef as an ingredient for different meals. We usually dehydrate a jar or 2 of pasta sauce by first putting in in the frying pan on simmer until it becomes quite thick, then finish on the dehydrator. No need to dehydrate the noodles/shells of course.

We also add the ground beef to another favorite---Grace brand Carribean rice and beans.

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