Dehydrated Trail Food

osmedia

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Was thinking about dehydrating some stuffed jalapeño poppers and stuffed poblano peppers for backcountry fuel. Anyone done either of these or have suggestions on good dehydrated meals?
 

87TT

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
387
Location
Idaho
Cheese is a little oily and doesn't dehydrate that well IMO. They do make freeze dried cheese that you reconstitute in water.
 

dec0y

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
21
Location
Oregon
I dehydrated meals for my entire camp last year. Totaled about 60 meals.

87TT is correct regarding cheese. The best option is to use a cheese packet from a macaroni and cheese, or you can buy it in bulk in some stores (WinCo carries it here, not sure if they have it where you are), and add powdered milk or powdered coconut milk (health food store or amazon).

From there it is important to pre cook most vegetables before dehydrating if you buy them fresh. If you purchase frozen then you can generally skip this step as the flash freezing process breaks some of the cell structures, which aids in re hydration. Corn is the exception--I had to cook the crap out of frozen corn and it still came out so-so. Cut any fresh veggies into small pieces to increase surface area for re hydration.

The other key is that if you are going to do proteins (ground meat usually, but pre cooked shrimp works great), you should mix in 1/2c bread crumbs per pound of meat, and then brown the meat and pat dry until all of the fats are removed. Adding starch breaks up the proteins and aids in rehydration. Skip this step if you are using shrimp... I would also avoid canned chicken--it comes out ropey and is hard to re-hydrate. Stick with ground turkey.

This is the template that I found works best for me and my camp based on our caloric needs. This way you can adapt almost any recipe to fit your tastes. All measures are in dehydrated food:

3/4c starch (rice, pasta, corn meal/polenta, instant potatoes, etc)
1/3c protein
2/3c to 3/4c vegetables
1.5 tsp seasonings (taco seasoning works great, I also used curry powder for some dishes)
special seasoning as needed (cheese, powdered milk, instant gravy mix)

I also carried a little bottle of olive oil to add fat/calories/taste to the meals, in addition to salt and pepper.

Total came out to something like 800-1000 calories (including the oil at 100cal per tbs).

To prepare, I kept seasonings in separate bag. Add all other ingredients to pot, add 1.5 to 2 cups water (depending on how soupy you like it), boil, remove heat, add seasonings, cover for 10 minutes, add olive oil, and eat.

If i was going to make stuffed peppers I'd be doing something like this:

3/4c dehydrated rice, with a small chicken bouillon cube
1/3c dehydrated ground beef
1/4 cup dehydrated black beans
1/4 cup mixed peppers, onions, tomatoes
1/4 cup dehydrated poblano (I would fully cook these, remove skins, chop, then dehydrate). You may be able to use oretega type chili from the mexican food aisle (I believe they are canned anaheim pepper but I may be mistaken). They should dehydrate well after chopping.
1.5 tsp taco seasoning
1.5 tablespoon cheese mix
1.5 tablespoon powdered milk
serve with flour tortillas

In fact i might just add this to the menu.
 
OP
O

osmedia

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Grand Junction, CO
The info is very much appreciated, and thanks for the elaboration. I am going to try that recipe out myself, I will keep you updated on the results and any changes.
 

BuckSnort

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
869
Location
Central CA
I dehydrated meals for my entire camp last year. Totaled about 60 meals.

87TT is correct regarding cheese. The best option is to use a cheese packet from a macaroni and cheese, or you can buy it in bulk in some stores (WinCo carries it here, not sure if they have it where you are), and add powdered milk or powdered coconut milk (health food store or amazon).

From there it is important to pre cook most vegetables before dehydrating if you buy them fresh. If you purchase frozen then you can generally skip this step as the flash freezing process breaks some of the cell structures, which aids in re hydration. Corn is the exception--I had to cook the crap out of frozen corn and it still came out so-so. Cut any fresh veggies into small pieces to increase surface area for re hydration.

The other key is that if you are going to do proteins (ground meat usually, but pre cooked shrimp works great), you should mix in 1/2c bread crumbs per pound of meat, and then brown the meat and pat dry until all of the fats are removed. Adding starch breaks up the proteins and aids in rehydration. Skip this step if you are using shrimp... I would also avoid canned chicken--it comes out ropey and is hard to re-hydrate. Stick with ground turkey.

This is the template that I found works best for me and my camp based on our caloric needs. This way you can adapt almost any recipe to fit your tastes. All measures are in dehydrated food:

3/4c starch (rice, pasta, corn meal/polenta, instant potatoes, etc)
1/3c protein
2/3c to 3/4c vegetables
1.5 tsp seasonings (taco seasoning works great, I also used curry powder for some dishes)
special seasoning as needed (cheese, powdered milk, instant gravy mix)

I also carried a little bottle of olive oil to add fat/calories/taste to the meals, in addition to salt and pepper.

Total came out to something like 800-1000 calories (including the oil at 100cal per tbs).

To prepare, I kept seasonings in separate bag. Add all other ingredients to pot, add 1.5 to 2 cups water (depending on how soupy you like it), boil, remove heat, add seasonings, cover for 10 minutes, add olive oil, and eat.

If i was going to make stuffed peppers I'd be doing something like this:

3/4c dehydrated rice, with a small chicken bouillon cube
1/3c dehydrated ground beef
1/4 cup dehydrated black beans
1/4 cup mixed peppers, onions, tomatoes
1/4 cup dehydrated poblano (I would fully cook these, remove skins, chop, then dehydrate). You may be able to use oretega type chili from the mexican food aisle (I believe they are canned anaheim pepper but I may be mistaken). They should dehydrate well after chopping.
1.5 tsp taco seasoning
1.5 tablespoon cheese mix
1.5 tablespoon powdered milk
serve with flour tortillas

In fact i might just add this to the menu.

A LOT of useful info, thank you dec0y..
 

FishfinderAK

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
66
Nice! Great info thank you. Never thought about trying to dry shrimp.
I guess they would dehydrate and keep just as well as any other protein, huh?
 

dec0y

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
21
Location
Oregon
Nice! Great info thank you. Never thought about trying to dry shrimp.
I guess they would dehydrate and keep just as well as any other protein, huh?
Shrimp dehydrate unbelievably well. I get the pre cooked ones and chop them into dime size pieces. Remove the tails, of course..
 

87TT

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
387
Location
Idaho
Pro tip #206
Cook the pasta and rice before dehydrating. I know it looks dry but it isn't cooked.
 

Pro953

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
154
Location
California
For those looking at cheese options. King Arthur Flower makers a Vermont cheddar powder.

I use it for quick Mac and cheese at home all of the time. I think it would work great as a ingredient in some homemade meals. Certainly not like the cheese/liquid plastic in the Mtn House lasagna that I have a love hate relationship with.

We buy it off Amazon so it it easy to find.


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deepnsteep

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
18
I haven't dehydrated stuffed peppers, but just plain dehydrated peppers taste amazing!


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