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PostPosted: November 16th, 2020, 10:49 am 
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Which of the recipe books out there for dehydrating meals would you recommend? I know there are a couple out there would like to get the group's feedback on which one if any has worked best for them. Or are most of them like a lot of cookbooks? Ie. 1-5 really good go-to recipes and a lot of filler/duff you'll never make in a million years?


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2020, 2:26 pm 
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The last thing you said. (we do have several "backcountry" cookbooks)

All serious now, what are some of your favourite meals?
That's what I would look at dehydrating.

Our staples are baked spaghetti, baked lasagne, chicken or pork fried rice, and chili to name a few.
You can also do single ingredients to add to other meals.

We freeze ours and consume within 6 months. It tastes like your sitting at your dinner table.
Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2020, 4:00 pm 
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Canoeheadted wrote:
The last thing you said. (we do have several "backcountry" cookbooks)

All serious now, what are some of your favourite meals?
That's what I would look at dehydrating.

Our staples are baked spaghetti, baked lasagne, chicken or pork fried rice, and chili to name a few.
You can also do single ingredients to add to other meals.

We freeze ours and consume within 6 months. It tastes like your sitting at your dinner table.
Hope this helps.


Basically I want to get 5-7 go to dehydrated meals

I already dehydrate ground beef and some fruit and am pretty sure I can do Chilli and spaghetti sauce.

I was looking for some other ideas beyond that.

For me a good back-country meal is simple - I want to be able to re-hydrate it by just tossing in some boiling water . Not looking to make elaborate 5 course meals.


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2020, 5:43 pm 
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You can go crazy with too many book and online resources. I highly recommend just two books: Both are available on Amazon.

1. Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook
Long regarded as the necessary basic information "bible" for those new to dehydrating.

2. Linda Yaffe: Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make at Home, Dehydrate, and Pack for Quick, Easy, and Healthy Eating on the Trail
Many of Yaffe's recipes may sound somewhat strange to the uninitiated. However most turn out quite well. As a starting point, if you are all inclined to go your own route, they are good recipes to make your own modifications.
If you have ever heard of Hawk Vittles online that may people have enjoyed for several years, he started his business based on recipes from Yaffe's book. Hawk is a Lakota Native American and has done very well in the business.


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2020, 6:21 pm 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
I'm saying to dehydrate the fully cooked meal that you would make at home.

Take lasagne for example...
My wife usually makes a double batch so we can have supper for two days and dehydrate what's left (4 more servings).
After the second day's supper, take the leftovers from the fridge (so the leftovers are hard/solidified and easier to cut up into thin pieces) and slice them in 1/2" to 3/4" thick pieces.
Spread out one serving per tray to dehydrate. We also use parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Lightly break up the pieces to spread them out on the tray (this could be optional) for even dehydration.

Put in the dehydrator on a high heat for however many hours required. (I would have to look up this number as every meal and food is slightly different).

Now you have fully dehydrated precooked lasagne.

We've learned to put them in a transportation zip lock baggie because the noodles (when dry) are sharp enough to possibly slightly perforate the baggies and this ends up making a mess during the re-hydration phase.

At camp, take the lasagne serving out of the transportation baggie and put it in a new un-used zip lock baggie and then put this back in the transportation baggie. Now you have the lasagne in a new bag as well as the possibly compromised transportation baggie on the outside.
Add boiling water to the baggie. Enough to cover the lasagne and an extra inch above.
Seal up the baggies and put them somewhere to rehydrate for an hour.
You could use a cozy here or like we do, we put them on our sleeping pads and under our sleeping bags for the hour.

Do something else in camp or even set up your camp if you have a separate cozy.

After an hour, pull them out and with a long handled spoon eat them right out of the baggies. We'll usually tear the baggies down one side as you consume it. Pack out or burn the baggies.
I kid you not... you'll be blown away at the taste. It's just like at home, because it is the same stuff as at home and it's still piping hot.

We've stopped doing separate dehydrated ingredients because it's never the same when prepared out there.

Try it at home first.
Getting the serving size right and the amount of liquid to add for re-hydration is the trial and error part. Different foods require different amounts of liquid.

I can confirm the dehydration time if you'd like. I'd just have to look it up as we have all the times written down.

So these are "just add boiling water" meals that super simple.


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2020, 7:12 pm 
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The Mary Bell book will give you all the information you need to dehydrate foods you would "normally" make and eat at home.

Linda Yaffe's book gives you information and recipes on meals specifically made for camp meals, but might not normally have made for traditional home cooked meals. However, they are quite good as home meals as well, just not what most people are accustomed to making each week at home. Canoeheadted's recommended rehydration process works just as well for any of these.

For interesting alternatives, I have found that most recipes designed for vegetarians are also quite tasty, as they have to be without the richness or satisfaction of meat flavoring. To make them even better, I simply add meat to the best of them.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2020, 6:17 am 
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+1 for Mary Bell’s dehydrator book.

Glenn McAllister’s “Recipes for Adventure” is also a good one. Lots of tasty, hearty and easy to prepare, one-pot meals. He lists each recipe’s ingredient quantities for a single “regular” or a “large” serving. This works really well for my sweetie and I. We make enough for 1 regular and 1 large serving. Gives us lots for both of us with no leftovers.

If I could keep just one book (in addition to Mary Bell’s) from the six we have, McAllister’s would be the keeper.

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PostPosted: November 17th, 2020, 10:33 am 
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A Fork in the Trail by Laurie march has been good to me over the years. A little more prep at home but not much to rehydrate at camp.
https://www.amazon.ca/Fork-Trail-Mouthw ... 1894898664

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PostPosted: November 17th, 2020, 1:37 pm 
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Rob H wrote:
A Fork in the Trail by Laurie march has been good to me over the years. A little more prep at home but not much to rehydrate at camp.
https://www.amazon.ca/Fork-Trail-Mouthw ... 1894898664


If this is the same book I'm thinking of it was a little too "car camping with kids" oriented for me. I look for simple one pot easy to re-hydrate meals. Hers seemed a little too elaborate and more suited to people who spend more time at the campsite itself than on the trail or on the route.


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2020, 12:58 pm 
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ameaney wrote:
Rob H wrote:
A Fork in the Trail by Laurie march has been good to me over the years. A little more prep at home but not much to rehydrate at camp.
https://www.amazon.ca/Fork-Trail-Mouthw ... 1894898664


If this is the same book I'm thinking of it was a little too "car camping with kids" oriented for me. I look for simple one pot easy to re-hydrate meals. Hers seemed a little too elaborate and more suited to people who spend more time at the campsite itself than on the trail or on the route.


Ya most of the recipes are a little more involved and require a little more time in the kitchen but I have found that the majority are 1 and 2 pot meals at camp. Not for the lightweight boil water and eat type but for an early day at camp or a rest day it is really nice to eat something that has real flavors.
When you add up the steps like cooking down tomatoes, prepping ingredients etc. in making a spaghetti or chili at home, they are really not any more complicated.
There is a section in the book that the author clearly states are more aimed at car camping and can be a little more involved.

It might be just me but I enjoy my meals on a trip and am willing to put in a little more effort than "Add to boiling water" and eat when I have the time.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2020, 6:51 pm 
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Rob H wrote:

It might be just me but I enjoy my meals on a trip and am willing to put in a little more effort than "Add to boiling water" and eat when I have the time.

Let me point out an opposing point of view. I entered the first ever Yukon River 1000 mile canoe race held in 2009. The race officials were a little over the top in wanting to be sure all racers took care of themselves. So, in addition to numerous other gear requirements, every paddler was to show that each boat had onboard 20kg of food per person!! before being allowed to begin the race. The thinking was that fast boats would be done in a week, slower ones in two weeks, plus an extra week for being stuck out in an emergency, which would have been about correct if necessary.

I took it upon myself to prepare and home dehydrate all main meals (breakfast and dinner) for my entire team. I was paddling in a voyageur canoe with 7 team members on board. Do the 20kg x7 math. We were not allowed to include the weight of water to make the dry food edible, could not bring 50 pound bags of potatoes to jettison. Plus the rules said it all had to be carried in bear resistant canisters. I ended up buying a very large lockable Yeti to hold it all. One team paddler boiled water and served the food in mugs while the rest of us continued to paddle during the race, eating one at a time. We finished the race in just 6 days, and only used less than 1/3 of the dehydrated food in the Yeti. No one went hungry or lost weight on the team during the race. Thankfully, the next time we ran the race a couple of years later that ridiculous food weight requirement had been dropped and we brought only 10 days worth with us.


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