Have you always wanted to try dehydrating food? I know I sure have. While I do like some store-bought, dehydrated food, I don’t care much for the price. One of the things I try to teach my readers, and people who ask me how to camp, hike, and/or backpack, is that
it does not have to be expensive to get outside and enjoy. Dehydrating food ourselves is definitely very cost-effective. While watching a video of dehydrating food on You Tube, I noticed that the consistency that is recommended for food is pretty thick. For some reason, this brought to mind
Hamburger Helpers. Now, before any of my health conscious readers get frustrated with me, ya gotta understand that this is my first attempted at this. I was going for the easiest way possible. While I don’t normally eat this way at home, while out on the trails, and at a camp site, especially in the winter, I am okay with this not perfectly healthy way of eating. This makes a cheap, hot, and hardy meal with fat and calories to fuel adventure. That works for me! I will never claim to be a great cook and I would much rather be climbing around in the woods than in the kitchen. Making Hamburger Helpers are super easy. I made two boxes at one time. We ate part for dinner and then I dehydrated the rest. I put as much food in each section that I could, and still be able to stack the next tray. I might spread it out a bit more next time, and use more trays, to decrease the dehydrating time.
BONE: WHILE I HAVE FOUND DEHYDRATING FOOD TO BE SUPER EASY, IT TAKES TIME. Use the winter, and slower adventure season, to stock up for more active adventuring seasons. However, if you do spend a lot of winter time adventuring, then these types of meals are even more awesome to have in your pack!
BONE: DON’T RUSH THE DEHYDRATING FOOD TIME! Let the food completely dry out. Storing food that is not completely dried out will ensure the integrity of the food to deteriorate rapidly; it will mold. This batch took about 15 hours to dry completely. I like to tidy up the kitchen as soon as possible, so, when the food was dry, I just dumped it out onto on plate to let it finish cooling, while I cleaned up the dehydrater.
If you allow the food to completely dry out, and then store in a zip lock bag, it will last for months. If you are drying meat, you can also store in zip lock freezer bags, and place in freezer.
BONE: DON’T USE GENERIC BAGS, AS DEHYDRATED FOOD IS CRUNCHY, AND MAY POKE THROUGH THE LESS QUALITY BAGS.
BONE: LET FOOD COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE PLACING IN STORAGE BAGS! If you seal up warm food, it will create moisture.
There are so many benefits to taking dehydrated meals on adventures. They are light weight, nutritional, filling, and easy to prepare at camp. Simply place meal into pan, cover with boiling water and cover pan. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and enjoy. If you want to read about the stove I adventure with you can do that here.
This dehydrating food experiment went so well, I am looking into getting another dehydrater, like this one. (Affiliate link)
I suspect that this is going to become a super fun hobby for me, so, I am also looking into getting one of these! (Affiliate link)
The options really are limitless! I think that the next thing I will try to dehydrate is Tuna Casserole! Have you tried making your own adventure food? How did it go?