Dehydrated Food & the Outdoors
Mouth-watering menus for the outdoors
The following recipes show you why it is such a great idea to dehydrate your food for the Outdoors! The benefit of removing the moisture from food is that you preserve the food & make it much lighter!
What’s more, with an Ezidri dehydrator you can create delicious dried snacks & meals in no time at all! Enjoy a slice of beef jerky at morning tea, sit back with delicious rehydrated Soup at lunch, restock your energy supplies with dried banana pieces in the arvo, then feast on Sweet & Sour Pork at tea time! There’s no need to go without taste & variety on your next adventure when you’ve got an Ezidri dehydrator.
DEHYDRATED FOOD & THE OUTDOORS
Why go without taste & variety when you’re in the outdoors, when with an Ezidri you can enjoy all of your favourite meals & snacks on your next adventure without bringing the entire kitchen. In short, you can eat like a king or queen even when you’re away from your castle!
Whether you’re planning to reach the summit, or just a weekend away from civilisation, dehydrated food offers you plenty of benefits.
Food - fresh, canned or packaged - is primarily water, so it weighs a lot & takes up valuable space. Dehydrated food on the other hand is incredibly lightweight & compact making it the perfect food solution for your next hike or trip. There are no worries about it spoiling while you’re away because dehydrated food boasts a long storage life without the use of any preservatives.
In regards to packing & storing your dried delicaces - they should be packed as soon as they are cold to prevent the reabsorption of moisture. Dehydrated food keeps best when air, light & moisture are at a minimum. Vacuum sealed packs are ideal, but any sealed bag is also very good.
What’s more, dehydrated food makes a great menu idea when you’re in the outdoors, because it’s so easy to cook!
Obviously dried foods such as beef jerky, fruit rollups & dried fruit pieces are intended to be eaten rather than rehydrated so there’s no preparation or forethought needed!
For your meals & soups etc., it’s so easy to rehydrate - simply add water, heat & enjoy! Remember you’ve only taken out the water content by dehydrating so that’s what you need to return!
The longer food can be left to soak in water, the better. Several hours is ideal, but 15 minutes will do the trick. Longer soaking time simply allows food to reconstitute more, and regain more of it’s original size & texture. Food that is fully rehydrated also takes less time to cook.
A useful tip is to have a resealable container large enough to soak the evening meal in during the day. Using the soaking water to cook the meal will result in less nutrient loss.
But when you’ve set up camp at nightfall & you’re ready to eat - there’s not always time to soak! What you can do is immerse your food in water, then bring it to the boil and leave to stand with the lid on while preparing the rest of the meal. Cooking can then be completed later and the food will have had time to partially reconstitute.
A few handy tips -
Luke warm water rehydrates food quicker than cold.
Use equal volumes of dry food & water to rehydrate - e.g. 1 cup dry food (approx 100g) = 1 cup of water
Salt & sugar added to water during the initial period of rehydration will inhibit the process! It is best to add them when food is nearly cooked.
But the best part, not only does dehydrated food taste great, it’s good for you too! With an Ezidri you extract all but 5% of the water and leave over 96% of nutrients behind. Dried food is great for outdoor adventurers who can get four times the carbohydrates from dried banana pieces than a banana of the same weight - that’s four time the energy!
With an Ezidri there’s no need to be limited to what you can buy. You have complete control over what you eat - you’ve made the meals & planned the menu.
With so many possibilities you never have to be bored with your Outdoor Menu again!
And don’t forget about the cost benefits - by making your own you’ll save all of that money you’d usually spend on expensive, bland meals!
Another great use for the dehydrator came to us care of one of our EziClub Members - dehydrated orange peel makes a great firestarter!
So the next time you’re in the outdoors, why not consider this natural fuel for your campfire!
DEHYDRATED COOKED MINCE MEAT
500g lean mince beef
In a frypan, saute the mince until no traces of pink remain. Drain the mince through a colander & rinse under hot water to remove as much fat as possible. then drain the mince on layers of paper towel.
Sprinkle with dried herbs or flavourings of your choice.
Line your Ezidri dehydrator trays with Mesh Sheets placed on top of Solid Sheets. Spread the mince evenly over the Mesh Sheets.
Dry at 60 deg C (Snackmaker - High) for 6-8 hours until hard & dry, with no visible signs of moisture. Twice during the drying process, remove the trays & blot the beef with paper towel to remove as much of the fat as possible.
When dry, the 500g of beef will weigh only 126g!
This recipe is great for making Spaghetti Sauce, as shown in the recipe below.
Recipe courtesy of Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator cookbook.
HOME-MADE STEWS & CASSEROLES
Drying meals is really easy! Whether it’s specially prepared, or you’ve just got some spare leftovers, you can dehydrate casseroles or stews to enjoy the next time you’re in the outdoors.
To dry a casserole or stew, it is often simpler to separate the pieces of meat & vegetables and dry each component separately. this way, all of the components will have been dried for the proper amount of time. Store each in separate bags.
It’s best if the pieces of meat & veg are of uniform size as they can then all dry at the same rate. If you can cut your meat into 1cm cubes this will greatly reduce the drying time.
Another handy tip - try not to dry casseroles containing cooked noodles or pasta as they tend to break down during the drying/rehydration process. It’s a better idea to take the sauce ingredients & the dry cooked noodles separately & combine them when ready to serve.
To rehydrate, follow the information given above in Dehydrated Food & the Outdoors.
Recipe courtesy of Mary bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.
A great way to replace the day’s energy stores is through good old mashed potato. To prepare, simply cook the potatoes until soft, add salt, pepper & any other spices, as well as milk. Whip in a blender to get the potatoes to a pureed consistency.
Spread on a lightly oiled Solid Sheet in your Ezidri dehydrator & dry for 10-12 hours at 50 deg C . The dried potatoes can then be powdered or left as chips.
They are tasty as a dried snack or can be rehydrated with milk or water to enjoy with your evening meal!
Quantity cooking chocolate or carob
Halve bananas, then again lengthwise. Small bananas just lengthwise will do because the bananas will shrink during drying.
Place on Mesh Sheets in your Ezidri dehydrator flat, sliced side up & dry at 50 deg C until of a chewy texture.
As the bananas dry they will become concave. Melt chocolate & spread into the concavity with a knife or spatula. Lay pieces onto a plate or tray & place in a freezer for about 20 minutes to set the chocolate.
Chocaholics may like to dip the bananas in chocolate!
You’re sure to enjoy these on your next trip!
Recipe courtesy of The Outdoor Gourmet, by Michael Hampton.
2 cups water
1 cup powdered milk
100gm box vanilla instant pudding
2 Tbsp dried fruit powder (strawberry or banana are delicious!)
In a camp pot or container, combine all of the ingredients & stir until completely blended. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
Recipe courtesy of Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.
QUICK CANNED FRUIT
If you’re looking for a sweet, delicious snack for your Outdoor Menu - canned fruit is a great idea!
Simply drain the fruit, spread onto trays in your Ezidri Dehydrator (putting a Solid Sheet on the bottom tray is a good idea as it will catch the drips).
Dehydrate at 55 deg C for 12-16 hours until pliable & there is no signs of visible moisture.
Store in ziplock bags & enjoy!
The easiest spaghetti sauce can be made by simply drying a bottle of tomato pasta sauce. You simply pour the sauce onto an oiled Solid Sheet in your Ezidri dehydrator & dry for 8-14 hours at 55 deg C , until leathery and there’s no visible signs of moisture. Then to rehydrate, simply cover with boiling water and let stand for 15 minutes before using!
The weight difference is amazing - a 750g jar of pasta sauce will weigh only 125g when dry!
For the Beef
3/4 cup dried lean ground beef (for procedure, see Dehydrated cooked Mince Meat recipe, above)
1 cup water
For the sauce
2 cups 3cm (1in) dried tomato sauce leather pieces (as above)
1/2 cup dried tomato pieces, torn into quarters
1/4 cup small dried mushroom pieces
1 tsp dried onion
1 tsp dried capsicum pieces
1/2 tsp dried celery powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried garlic
3 cups water
Prepare the beef: In a large saucepan, combine the dried beef & 1 cup water. Let sit for at least 1 hour to rehydrate. (To speed up the process, combine the beef with 1 cup boiling water & cook for about 2 minutes. Cover & let sit for about 30 minutes, or until meat is softened).
When the beef is rehydrated, add the spaghetti sauce leather pieces with the dried tomato pieces. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients, including the 3 cups water and let sit for at least 1 hour.
Place the pan over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or to the desired thickness, adding more water if necessary.
Serve over hot cooked pasta, with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired & enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.
SWEET & SOUR PORK - OUTDOOR STYLE
600g pork, diced into 1 cm cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
Fresh ginger, finely chopped (about the size of a golf ball)
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp Mustard Pickle
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tin (300g) pineapple pieces, drain & save juice
2 cups frozen or fresh beans
1 Tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp salt
Place pork, onion, ginger, galic, pickle, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar & salt in pot, put lid on & simmer gently. there’s not much liquid, so check & stir regularly. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, until meat is tender.
Add green beans & drained pineapple pieces & cook for a further 10 minutes until beans are cooked. Mix 1 tablespoon cornflour with saved pineapple juice. Pour into mixture & stir until thick
Pour onto Solid Sheets in your Ezidri dehydrator & dry at 60 deg C for 10-14 hours or until dry with no visible signs of moisture
When drying is complete, mix 3 tablespoons of cornflour with the dried sweet & sour mixture. Pack in double ziplock bags expelling as much air as possible before sealing. (Vacuum pack is ideal).
Cooking instructions: Add 6 cups (1.5l ) water to sweet & sour dry mix. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat as much as possible & simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until meat is soft.
Recipe courtesy of The New Zealand Outdoor Cookbook, by Marcelle Pinkington.
2 tsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pumpkin, cubed
1 cup sweet potato, cubed
2 carrots, cubed
1 cup water
Pinch of sea salt
Saute garlic & onions in oil. Add vegetables & water, then boil until soft. Mash, blend or process the lot to make a puree.
To dehydrate simply pour onto pre-oiled Solid Sheets in your Ezidri Dehydrator, making sure the mixture is spread evenly. Dehydrate at 55 deg C for 10-14 hours until the mixture shows no sign of visible moisture.
Peel the rollup of the Solid sheet & leave to cool for 5 minutes before rolling in plastic wrap. Some vegetable rollups can be a little brittle instead of soft & pliable but don’t worry, these will soften up within a few days.
This then makes an excellent base for pasta sauce, cury or soup. In the outdoors, you can add any combinations of herbs & spices and other flavour base. Recommended additions include sour cream, olive oil (drizzled over) and coriander.
Recipe courtesy of The Outdoor gourmet, by Michael Hampton.
Nearly all of the packet & canned soups contain sugar & some include flavour enhancers. When you make your own soup you know exactly what goes in it, the flavour is superior & no preservatives are necessary.
2 small onions
1 stick celery
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup broccoli
1 small zucchini
1 small green capsicum
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
Salt & pepper, to taste
Cut up all vegetables roughly, except peas. Heat oil in a large saucepan and quickly fry vegetables including peas. Add stock, bring to the boil & simmer gently for 20 minutes. cool slightly and put through a blender. Adjust seasoning.
Spread on a Solid Sheet in your Ezidri Dehydrator & dry at 55 deg C for 9 hours. Crumble soup between fingers after 7 hours. When dry, put through a grinder. Return to the dehydrator for 1 hour.
For instant soup, place half soup & half boiling water in a bowl or mug & let stand without stirring for 5 minutes. Sit back and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Drying Food, by Ricky M Gribling.