With our first 2009 overnight backpacking trip coming up on April 18-19 to McAfee Knob VA, I started doing a little research about making my own dehydrated meals to take with me. I had 2 requirements as I was looking, I did not want to dehydrate any food on my own and I wanted to save some money and not have to buy Mountainhouse or Backpackers Pantry meals.
I wanted to be able to buy all the ingredients and put them into a bag to make a meal. I stumbled on to a great site that gave me exactly what I was looking for: http://www.trailcooking.com/
The basic concept is you can cook your dehydrated meals, once you have gathered all your ingredients, in Ziploc Freezer bags (quart or pint). Out on the trail add the boiling water to the Ziploc bag and then put it into a COZY for 10-15 minutes to cook. The pint size are usually for breakfast. I have to feed my 2 daughters and myself dinner and breakfast for the upcoming trip so I chose 2 recipes from this site: Cranberry Chicken Rice and Sarah’s Fattening Coconut Berry Oatmeal.
For these 2 meals I was able to purchase (or already had at home) all but 3 items from a “normal” grocery store. The 3 items that took a little more looking were: Coconut Cream Powder, Veggie Flakes and Chicken Broth Packets.
This packet imported from Thailand cost $1.50, I bought 2. TanA is a Specialty Asian Grocery Store in Richmond, VA. BTW – they only take cash and checks, no credit cards!!
I found the veggie flakes near the spice section in this upscale grocery store. Some of the recipes say you can either use the veggie flakes or dried mixed vegetables like Just Veggies. The Fresh Market store also carried this brand but were out of the regular Just Veggies and only had the Hot.
I can’t wait for next weekend to try out these homemade dehydrated meals. As a test earlier in the week I put together a recipe for breakfast and took it to work to try out. I had the Raisin Nut Bulgur and was it good!!! I bought a pound of bulgur at Whole Foods.
Visit the Trail Cooking Blog to view some videos of Sarah’s meals being put together and then cooked. What a great idea and you will actually save some pack room with these meals. Happy hiking and eating!!!