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Thread: Lightweight Camp Tucker

  1. #1
    Tribal Elder Chubbs's Avatar
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    Lightweight Camp Tucker

    I've owned a dehydrator for a while now but not really put it through its full potential. I have had good success with jerky and dried fruit but after a weekend on Dartmoor with various tinned foods, I started thinking what else I could dry with the machine.

    I thought it would be a good idea to start with one pot meals, mainly as I'm still really a dehydrating virgin and keeping the price down would be easier in case I made any mistakes which needed to be thrown away. Only last week I visited a local cheap food store which sells goods that are very close to their use by date or are out of date. The out of date debate has never really bothered me as smell and taste are always the best indicator to how edible the food is. While in there I picked up three 800g tins of high end Italian tomatoes along with a few other bits from a local superstore and I made up 20 decent three ladle portions of tomato soup. The whole lot only cost me a maximum of 3.50, and to be honest it tastes very similar to the country's leading brand of tomato soup !.

    My first one pot meal will be a real hearty vegetable soup. Yesterday I took a large onion, some swede, a couple of carrots, celery and potatoes and prepped them before boiling everything but the onion and celery. The latter were steamed so that I had more control over the cooking time. Once they were all done they were dropped into cold water to cool before drying them off and dehydrating until rock hard. A portion of the soup is now in the dehydrator on top of an adapted baking sheet and will stay there until its dry and can be broken into pieces. The only other ingredients I will be adding to the machine will be some peas and maybe a handfull of cooked pasta.

    Once everything is dry it will be seperated into two small resealable bags. Everything but the potatoes will go into one and the potatoes the other. The potatoes will be rehydrated seperately from the others as I imagine they will fall to pieces and end up like mash if they were rehydrated for the same time as the others. I'm not too bothered about the amount of water that is needed to make the soup at the moment as this is only a trial. Its pretty easy to work out whats needed for the soup as you weigh the cooked ingredients before and after drying and the difference in grams is whats required in mililitres.

    When it comes to making the soup I will pour hot water over the ingredients of each bag and leave for an hour until reheating and consuming !. No doubt there will be minor problems as I start the path to dehydrated foods but thats all part of it. One problem I have had already is the drying of the cooked potatoes. Some come out perfect and white while others are black. Just wondering if anybody has an idea of how to rectify this.

    If anybody has any good recipe ideas, post them here as it will be appreciated.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Natural Born Bushcrafter saxonaxe's Avatar
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    " If anybody has any good recipe ideas, post them here as it will be appreciated."

    Can't help you there Chubbs I'm afraid, I'm Moron rated when it comes to cooking.. My late Mrs made a deal with me as regards food/cooking..She wouldn't touch anything in my gun cupboard if I didn't touch anything in the kitchen..although I seem to remember she trusted me to turn the electric kettle on once.....

  3. #3
    Native Peaks's Avatar
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    Have a look at these sites - more on the 2nd page too
    https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourc...acking+recipes

  4. #4
    Moderator jus_young's Avatar
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    Nice one Neil. This is something I am working on now as I have a dehydrator and a vacuum bagging system. Lots of hikes to be done over the next couple of months with a week long trek doing the full Hadrians Wall so lots of dehydrated meals to do.

    As I come up with any recipes that work I will post them on here.

  5. #5
    Woodsman rik_uk3's Avatar
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    'Fruit leathers' work well, you can dry home made spag bol/curry

    I've been drying food for over ten years and with vegetables I use frozen veg. The big packs from Iceland or Farm Foods work well and its often cheaper than using fresh. Remember the frozen is already peeled and blanched.

    Peas
    Sliced green beans
    Onions
    Sweet Corn
    Sliced Peppers
    Carrots
    Swede


    Minced Beef AKA 'Hamburger Rocks'. Fry off the mince and place in colander then rinse off all the fat with boiling water then dry...good for curry and spag bol. Withe curry and spag bol I found dried tomato or Oxtail soup perfect for adding flavor and thickening the sauce.

    search ebay for dried tomato and butter buds.

    Fresh mushrooms dry very well and the water you soak them in to rehydrate gets an immensely strong mushroom flavor.

    Jerky is easy enough to make, lots of online recipes about but IMHO you must use good quality beef; I use Sirloin.
    Richard
    South Wales UK

  6. #6
    Tribal Elder Chubbs's Avatar
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    Some great recipe sites there Peaks, thanks for sharing mate.

    I also have a vac packing machine as well Jus. Not used it in a while, saying that I have no bags left. The bags rolls can be expensive but I remember reading somewhere that a certain cheap Tesco bag works wonders. I also remember hearing that there is a list or something on the Netmums website. Might be wrong but it might be worth a look around.

    10 years Rik, plenty of experience there mate. Is there anything that doesn't dry very well, have you dried eggs, do you notice a lack of taste while eating rehydrated meals.

  7. #7
    Woodsman rik_uk3's Avatar
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    Home dried eggs are dire, you can buy whole dried eggs which are better from health food shops or body builder shops.

    It is worth packing some herbs/spices or things like the tomato powder I mentioned.
    Richard
    South Wales UK

  8. #8
    Tribal Elder Chubbs's Avatar
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    Rik

    Dried a portion of homemade soup yesterday without any problems. Ground it down into a semi fine powder and bagged it up. This evening after picking up my daughter from a club I picked up a pound (454g) of frozen Aberdeen Angus mince from Aldi. It cost 2.19 so not a bad deal really. Cooked it off, rinsed it and dried before adding half an American Cup measure of homemade powdered bread crumbs. Now drying it and looking hopeful for the morning. Breadcrumbs added so that it rehydrates better than without.

    Had a look through the frozen veg isle for onions without success but forgot to buy a few cartons of passata to dry.

  9. #9
    Tribal Elder Chubbs's Avatar
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    I understand why some call the dried mince 'gravel' now !!. Just about completelydry this morning but have moved it about and set itfor another couple of hours to make sure its completely done.

    Looks like the shopping bill will be increased this weekend. Plan to buy some more mince, tomato puree, passata and frozen veg to dry along with a few jar sauces and some chickpea dahl.

    For dinner this evening I will try the veg soup I previously dried. At least then I can adjust the taste if need to and it will give me a better idea what to do while at camp.

  10. #10
    Woodsman rik_uk3's Avatar
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    I'd not bother drying passata, stick with dried tomato soup.
    Richard
    South Wales UK

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