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Aldawg
02-06-2012, 02:02 PM
I just bought one of these. (http://www.nesco.com/category_449f7f01f1ea/subcategory_39febe0b9343/product_425bff160394/session_31f59195b0f4/) It's a Nesco food dehydrator, for making jerky, and fruit roll-ups. But can be used for drying just about anything else. I do a fair bit of camping, so I thought this year I would attempt to eat a little bit healthier. Almost any pre-packaged convenience food is loaded with not only preservatives, chemicals, and sugar, but way too much sodium as well. This will allow me to control what is in my food.
If anybody has any experience with using one of these, I sure could use any knowledge or tips! For now I am going to start with the easy stuff like fruit, veggies, and beef jerky. But I heard you can dry whole prepared meals, and just rehydrate with hot water, for a lightweight, fast, wholesome delicious meal.
I will continue to update this page as I progress to the ultimate camping food nirvana. I also encourage others to provide additional information here as well, so that we can all learn and share. Thank You!:)

kdf9511
02-06-2012, 02:46 PM
Thats a nice one. I have a simple one myself and found that doing fruits and jerky are a good place to start. It's a trial and error kind of process. I need to dig mine out and go back to working on figuring out chilli.

Another good one is ground beef. I like to use this method (http://www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-meat.html). You can then use it in almost any application. One of my favorites is hamburger, rice and pork and beans. Just toss in a can of beans and 3/4 to a can of rice with your burger meat and cook until the rice is tender. The rice cooks in the bean juce instead of water.

If your going to do a big batch of jerky you might try this method. I did it once for a family camping trip with the kids and it worked out really well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfI0NKl-Kq0

Dusty Boots
02-06-2012, 03:16 PM
Alex .... I have the same dehydrator as that and it's a good one.
When I used to be heavily into backpacking and used to hang out on the Backpacker forums, Sarah used to do a lot of recipes using your own dehydrated foods and great, lightweight meals, called freezer bag cooking.
Try this site out as it looks like she has morphed her old site -

http://www.trailcooking.com/

Also, another gal I know from another outdoor site produced a book, much along the same lines, called A Fork in the Trail. She also has a web site (http://www.aforkinthetrail.com/) by the same name. Tell Laurie Dusty sent ya! ;)

GroundHog
02-06-2012, 03:43 PM
Aldawg try some of these..he has some pretty good recipes.


http://hungryhammockhanger.com/index.html

SidecarMike
02-06-2012, 04:26 PM
I just bought one of these. (http://www.nesco.com/category_449f7f01f1ea/subcategory_39febe0b9343/product_425bff160394/session_31f59195b0f4/) It's a Nesco food dehydrator, for making jerky, and fruit roll-ups. ... I also encourage others to provide additional information here as well, so that we can all learn and share. Thank You!:)
I have the same one. Nice thing about the Nesco is you can pick up additional trays and the fruit sheets just about anywhere. We have about a dozen on ours.
The most popular things around here are thin cut flank steaks soaked overnight in low sodium Soy sauce for jerky and roll ups made by greasing a tray, pouring a jar of sugar free applesauce on it and sprinkling a little Cinnamon or shredded coconut on top.
www.nesco.com (http://www.nesco.com) has a bunch of recipes, as does http://www.dehydratorbook.com/how-to.html

IndyDon
02-06-2012, 05:26 PM
I have a dehydrator but have not used for a long time. I have done jerky, bananas, tomatoes and green peppers. Need to get out again.

Aldawg
02-10-2012, 11:55 AM
You guys are AWESOME! :D It always amazes me how quickly lots of great information can be brought together in a forum. I've been pouring through all of links posted here and others, and have gotten some great ideas. As I said before I'm still in the learning, and experimental stage of the process, but progress is going well and initial 'tests' taste great! So far I've had good results with apples, pineapples, and bananas. My fruit leather still needs some work :( The best results actually really surprised me, and I have to give credit to hungryhammockhanger (thanks Groundhog). The pre-cooked, dehydrated recipes he made tasted the best so far. And he presents it in written, and video format, which makes it really easy to follow. My hats off to Babblefish5 for doing all the hard work, Thank You!

More to come in the next few weeks as I get better at being creative with this new (to me) process. I will try to post some pics and video, hopefully of stuff that has'nt already been done. Thanks again to everyone for helping out. :)

iacornfed
02-10-2012, 07:36 PM
I have one but I have never mastered drying bannas yet! Kicks my butt every time.

Aldawg
02-11-2012, 08:38 AM
I have one but I have never mastered drying bannas yet! Kicks my butt every time.

Try dipping the bananas in honey before drying.

kdf9511
02-11-2012, 12:55 PM
One other tip that I just remembered. Use a Mandolin for slicing things for dehydrating. It makes nice even slices that will dry well. I've got a cheep plastic one from the kitchen store at the outlet mall. Works great and makes things go much quicker when slicing things like fruits and veg.

Ironheadziggy76
02-11-2012, 01:01 PM
One other tip that I just remembered. Use a Mandolin for slicing things for dehydrating. It makes nice even slices that will dry well. I've got a cheep plastic one from the kitchen store at the outlet mall. Works great and makes things go much quicker when slicing things like fruits and veg.


+1 P^

Wildside
01-22-2014, 11:48 AM
Check out "Recipes for Adventure" available on Amazon. Complete dried meals you can make and put together yourself. Much tastier and cheaper than backpacker store bought meals. My wife keeps us eating healthy (and tasty). She dried one of these recipes late summer 2013 and we re-hydrated it Jan. 2014 - I was amazed. She has also been trying the recipes (non-dried) to see how she wants to tweak them. I think the author's prep is almost OCD, but he is backpacking and weight/space count. My wife loves his organization of the meals. We had rather eat in camp than eat out for health/enjoyment reasons.

hellboy7
01-24-2014, 03:22 PM
So if you dry out the fruits, does it make fruit roll up? Is it that easy? If so I'm definitely sold on this

Wildside
01-27-2014, 12:00 PM
Mrs Wildside: Yes fruit leathers are just one possibility. "Barks" can be made on a drying sheet also. Totally dry, to be broken in pieces, eaten as chips or re-hydrated in meals. Fruit can be in slices and rehydrated later such as a banana pudding. We put dried fruit in our oatmeal while cooking at home and in camp. many good how to books available on Amazon -just read the reviews.

Aldawg
01-27-2014, 12:38 PM
So if you dry out the fruits, does it make fruit roll up? Is it that easy? If so I'm definitely sold on this

Yup, you can blend almost any fruit and eat it as fruit roll up or leather. When I'm feeling lazy, I pour whole jars of apple sauce onto the fruit trays, and they come out great, and good for you! Also I've heard frozen fruit works well in the dehydrator.

hellboy7
01-27-2014, 01:10 PM
Well I'm pretty much sold... Gonna go on amazon and start shopping for one now.

Aldawg
01-27-2014, 01:34 PM
Well I'm pretty much sold... Gonna go on amazon and start shopping for one now.

Make sure to order the fruit trays, for drying wet stuff like tomato and apple sauce. And screens, they are good for rice and other small items that fall through the regular trays. One of my favorites is pasta, cook the pasta like normal, then rinse and dry, cook very lean hamburger and rinse, then pour the sauce right out of the jar, dry everything separatly, together. What I mean is that you could dry pasta, meat and sauce together on separate trays, but don't dry fruit and sauce on different trays together, otherwise the flavors might clash. I hope I'm not confusing you :o

DanceswMtns
01-27-2014, 02:05 PM
Here is one of my favorite sites for dehydrating.


http://www.backpackingchef.com/

privateer
01-27-2014, 03:39 PM
One other tip that I just remembered. Use a Mandolin for slicing things for dehydrating. It makes nice even slices that will dry well. I've got a cheep plastic one from the kitchen store at the outlet mall. Works great and makes things go much quicker when slicing things like fruits and veg.

Good tip! I use my mandolin slicer all the time.

Wildside
01-27-2014, 03:41 PM
Yes, backpackingchef.com is the author of Recipes for Adventure P^