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snowdeuce
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PostFri Feb 21, 2014 11:09 pm 
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I'm planning a flip-floppity section hike of the PCT in WA this summer, and in the interest of eating (sort of) health-consciously, am making quite a bit of my trail food from scratch.  Just wanted to share a couple of my more "unique" successes:

Dehydrated BBQ baked beans are a great alternative to your usual sweet/salty trail mix.  I used a can of vegetarian baked beans, spread on a solid tray.  It took about 8 hrs at 115 degrees, flipped halfway through.  Pinto beans packed in chili sauce are pretty good too, though less flavourful.  Add a bit of cayenne to perk them up, and you'll be set.

Dried Kimchi:  Too bulky for long-distance hike snacking, but might be worth chopping finely and adding to other snack mixes, or ground and used as a spice for other dishes.  If you dry your kimchi at temperatures below 118 (I did mine at 110), you will preserve the natural beneficial bacteria.  I'm doing a test run on regular cucumber pickles now, to see if I can get something of more uniform shape that packs better while offering similar benefits.

Sweet Potato "bark" with berbere and maple syrup:  Berbere is one of my favourite spice blends; used in many Ethiopian dishes from raw beef to lentils.  It's complex and spicy, and not hard to find in the Seattle area these days.  But you could substitute a pinch of Cayenne instead.  In any case, remember to go easy, as the flavours concentrate during drying.

Vegan White Bean soup with garlic and rosemary:  Make a THICK crockpot bean soup, but don't add any fat.  Use LOTS of garlic; it gets mild as you cook it, and milder as it dries. Dry on solid sheets, add olive oil at camp when rehydrating.  If rosemary isn't your thing, try sage and black pepper instead.

Wasabi Garbanzos:  I have only done this with canned beans, but home-cooked beans should work fine too:  Sprinkle wasabi powder over drained garbanzos, shake to distribute seasoning, dry at 115 degrees for about 8 hours.  (Taste, and dry more if needed.)

Machaca (dried spiced beef):  I braised a piece of chuck roast in a bit of tomato sauce and berbere until it was falling apart.  Cut out any large fatty bits, shred, and dehydrate.  I did mine at 115, but it's generally advised to do meats at 155.  At a temp that high, check your meat every hour or so; it will become brittle more quickly than you might think.

I've also had good luck so far drying various pastas, brown rice, lasagna, sauces, and canned tomatoes, but that's all pretty straightforward...My next project is to make a gazpacho that can be rehydrated and eaten as a cold, no-cook lunch, as gazpacho should be.  If it's successful, I'll post the recipe here, as I was not able to find anyone else's results on the web.

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Schenk
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PostMon Feb 24, 2014 12:15 pm 
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snowdeuce wrote:
My next project is to make a gazpacho that can be rehydrated and eaten as a cold, no-cook lunch, as gazpacho should be. 

Right on, keeping my eyes open for that one!

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Navy salad
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PostFri Feb 28, 2014 11:54 am 
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Just saw this post -- we have similar tastes for hiking food. Questions:

How did the dried BBQ beans turn out -- dry or sticky?

How did you do the sweet potato bark -- cooked & mashed & spread on dehydrator trays or sliced into chunks, then dried?

Dehydrated thick meal-soups are my favorite backpacking food, although they've never turned out as good as before dehydrating. Adding a generous amount of olive oils helps a lot.

You may already know this, but you can buy wasabi garbanzos ready to eat at Trader Joe's or PCC.

Let us know how the Gazpacho turns out. My guess is it will be difficult to replicate the fresh taste associated with this soup.
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snowdeuce
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PostFri Feb 28, 2014 12:51 pm 
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I'm back!

First off, the gazpacho:  I'm on the right track!  I was delighted at how well the bitty chunks of pepper and cucumber rehydrated, and the flavour of the soup was excellent!  However...the recipe needs a little tweaking.  Even with adding hot water instead of cold to rehydrate, the tomato stayed kinda leathery.  So, I'm going to do another batch in the next few days, drying most of the tomato separately, and grinding it to a powder to mix in with the rest.

This recipe was adapted from The Best Recipe (Soups and Stews) written by Cook's Illustrated.  They don't use bread in their recipe; I was planning to add bread crumbs and additional olive oil during rehydration to boost calorie count:

Grind up a cucumber, a green pepper, about a 1/2 cup of onion, 3-4 nice size garlic cloves, a couple glugs of olive oil, and 1-2 tb of red wine vinegar in the food processor.  At this point, I added four cans of petite diced tomato and gave it another short swirl in the processor.  (note that I will dry tomato separately in the future) You don't want a completely homogenous mixture, there should be some small chunks of veggies to chew on.

I'm concerned that the veggies won't dry the same if I dry them without *any* tomato, so I'm gonna add a little juice in, then spread on dehydrator trays.  Dry into leather (I left the dehydrator on overnight at 105 degrees.)

Sweet Potato Bark:  I cooked, mashed, seasoned my potatoes before spreading on a tray.  The first batch had butter in it, the second batch did not, and I could tell the difference.  The buttered bark was noticeably better...and now that I have oxygen absorber packets, I'm less worried about rancidity.

Wasabi Garbanzos at TJ's:  I didn't know!  But I made ranch garbanzos too.  Betcha TJ's hasn't thought of that...yet.

Dried BBQ Beans:  Dry and crunchy, not leathery.  I'm trying to hide them from myself so I don't get sick of eating them before I get on trail.  Seriously, I dried a 6-lb can after the test batch came out good.

My homemade dried Chinese BBQ pork is similiarly amazing.  I've been doing my own BBQ pork for a few years now...for this I used some very lean chops, marinated for a few days, roasted, shredded, and dried.  Here's the marinade recipe:  http://archives.starbulletin.com/2007/02/14/features/story01.html

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Repeal the parking fee for WA state public lands!  The Ninth Circuit court has said this isn't allowed for federal public lands; why are we allowing it at the state level?
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Navy salad
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PostFri Feb 28, 2014 1:08 pm 
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snowdeuce wrote:
I'm trying to hide them from myself so I don't get sick of eating them before I get on trail.  Seriously, I dried a 6-lb can after the test batch came out good.


lol.gif

Thanks for posting this and the followup! I'm surprised more of the NWHikers Foodists haven't chimed in yet. I haven't found NWHikers on the whole to be very obsessed with food (probably most are members of the "eat to hike, don't hike to eat" school of thought), but don't be discouraged by not a lot of responses. And no -- I have yet to see ranch garbanzos/chickpeas at either TJ's or PCC....

Also, regarding tomatoes, you can buy or make tomato powder (google that phrase), in case that helps with your gazpacho experimentation. I would think that just buzzing a bunch of tomatoes in the blender (including peels), then spreading thinly to dehydrate, then buzzing the result into little chunks would do the trick.
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snowdeuce
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PostFri Feb 28, 2014 1:59 pm 
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I have a hard time eating on trail, which is why I'm doing this.  Six weeks of Mountain House Mac n Cheese interspersed with MH Lasagna isn't gonna cut it, ya know?  And while I can handle the occasional Snickers bar, I'm so unaccustomed to junk food and sweets that I can't imagine that stuff being a significant part of my hiking diet, either.

If I come up with any other interesting/successful food projects, I'll add them to this thread.

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Repeal the parking fee for WA state public lands!  The Ninth Circuit court has said this isn't allowed for federal public lands; why are we allowing it at the state level?
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renegadepilgrim
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PostSat Mar 01, 2014 3:01 am 
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snowdeuce wrote:
I have a hard time eating on trail, which is why I'm doing this.  Six weeks of Mountain House Mac n Cheese interspersed with MH Lasagna isn't gonna cut it, ya know?  And while I can handle the occasional Snickers bar, I'm so unaccustomed to junk food and sweets that I can't imagine that stuff being a significant part of my hiking diet, either.

If I come up with any other interesting/successful food projects, I'll add them to this thread.

There are other companies besides MH that have good food...Packit Gourmet, Hawk Vittles, Mary Janes Organics, etc.

I have to say, I am intrigued by the dehydrated food...I just don't have the patience to wait for it to rehydrate, and I prefer FBC cooking (using Sarbar's recipes from trailcooking.com) to minimize the mess.

Some guys gave a presentation at the ALDA-West Winter Ruck last weekend and I was almost ready to get myself a dehydrator, they made it look so simple!  smile.gif

Look forward to seeing what else you come up with.

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snowdeuce
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PostSat Mar 01, 2014 10:17 am 
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renegadepilgrim wrote:
I have to say, I am intrigued by the dehydrated food...I just don't have the patience to wait for it to rehydrate

The cool thing about dehydrating food is that it rehydrates really well, even in cold water.  I cooked pasta and dried it, then rehydrated in cold water for ten minutes before a quick warm-up on the stove. Very low fuel usage.  Also, I'm drying things like beans for snacking on trail; I plan to "cook" only once a day, likely in the evenings. I'll also buy some of those fancy bags from Packit Gourmet, and one of those cozy bags as well.

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Repeal the parking fee for WA state public lands!  The Ninth Circuit court has said this isn't allowed for federal public lands; why are we allowing it at the state level?
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renegadepilgrim
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PostSat Mar 01, 2014 3:40 pm 
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I've been with out friends who use dehydrated food before. I'm usually done with my meal by the time they're getting started. wink.gif I know there are some folks who go stove less and eat rehydrated food at ambient temperature. Lots of thruhikers seem to do this.

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sarbar
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PostTue Mar 04, 2014 10:11 pm 
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Cold rehydration can be good - I love a quick "salad" of lentils and couscous I can tell you!

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renegadepilgrim
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PostTue Mar 04, 2014 11:43 pm 
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sarbar wrote:
Cold rehydration can be good - I love a quick "salad" of lentils and couscous I can tell you!

I'm taking your new books with me on my trip to MT (good reading material on the plane, I hope!)...will I find some recipes for this sort of thing in there?

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sarbar
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PostWed Mar 05, 2014 10:43 am 
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renegadepilgrim wrote:
sarbar wrote:
Cold rehydration can be good - I love a quick "salad" of lentils and couscous I can tell you!

I'm taking your new books with me on my trip to MT (good reading material on the plane, I hope!)...will I find some recipes for this sort of thing in there?

Yes! In the lunch section of Trail Cooking smile.gif

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renegadepilgrim
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PostWed Mar 05, 2014 7:15 pm 
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Sweet...

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PostFri Mar 07, 2014 8:29 am 
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researching dehydrators maybe some feedback on products. Ultra light packers by design do not spend time thinking about cooking from my observation

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PostFri Mar 07, 2014 8:31 am 
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Trader Joes papaya's cut to bite size left in bath of water overnight come out cold and rehydrated like fresh

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