Adventures in dehydrating food for travel

After reading  321 Stop: stop running and start living I did a massive clean out.  Yes, I know this is typical for me, but there was another layer of the onion to peel off.

In doing so, I listed my dehydrator on Craigslist.

Then Monday night at the library, I ran across another book. Another Fork in the Trail: Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for the Backcountry.

The book covers dehydrating food and assembling into meals so that it can be easily packed and stored--which for a girl who just packed a whole weekend of food for a trip to New Mexico sounded amazing. Dehydrated food is lighter and doesn't need refrigeration, and the book has really amazing recipes that take it way beyond kale and banana chips.

I was inspired to test it out.  Over the weekend I made some particularly yummy chili beans--pinto beans with a bit of garlic and a sauce made of tomato and a ton of chile seco. I poured the mixture onto the dehydrator sheets which took about 12 - 18 hours to completely dry.  I then put the mixture into ziplock baggies with a note as to how much was there originally before I dehydrated.  (I put 1 cup chili beans on each tray, so I would know that.  When rehydrating, you don't want to add more water than was in the beans originally.)

And you know what? It worked!

If you've ever eaten a "cup-a-soup" you've experienced rehydrating a meal.

A friend of mine sent me some blogs and I read further. It seems like a really viable option when traveling--because almost every place I go has the ability to heat water. (Some of the recipes even rehydrate cold.)

So needless to say, I took the dehydrator off Craigslist. (And thanks to the 321 Stop-inspired clean-out, I now even have a completely empty cabinet so it has a place to live.)
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall