The Backpacking Chef, Glenn McAllister, recently published a backpacking and camping cookbook called Recipes for Adventure (available on Amazon), which is chock full of healthy, hearty, and homemade backpacking recipes. I know this first-hand because I’ve made many of them, like this Ratatoille.
But while the meals and snack recipes in Recipes for Adventure are excellent, the real value of the book in learning how to dehydrate good food for your trips so you don’t have to rely on expensive Mountainhouse-style meals which have a ton of salt and a long list of unpronounceable ingredients in them.
How to Dehydrate Food
In Recipes for Adventure, Chef Glenn provides step-by-step direction on how to dehydrate all of your favorite foods from meats to vegetables and fruits. He explains the most important features to get when buying a food dehydrator and how to get the best results for your efforts, including specific ways to prepare different types of food before you dry them.
How to Make Bark
Starchy foods and stews like sweet potatoes, cheddar potatoes, BBQ beef stew, corn chowder, peas, and pumpkin pie filling can be dehydrated into something called “bark” which is cooked first, homogenized in a blender, dehydrated, and then broken up and stored in plastic bags.
Bark has many uses in a backpacker’s menu because you can:
- Snack on it like a chip
- Make mashed potatoes or meals with thick sauces
- Use it to thicken and add flavor to soups
- Create barbeque and enchilada flavored sauces
- Make puddings and pies
- Include sweet potato bark in breakfast recipes
I’d never heard of bark before I started reading Glenn’s web site, BackpackingChef.com, but it is wonderful stuff.
How to Dehydrate Complete Meals
Chef Glenn’s approach to dehydrating food is a little different from most authors because he focuses on how make complete meals instead of piecemeal ingredients – just like those Mountainhouse style meals – but without the preservatives and crap that make them evil.
This includes meals that you assemble from dehydrated ingredients on the trail, ones you add to a starch like rice, or fully assembled meals that you cook and dehydrate beforehand such as beef and bean chili, ratatoille, or scrambled eggs with polenta (to help them rehydrate properly), and more.
Recipes for Adventure is a great book about how to dehydrate your own backing food that include dozens of mouth-watering step by step recipes. But it’s more than just a backpacking cookbook because it is full of tips and tricks about how to dry and rehydrate specific food types, the best equipment to buy for dehydrating your food, and how to preserve it until your next adventure.
Available only at Amazon.com, Recipes for Adventure is a great gift to give yourself or the backpacking foodie in your family.
Disclosure: The Backpacking Chef, Glen McAllister, sent a copy of his new book, Recipes for Adventure, to Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) for this review but I probably would have written a review of it anyway since I learned almost everything I know about dehydrating backpacking food from Glenn’s website The Backpackingchef.com.
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