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Recipes for Adventure: The Backpacking Chef’s Dehydrated Food Bible

book by:
Glen McAllister
Version:
1
Price:
18.36

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On October 21, 2015
Last modified:October 25, 2016

Summary:

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.

Recipes for Adventure by Glenn McAllister
Recipes for Adventure by Glenn McAllister

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.

Making Dehydrated Ratatoille
Making Dehydrated 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.

Dehydrated cantaloupe makes a great trail snack
Dehydrated cantaloupe makes a great trail snack

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.

Sweet potato bark being dehydrated
Sweet potato bark being dehydrated

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.

Dehydrating Ratatoille
Dehydrating Ratatoille

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.

Recommendation

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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12 comments

  1. Great stuff! It will be under the tree in December :)

  2. Got it in the mail today …all the way to Australia . Great stuff . Just in time for an overnighter this coming weekend.

  3. I love his root bark stew and his ratatouille! Add some dehydrated chicken yo either and you have an excellent meal. His site really opened my eyes to the possibilities of dehydrating meals for the trail.

  4. I bought this book several weeks ago. At first, I was a little disappointed because I thought the book was very thin for the pricepoint, but it is really packed with information. Menus are my massive weakness in the backpacking realm. This could help a lot, especially as I work on getting my Scout Troop out on the trail more often.

    • I think that is a fair assessment – you won’t realize how much information is in this book until you dehydrate a few recipes and use them on a long trip. I’ve really not found such comprehensive, concise, and practical information anywhere else.

  5. Philip, thank you for the review. Keep practicing on that sweet potato bark… should be a little less brown. When I published the book, the thickness of the book and price point where a big part of the design considerations. Due to having color photos on every page, which significantly increases the printing cost, I had to pack as much content onto as few pages as possible to offer it at the price it sells for. A color page printed in the book’s 8.5 x 11 format costs exactly the same to print as a smaller page. I could have made the book fatter with the content spread over more smaller pages, like the industry standard 5.5 x 8.5, but that would have made it more expensive. As you say, the book is concise, but it’s all in there.

    Love your site. I read your posts and reviews often.

  6. I’m going to check this out. I’ve spent the cover price on a single meal for my wife and I many times over.

  7. That pic above for the Ratatoille looks great! But, aren’t those “chunks” of food too big? When I first dried food I found the food on the trail to be hard, tough, and not completely rehydrated. I found that putting the food in a food processor and grinding it up a bit allows it to maintain the taste but it rehydrates more easily (especially meat).

  8. This book is too expensive for a book with less than 100 pages. Can it really be any improvement on existing freezer bag cooking books already on the market?
    For someone really interested in freezer bag cooking, just cook more of what you love, weigh each portion to know how much rehydration water to add, and dehydrate. How hard is that?

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