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Backpacking Foods- Making Your Own Dehydrated Meals- Recipes


Page 1: Commercial Meals and Making Your Own
Page 2: Resources
Page 3: Recipes- Breakfast, Side Dishes
Page 4: Recipes- Dinners and Main Dishes
Page 5: Recipes- Single Pot Meals
Page 6: A New Look at Snacks and Backpack Meals

Sample Recipes

Following are some of my recipes for an idea of what you might be able to create on your own. I will post more of them as I get the time. The recipes are rather simple, but a good place to start. I have included explanations on some items to help with shopping for or creating ingredients. You will see a pattern forming once you start to read through the recipes. I try to include rice or noodles for plentiful carbs, lots of dried fruits or vegetables, and a variety of flavors so that I am really looking forward to eating the meals. At the same time remember that the more raisins and cranberries you add to your oatmeal, the heavier your pack will become.

Note that I design my meals for rehydration in a pint or quart, storage grade Ziplock bag, so there are no dishes to wash. Whether you use a pint or quart size bag depends on the size of the meal. I suggest rehydration times for each meal- these typically are minimum times. If you have the time to wait, most of the dinner meals with their dehydrated vegetables are better if you can give them closer to 1/2 hour to rehydrate. With this time requirement you may be eating warm, or even cool meals. All of the meals can be added to a pot of water and cooked in a normal manner. This makes some of the dishes more palatable for some people. Also, be sure you have added enough hot water to your dish. The breakfast meals rehydrate much quicker than the dinner meals. All of these recipes create one serving unless otherwise noted. Have fun with these recipes, experiment and enjoy.

Hot Granola and Oatmeal Breakfasts

These are rather simple meals, but pleasing and nourishing before a long day of walking. As with all meals, they can be modified to be larger or smaller, ingredients can be added or left out. The recipes for both meals are very similar. The difference in flavor is achieved by the addition of ingredients. You can use different flavors of granola for variety as well. Both of these meals have worked well for me being rehydrated in a Ziplock bag. The oatmeal dish can be a bit sticky for some people's taste. It can be poured into a pot and cooked traditionally if you so desire.

Granola Breakfast - needs about 3/4 cup of water to rehydrate, more if you like.

  • 1/2 cup granola- any flavor
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup instant oatmeal (optional- if you like bigger breakfasts, or if the granola alone gets a little too sweet)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons any or all of the following: raisins, currants, cranberries, flaked coconut, diced almonds, dried apples
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder (I like to use "non-instant, nonfat dry milk powder" from Whole Foods. It seems to be thicker and have more flavor than Carnation Nonfat Dry Milk powder.)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons protein powder (helps add a little flavor, and the obvious protein)

Oatmeal Breakfast - needs about 1 cup water to rehydrate.

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup granola (optional- if you like bigger breakfasts)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons any or all of the following: raisins, currants, cranberries, flaked coconut, diced almonds, dried apples
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder (see my preference above)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons protein powder (helps add a little flavor, and the obvious protein)
  • spices to taste- I add a dash of cinnamon or cardamom for variety
  • dash of salt
  • brown sugar to taste (2 teaspoons is enough for me; I leave it out if I add granola)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon butter buds (this is a dry butter substitute)


Side Dishes

Couscous - This simple dish is a nice accompaniment to lentil soup or split pea soup. This recipe makes one serving. It easily rehydrates in a storage grade, pint Ziplock bag in about 10 minutes. I have found that it is best to add the currants to the bag with the rest of the ingredients at the last minute. The moisture in the currants causes the rest of the ingredients to clump together. To avoid this you can put the currants in a snack size Ziplock, placing that inside of the main bag. Add them to the rehydrated meal.

  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable broth powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of chili powder
  • pinch of granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon currants

Rice and Peas - This is another simple side dish that is good with soups or beans. It also rehydrates well in a storage grade, pint Ziplock bag. Makes one serving.

  • 1/2 cup instant rice
  • 1/3 cup dried peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped or slivered almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon butter buds
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of turmeric
  • pinch of garlic powder

Mashed Potatoes - Another simple side dish that requires very little to create. I simply buy the bags of instant mash potatoes available at any grocery store and measure them out into storage grade, pint Ziplock bags. I will add this side to just about any meal I am eating if I have the craving for it. Recipe is for one serving.

  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes (I use the unflavored variety)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion or onion flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon Butter Buds (a dry butter substitute)
  • dash of salt


Sweet Rice Dessert (Kheer)

This dessert is a favorite after a long day of hiking and a good dinner. It is a good sized dessert for one person. Package it in a one quart Ziplock; it will fit in a pint Ziplock but may be a tight fit if you add more of any ingredient. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup boiling water to rehydrate, depending on desired consistency. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes.

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup instant rice
  • 2 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sliced or shredded almonds
  • 1 tablespoon each flake and shredded coconut (the shredded gives more flavor while the flakes adds texture to the dish)
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder (see my preference under Granola Breakfast, above)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • dash of salt



Back to Top
Page 1: Commercial Meals and Making Your Own
Page 2: Resources
Page 3: Recipes- Breakfast, Side Dishes
Page 4: Recipes- Dinners and Main Dishes
Page 5: Recipes- Single Pot Meals

Page 6: A New Look at Snacks and Backpack Meals


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