For our road trip last summer Barbora had dried so many vegetables. They were really handy to have on the trip. Basically she cut very finely zucchini, eggplants, carrots, peppers and leak and left them out to dry in the hot Norwegian summer sun. It is not a joke last year we had the hottest summer and our veggies dried quickly!
This year the weather is awful so when in May Barbora wanted to set up our sun drying station we didn’t get very far. The forecast has been rain, rain, wind, fog, rain, maybe sun but not really, and cold! So she tried drying in the oven. First time round it didn’t work so well as she didn’t know of the life hack: leave a crack open in the oven door as to allow the humidity to escape. Otherwise the veggies are just enjoying a sauna and you are paying the bill.
I was back from a wild camping cross country skiing weekend where cooking soup in knee deep snow with howling winds had challenged my patience and general good mood* when I bumped into Carry’s blog.
She mentioned taking and making ready-to-eat dried meals that she made herself on a 9 day solo expedition in winter in Lapland! BINGO! We should up our drying game too and have dried meals ready to rehydrate for our camping/diving/skiing trips. I dropped Carry and email to ask for some advice and how she does it and bought a drier. We got it during quite a busy time when we were both travelling a lot and rarely home. Barbora gave it a go first drying her fresh veggies and this time also fruits. So we had a delicious dried fruit mix.
Then it was my turn to try and I tried some full on meals: vegetarian chilli with rice and lentils with potatoes.
Delicious. Just I used soya chunks for the vegetarian chilli and those definitely don’t work they take forever to rehydrate. I will try next time with soya mince. Currently on our dryer we have a green thai curry and another curry which Barbora was cooking yesterday.
I will add the recipes and drying times of the delicious dishes we make as we go along!
In short, choose a nice recipe, cook it normally (bear in mind that here chopping finely might pay off as chunky bits take longer to rehydrate), make the portions that you want. This is easier to gauge if you have it in a plate for example. In the dehydrator it does for 6-12 hours (depends on temp and ingredients). Once it is dried pack the portions in bags and off you go. When you make the meal on the trip boil water and add it to the dried meal. Let it cook for a bit and then let it sit to soak properly until it get soft (it depends on the ingredients). A meal with lentils is quicker than rice and a meal with soya chuncks takes FOREVER!
For any outdoorer I would definitely recommend it! Especially as after diving I am voracious and hate waiting for the food to cook!
*many that know me will argue with a description of me as having a “general good mood” and would define me more as a grumpy, heartless, cynical b*tch. But I beg to point out that when I am underwater or outdoors I do have a good mood.