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RE: [pct-l] Drying Food
- Subject: RE: [pct-l] Drying Food
- From: "Mayer, Jim" <JMayer@crt.xerox.com>
- Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 16:35:13 -0500
We must be doing something different. My experience has been that most
veggies dehydrate wonderfully and rehydrate quickly. Here is what I do:
(1) Most veggies should be parboiled. Frozen veggies don't have to be (I
think they are parboiled before packaging anyhow).
(2) Veggies should be sliced very thin. Carrots cut into 1/4" chunks turn
into unpleasant chewy hunks that never really rehydrate. Carrots sliced
into very thin rounds (about one or two millimeters) rehydrate wonderfully.
Potatoes can be sliced very thin as well. Greens already are thin, but need
to be parboiled.
(3) If you plan to eat the veggies dry (e.g. apple slices) then you don't
have to worry about thin so much. You can dry lots of things, its
rehydrating that is hard.
(4) Small beans can be dried and rehydrated quickly if you cook them ahead
of time. Lentils are wonderful, and I've had good luck with both black
beans and small white beans.
(5) Many fruits (Granny Smith's are an exception) need to be treated ahead
of time or they turn brown (they still taste fine, by the way). I usually
use citric acid or lemon juice.
On the trail, I just add the veggies to cold water and bring it to a boil.
Then I add my "base" (e.g. instant rice, couscous, instant mashed potatoes,
pasta, etc.) and bring things back to a boil again. After that I generally
turn off the stove and let things "cook" in a pot cozy for five or ten
minutes (mine is made out of "reflectix", which looks like aluminum foil
covered bubble wrap... you could probably use a fleece jacket). If I'm
cooking pasta, I try to use just the amount of water that the pasta will
Anyway, I've never found extended simmering to be necessary to rehydrate
dried veggies if the veggies were cut thin enough in the first place.
I've experimented with dried veggies from a local store, but haven't had
much luck. They were all cut too thick for my style of backcountry cooking.
-- Jim Mayer
From: ted_williams [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, November 13, 1998 10:50 AM