Dehydrating Diva

Once I made a decision to hike the trail I realized that eating was going to present a problem because as the title indicates, I’m a vegetarian. I’ve had a few health issues in the past because of insufficient protein intake and knew how important it was to maintain good nutrition while hiking. Existing on ramen noodles, peanut butter and Clif bars wasn’t going to cut it so I started exploring my options and decided that cooking and dehydrating meals was the way to go. Since I’d never dehydrated before I had to turn to my buddy Google to tell me how. Picked up a dehydrator at BJ’s (on sale with $20 off) and began perusing other hiker’s blogs and backpacking sites for meal ideas and tips. I also turned to my own recipe files because I wanted to find meals I liked but that would be “dehydrator friendly”. Stacked with a fairly good collection the shopping commenced. Bought a variety of rices and quinoa in bulk along with several cases of beans – black, red kidney, soy and pigeon peas (gandules). I turned my kitchen into a mini assembly line, cooking, dehydrating and packaging. I love Spanish food but my family doesn’t so I happily cooked a variety of rice and bean meals in addition to Cuban and Guatemalan. I learned to sauté in wine because fats don’t dehydrate well. I made a LOT of rice cooked in a variety of milks – almond, cashew and almond/coconut. I stayed away from whole coconut milk due to the fat content. The method I used for packaging my food I learned from  Chef Glen’s site. What a great source of information!  Highly recommend checking it out.

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