Fruits and vegetables contain lots of water. But they also make your camping meals delicious and varied. This is why every hiking foodie knows all about dehydrating (drying) fruit and vegetables.
Take my eggplant example. Eggplant makes a great Greek stew, Italian pasta sauce, or Indian curry. But, weighing in at almost 500g, it would be much too heavy and delicate to carry on a trek.
My dehydrated eggplant weighs under 20g, or about half an ounce! That’s about 4% of the fresh weight. You can rehydrate the eggplant and cook it in any liquid dish, like a sauce, stew or curry.
Tips for dehydrating
- You don’t need special equipment. Use your oven on the lowest setting.
- Depending on what you dehydrate, it can take many hours, so be prepared to leave it overnight or all day.
- Cut the food small. I used the food processor to chop the eggplant into tiny pieces.
- Before starting, dry the food as much as you can using paper towels.
- Store the deydrated food in labelled bags, so you remember how much of your ingredient you will have!
Some foods dehydrate (and rehydrate) better than others. You’ll soon get a feel for what works, but as a rough guide try the fruitier Mediterranean vegetables like red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes. Watch out for affordable bulk ripe produce in summer and dehydrate for treks later.
No time to dehydrate? Make sure you look out for dehydrated ingredients. Some are readily available, others more unusual.
What’s the best result you’ve had with dehydrating food?