Along with my Sawyer Mini water filter, my favorite piece of backpacking gear is my dehydrator. No, I don’t lug my dehydrator around with me on the trail. 🙂 However, I do use it to make dehydrated backpacking meals. DIY dehydrated meals not only cut down on backpacking expenses, but also save you a lot of weight.
You can dehydrate practically anything. In addition to the obvious fruits for homemade trail mix, you can also dehydrate things like tomato sauce, blended soups, kale, and eggplants. One of my favorite dehydrator backpacking meals is hummus.
Dehydrator Hummus Recipe
Dehydrated hummus is really simple to make.
Step 1: Make hummus. The secret to good hummus is a lot of fresh lemon juice, but use whatever recipe you like. Or buy readymade hummus. In the hummus pictured here, I added fresh kale. That’s what those green flecks you see are.
Step 2: Prepare your dehydrator sheets. Obviously you can’t just spread hummus on your dehydrator racks. It would fall through the holes. Instead, you’ve got to put a sheet down for it.
You can buy dehydrator sheets like these ones for fairly cheap. They are basically a mesh screen. The purpose is to let the air through without letting the food fall through. You can buy any brand of sheets and just cut them to fit your dehydrator.
I like in Serbia though, and it costs a fortune to ship items here. So, I opted to make my own dehydrator sheets. There’s two ways to do it:
Option 1: Cut parchment paper to the size of your dehydrator trays. Poke a bunch of holes in the parchment paper to let air through.
Option 2: Cut smallish circles of parchment paper. Poke a few holes in them. This is where you will put your hummus for dehydrating.
***If you don’t poke enough holes in the dehydrator, air won’t be able to flow through. The trays will get really HOT and they could start melting! I speak from experience here 😮
Step 3: Spread hummus on the sheets. I spread it to be about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Try to make the thickness uniform across so they dehydrate evenly.
Step 4: Dehydrate. I’m not too scientific about this. I dehydrate pretty much everything at 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). Hummus usually takes about 12 hours to dehydrate. It helps to rotate the trays at least once. Otherwise the hummus on the bottom will dehydrate first.
It you aren’t going to be using the dehydrated hummus anytime soon, then it should be really dry. If you are using it within a few days, it is okay if a bit of moisture remains.
Rehydrating Your Dried Hummus
Again, this is easy. Just add water to the dried hummus. Let it sit for a few minutes. Stir to get out any clumps.
The dehydrated hummus is great for crackers or alongside couscous (which I make with dehydrated kale). Check out what my backpacking food for 7 days looks like. Or see these other great backpacking food ideas.
See, there’s no reason you can’t eat healthily while backpacking. 🙂