Thursday 5 February 2009

Playing with Food, Outdoors Style

Andy Howell has been running a series on food dehydration, an area I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. It reminded me of a few draft posts I’d forgotten about, covering lightweight foods for backpacking.

Dried food is clearly one way forward but what else can be done on hill whilst still appealing to lightweight aficionados? I looked at various areas back then and came up with a few that (in theory) would work really nicely – the first of which being the humble scone.

Taking a pretty standard scone recipe I came up with a reasonably easy lightweight version for the hill:

  • 55 Self-raising floor
  • 1 teaspoons of olive oil (instead of butter)
  • 1 teaspoons milk powder
  • 35ml Water (+/- for correct consistency)

This makes around 2-3 normal sized scones and you just decide if you want a savoury or a dessert scone. I (as a non-recovering cake/chocolate/dessert addict) prefer mine sweet, so would add a little caster sugar and a dried fruit of some kind. Now I should explain that to cook these properly using a pan lid or pot, you should make small and flat scones to reduce cooking time. This gives around 6-8 ‘mini-scones and would make an excellent starter or dessert to a main meal.

To reduce mess, you can mix it all in a freezer bag, making sure you’ve packed a little extra flour to dust your hands or Orikaso plate before touching!

Another recipe that works is one I tried earlier in the week for Bannock Bread. I came across this whilst listening to one of Bob Cartwright's podcasts and thought it had potential for both sweet and savoury use. This isn’t a set recipe as such but a simple backpacking Bannock Bread base consists of self raising flour, milk powder and water. I added honey and walnuts to my mix and cooked it in the frying pan lid to one of my pots. It took minutes over my alcohol stove and tasted pretty damn good. Again, you could add dried onions, mushrooms, olives, fruit or just sugar to mix it up a bit.

I’m certainly going to be trying some of these antics on my next outing along with a bit of experimentation with my own dried meals. More on that when my dehydrator arrives!


baz carter said...

The dehydrator revolutionised my approach to outdoor cooking.

I've also been experimenting with pan breads too.

Marcus said...

I'm glad that people are clearly endorsing making your own dried meals. I'm hoping it isn't faddy and I just do it once and get bored, although it was a bargain at £25 from Gumtree so all is not lost.

The breads have been working out really well so I hope to continue to develop that as I get used to it.

What sort of flour do you use given your gluten troubles?

baz carter said...

25 quid is a bargain and it will pay for itself in no time. Andy's series of articles are full of useful tips and pointers that help take some of the hit and miss out of the process. There's a couple of books that are worth looking up (american slant unfortunately.)

I've been using cornmeal/flour and gram flour. They turn out more like thick pancakes than bread :)

Anonymous said...

I've been using a dehydrator for years now...great investment.
you may like to look here
for some ideas etc. It is a 'dead' thread but still useful info.

kate said...

just came across your blog whilst searching for lightweight tips. a great read, i'll be popping back :)