Getting started with DIY meals

Food topics, including recipes.

Getting started with DIY meals

Postby taipan821 » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 3:21 pm

Hello all

I want to start making my own dehydrated meals, but don't currently own a dehydrator

is there an Australian source for dried foods?
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby alanoutgear » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 6:13 pm

I'm not clear on what you mean by "is there an Australian source for dried foods"? Dehydrators can be bought pretty cheap and are a great and ongoing investment. You can also dehydrate meals in a standard oven - just Google how to do it.

Home dehydrated meals are generally made by cooking standard of slightly modified recipes and then dehydrating them in a dehydrator. It is a simple process and I generally use minced meat as the animal protein source for meals like Moroccan chicken, spag bol, lamb curry etc, and make sure the vegies are finely diced or grated.

They are far better and much tastier than the freeze dried commercial meals. I also cook and dehydrate rice and pasta as it rehydrates in a couple of minutes rather than simmering it for 10 minutes or so.

Cous cous is a great addition too and it is bought the supermarket, and Foster Clark's instant custard powder has been a dessert standby for decades - especially with some rehydrated dried peaches or apricots.

If you want to get adventurous, you can cook a cup muffin in a steam bath (ie in your pot) and they are great too.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby taipan821 » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 8:13 pm

I was asking where I could buy products that have already been dried, such as dried veggies, dried mince etc. I don't want to go and buy a food dehydrator straight away
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby CasualNerd » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 8:53 pm

taipan821 wrote:I was asking where I could buy products that have already been dried, such as dried veggies, dried mince etc. I don't want to go and buy a food dehydrator straight away

packet soup mixes, stock powders, deb, instant cous cous, dehydrated peas, egg are all available at the supermarket. Stuff like dried mince is just as expensive as the meals from what I've seen.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby andrewa » Mon 19 Jun, 2017 9:11 pm

Asian supermarkets have some amazing stuff - eg Victoria St, Richmond, if you're in Melbourne, but most cities seem to have a similar area.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby nq111 » Sun 25 Jun, 2017 8:41 am

andrewa wrote:Asian supermarkets have some amazing stuff - eg Victoria St, Richmond, if you're in Melbourne, but most cities seem to have a similar area.


+1

A trip to an Asian Grocer and any standard supermarket and I can easily put together a lightweight, energy dense and tasty menu for a week's walk.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby Eremophila » Sun 25 Jun, 2017 6:15 pm

taipan821 wrote:I was asking where I could buy products that have already been dried, such as dried veggies, dried mince etc. I don't want to go and buy a food dehydrator straight away


Backcountry Cuisine do a decent range of products:
http://backcountrycuisine.co.nz/bcc/ind ... ompliments

As mentioned above, Asian grocery stores are a good source. Good IGA stores have a great range of organic/health/wholefood/Asian products and you can put together some combos, such as instant ramen noodles with some dried mushrooms and shallots thrown in.

Couscous with various spices and additions such as pistachios, cranberries etc is also good - throw in a pouch of salmon and there's a good meal.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby Tortoise » Sun 25 Jun, 2017 6:30 pm

Some health food stores are another great source of dried vegies. I've also used Besan (powdered chick peas), soy grits and dried soy milk powder to add protein to a cuppa soup base with dried vegies. Coles have dried fried shallots, which give a boost to lots of meals. Both Coles & Woolies have dried mushrooms in the Asian section.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 26 Jul, 2017 8:56 pm

Try Xtreme Gourmet http://xtremegourmet.com/. Sonya is a chef and food scientist who writes for Bushwalk Australia. Her book has received good reviews.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby walk2wineries » Tue 08 Aug, 2017 2:52 pm

did I mention, few months ago I saw a food dehydrator in cheapaschips. no idea how good it was looked like my Sunbeam. And I did mention on another post - for those in SA, http://www.gaganisbros.com.au/ have a lot of stuff like dried onion dried leek which would have to be cheaper than buying oneself and dehydrating - amazing stuff in there.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby RonK » Tue 08 Aug, 2017 3:24 pm

taipan821 wrote:is there an Australian source for dried foods?

Yes - Settlers Foods in Brisbane.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby oldpiscator » Tue 08 Aug, 2017 4:22 pm

Be aware that salt levels in many of the Asian dried dishes are extremely high (MSG can be another concern).
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby dagsands » Sun 15 Jul, 2018 11:07 am

Necro- ing this old thread. But in case it's still of interest or for future forum users, we have ordered from iherb online. They do a range of freeze dried fruit and veg. We also have a dehydrator which gets a really good workout but prefer the freeze dried consistency for some things such as broccoli, strawberries and raspberries.
A couple of dags and their pooch who live by the beach in their home named 'Dag Sands', of course.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 16 Jul, 2018 6:39 pm

Tortoise wrote: Coles have dried fried shallots, which give a boost to lots of meals. Both Coles & Woolies have dried mushrooms in the Asian section.


I've looked at these many times. Is it true these need a lot of rinsing to remove grit or can they be used straight from the pack?
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby Eremophila » Tue 17 Jul, 2018 7:11 am

CraigVIC wrote:
Tortoise wrote: Coles have dried fried shallots, which give a boost to lots of meals. Both Coles & Woolies have dried mushrooms in the Asian section.


I've looked at these many times. Is it true these need a lot of rinsing to remove grit or can they be used straight from the pack?


I’ve used both and have never rinsed them. No grit.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 17 Jul, 2018 10:06 am

That's great news as I'd been put off by some things I'd read. Thanks.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby crollsurf » Tue 17 Jul, 2018 10:54 am

Ainsley Harriott's Cous Cous packets have been a personal favourite for a while. Add boiling water and then some olive oil, bit of Pepperoni maybe or Salmon.
He also has a rice dish now as well. https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/599322/ainsley-harriott-singapore-spice-rice-spice

For breakfast the usual cereals or porridge. I've got an plastic egg container I like to take sometimes. I wrap the eggs in foil so I don't dirty the pot when boiling. 1 for breakie and an extra with lunch.
For lunch I'll quite often take Picon Cheese, tin/tub/sachet of Salmon and some nice multigrain crackers (Harris Farm). Carrot and fruit if weight isn't a problem.

There is plenty of off-the-shelf food you can discover in your wonderings in supermarkets that work well for 2-3 day walks. Longer walks you do start to hanker for better meals and a more balanced diet and that's when a Dehydrator comes into its own.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby Bushman_Craig » Tue 17 Jul, 2018 6:26 pm

Edited
Last edited by Bushman_Craig on Thu 19 Jul, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 18 Jul, 2018 7:24 pm

Using the oven probably uses a lot more energy than a dehydrator.
A lot of the heat is going out the door rather than dehydrating.
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Re: Getting started with DIY meals

Postby Mutley » Thu 19 Jul, 2018 9:05 pm

+1 Extreme Gourmet. Sandra’s book is excellent. I have cooked 10 plus recipes and 90% are great. No dehydration needed as all the ingredients are in dry form, an sourced from the suermarket.
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