For the last few years, I have been making homemade backpacking meals. When you backpack every weekend, $8 store-bought meals get pretty expensive. I like doing this because I can control the ingredients and the results taste better than pre-packaged meals. Some of my recipes are really simple and others are a bit more complex, but they are all fun to make. One of my favorites is mashed sweet potatoes.
Homemade Backpacking Meal: Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Whenever I go to a family dinner or party, I like to bring a paleo dish to share with everybody. Last Thanksgiving while I was making my favorite Mashed Sweet Potatoes, I realized, “hmm, these would be good on a backpacking trip.” My mashed sweet potatoes are sweet and tasty and have a ton of nutrients. It turns out that they make a great homemade backpacking meal.
Ingredients and Supplies
- 4-6 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- a pinch of salt
- 4-6 cups of dehydrated vegetables of your choice
Instructions: First you make the Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Peel most of the skin off your potatoes. (I save them to make baked sweet potato fries)
- Chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes
- Place the cubes into a pot and fill with water, add a pinch of salt
- Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer for 20-25 minutes or until soft
- Drain the water and sit the potatoes in a colander to drip dry for a few minutes
- Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl
- Add the coconut milk, coconut oil, and syrup
- Stir it in!
Instructions: Then you dehydrate them
- Spread the mashed potatoes onto your baking sheet
- Use a fork to make grooves in the surface (this increase the surface area and speeds drying time
- Place the tray in your oven at 175F. A convection oven works best. You could also use a dehydrator if you have one.
- Wait about two hours, then break up and turn over the potatoes (they should have started to dry)
- Repeat this every hour until dry. The smaller you break the pieces, the faster they will dry.
- When the potato bits are dry, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool
- Divide dried bits evenly and distribute into the cook-in bags
- Add 1-cup of dehydrated or freeze-dried veggies of your choice (I like green beans)
- Place a silica desiccate pack into each cook-in bag
- Press the air out and seal. You can heat seal them if you have a sealer
- Write the date on each package. They should be good for about a year
To rehydrate, just boil some water and pour it into the bag until the contents are submerged. Then place the bag into a cozy or inside pocket of you puffy to keep it warm. When the contents have absorbed the water, they’re ready to eat.
Sweet Potato Bark
Dehydrated sweet potatoes are delicious cold and dry. They make a sweet snack that’s nice to eat on the trail. If you want to make this instead, follow all the same steps but don’t break the dried potatoes into tiny pieces. Instead, let them dry as a sheet and cut them into bite size chunks. This takes longer to do, but the concentrated sweetness of dehydrated potatoes is amazing!
What’s your favorite homemade backpacking meal?