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DIY Trail Food: Building a Better Backpacking Meal, Step Four - Sauces and Fats

While I love to dabble in the kitchen, I continue to be confounded by sauces.  No different for my dehydrated dinners. Perhaps because I am a firm "meat and potatoes" kind of girl who thinks cheddar cheese sauce from a can is the perfect condiment, I have never mastered the talent of good sauce making.  Not to say I haven't been inspired to try; I do make a decent hollandaise from scratch, which methinks is something to brag about.
Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_elenafabbrili'>elenafabbrili / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Homemade Pesto

Using sauce to pull together all the elements of a dish is no different whether eating rehydrated food from a freezer bag in the wilderness or eating fresh ingredients at home. This article is the fifth in a series of posts on making your own dehydrated meals at home, from scratch, using ingredients found in your pantry or grocery store.

Earlier articles covered:
  • Why You Should Make Your Own Trail Meals
  • The Base of the Meals, or the carbohydrate portion
  • Adding Meat and Protein to your Meals
  • Using Vegetables to Boost Nutrition




Without sauces, these foods remain individual in their own right: pasta and meat and veggies is still pasta with meat and veggies. But by adding different sauces, the ingredients take on a wholly different and dynamic flavor. For example:


  • A carbohydrate + beef + mushrooms + mushroom sauce = Stroganoff
  • A carbohydrate + italian sausage + spaghetti sauce = Spaghetti
  • A carbohydrate + chicken + pesto sauce = Alfredo
  • A carbohydrate + chicken + veggies + enchilada sauce = Tex Mex

This step of the DIY trail meal is where personal preference and a degree of daring really counts.  Trial and error is also important.  For tips on packaging wet ingredients, check out my post on Clarifying and Packaging Butter to Use on the Trail, and my video on making these cool little sealed packets with pill pouches and and and iron.


Morgan Enjoys a DIY Trail Meal Creekside, Dolly Sods, WV


Some Ideas for Easy DIY Freezer Bag Sauces:

  • Avocado Cream Sauce (yes! Avocado can be dried! Just mix with lemon juice first)
  • Bouillon
  • Cheddar Cheese Sauce (from powder)
  • Curry Sauce
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Gravy Mix Packets
  • Hot Sauce
  • Olive Oil Packets
  • Peanut Sauce (peanut butter, sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce)
  • Pesto Sauce (olive oil, basil, and garlic)
  • Pizza Sauce (dehydrated or individual Boboli packets)
  • Salsa (dehydrated or in packets)
  • Spaghetti Sauce (dried homemade or store bought)
  • Taco seasoning
  • Trader Joe's Low Sodium Chicken Broth Packets
Rokie Dokie!  We are almost all done with our meal! Last but certainly not least is to add some spice to our dinners with Step Five: Seasonings and Packaging.

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