The Best Backcountry Hunting DIY Dehydrated Oatmeal Recipe
By Brad Brooks
Cinnamon Blueberry Steel Cut Oats
A standard dehydrated backpack hunting breakfast for me in the past included a few packets of instant oatmeal with dehydrated berries and powdered peanut butter, which I have to force down. I've tried numerous brands and types of instant oatmeal, but they all seems to have a consistency akin to wet cement, are relatively heavy and they have way too much sugar. The latter of which leaves me wanting something to eat about 2 hours after I eat breakfast. Luckily, there are alternatives.
This year, I worked on figuring out how to put the joy back in my breakfast to create a dehydrated breakfast I actually looked forward to eating every day. This recipe is unreal, and is easily the best breakfast in my backpack food recipe book.
I also wanted a breakfast that was packed with calories, including high amounts of protein and fats since getting enough calories when backpack hunting is always an issue. I played around with a couple of different recipes to see if I could make an oatmeal that I actually enjoyed, and gave me the calories I needed every day while hunting and pounding the hills. This DIY dehydrated oatmeal recipe turned out way better than I expected.
This recipe is nothing short of killer and it works like rocket fuel. It tastes amazing. It has the right calories and nutrients for high exertion days when you're backpacking or hunting hard. It is easy to make, and most importantly it reconstitutes well when you are in the field within just a few minutes. Try this recipe out if you're looking to save some money and make an amazing breakfast that doesn't take up much space in your backpack, and only weighs about 4 ounces per meal when complete.
Why This Recipe is Amazing
Making a great dehydrated backpacking meal isn't just about making food that tastes alright. The challenge is to make a good meal that has the right mix of calories and nutrients needed. This recipe produces 670 calories per meal, with 23 grams of fat (most of that from omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for you), and 25 grams of protein (from good sources, not whey). The cinnamon and blueberries have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and the salt helps replenish electrolytes. The fat and protein contents alone are pretty incredible and will make this meal feel more hearty than standard instant oatmeal.
For backpacking meals, those are some great nutrition stats. And you can make this meal at a fraction of the cost you would pay for a store-bought dehydrated meal.
To get started you'll want a medium to large saucepan depending on how many servings you plan to make. The recipe I will give you here is for one cup of dried steel cut oats, but I usually do 3 times this amount to make my breakfasts in bulk.
You don't have to use the exact ingredients I use here, but whatever you use be sure to get a high quality steel cut oat as that's the backbone of this recipe.
- 1 cup Bobs Redmill Steel Cut Oats
- 6 tbsp Bob's Redmill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts
- 4 tbsp Any Brand of Real Maple Syrup (Be sure to use real maple syrup, not some cheap knock off made with corn syrup)
- 2 tbsp finely shredded coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Dehydrated or Freeze Dried Blueberries (I picked and dehydrated my own, but you can buy dehydrated and/or freeze dried blueberries online)
- 2 heaping tablespoon Hoosier Hill Farm's dehydrated peanut butter (optional)
- Bring 3 1/4 cups water to a boil
- Add oats and hemp seed hearts and let cook for 15-20 minutes
- Remove from heat and add in Cinnamon, salt and maple syrup and stir well
- Remove oatmeal from pot and spread onto a hard plastic sheet in your dehydrator (your dehydrator brand should have these available for sale), spreading it as thin as you can
- Dehydrate at 155 degrees for 4-6 hours or until the oatmeal is completely dried. This dry time will vary depending on the type of dehydrator you have and how thick you spread out your oatmeal. There isn't much science here, just make sure the oatmeal is completely dehydrated
- Remove Oatmeal and put it into a large mixing bowl. Your oatmeal will come out in large chunks resembling bark. I like to crush it down so the final product is compact and takes up minimal space in my pack. Using a mashed potato mashing tool, or some other hard object, crush the oatmeal until it is in small chunks
- Separate dehydrated oatmeal evenly into two ziplock bags
- Add half of the coconut, peanut butter powder and blueberries into each of the two bags so they each receive an even amount of the ingredients
Makes two hearty bowls of Oatmeal.
To Eat: add 1 cup of hot water and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. I don't do anything fancy to re-hydrate this breakfast by using a seal-able bag. I use the cup from my MSR Windburner Stove to eat this out of, and to make it I put the oatmeal and water in the cup, and put the lid over the cup.
Note on Serving Size- Each batch of this recipe makes 2 servings for me, but since everyone's appetite is different, I would suggest playing around with the serving size until you reach your desired size.
Once you try this breakfast you will never go back to eating regular old oatmeal again. You can also check out this article for more DIY Dehydrated Meal Recipes. Let me know what you think about this recipe, or share any favorites you have in the comments below.