Dehydrating123: How To Dehydrate Whole Grains For Backpacking Meals

The whole grains are an essential part of  a hiker’s diet. They  are a good source of  complex carbohydrates, proteins, minerals (magnesium, iron, selenium, potassium) and fiber. Moreover, whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamins (B, E).

What are whole grains?

These are unrefined grains that haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling. Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye.

Whole grains, not the ones that are quick or instant, have important nutrients but they must be cooked slowly. In order to save yourself time and fuel, it’s best to dehydrate them before you take them with you on the trail.

How to dehydrate cooked grains

  • Place grains in a colander, rinsing well with warm water.
  • Fold grains into boiling water you’ve salted. Stirring well. Bring the heat down to low and simmer for 10-30 minutes or until ready.
  • Take off the heat, drain excess water and allow to cool.
  • Put the cooked grains on the parchment paper covered dehydrator trays in an even, thin layer.
  • Allow them to dry for up to 6 hours until they are brittle. The temperature should be set for 130F/55C.
  • Place dried cooked grains in zip lock bags, jars or vacuum-sealed containers.
  • Store in a dark, cool place.

Want to know how to dehydrate rice, quinoa and barley? Join our Online Class!

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  1. Donna on May 25, 2023 at 12:32 am

    Has anyone cooked then dehydrated amaranth? It’s high in lysine, low in arginine (for anyone following a lower arginine diet for cold sores control ) I just bought a bag. Seems it should be similar to rice, etc (?)

  2. Brian on April 19, 2022 at 3:31 am

    How long can they stay in vacuum sealed bags before going bad?

    • Tanya Krezevska on April 19, 2022 at 10:02 am

      If dehydrated and packed properly it can last years

  3. [email protected] on September 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Hiya, I’ve heard there can be a significant nutrient loss during the drying process (in comparison to say freeze-drying), do you know if that’s true? Thanks!

    • Tanya Krezevska on September 3, 2020 at 8:34 am

      Yes, that’s true. Freeze-dried foods retain all of taste, smell, texture, and nutritional value they has in their original form

  4. David on May 30, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    If you don’t have any dehydrator trays can you use stainless steel cooling racks covered with parchment paper instead?

    • Tanya Krezevska on June 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      Hi David! Never tried to use metal sheets or cooling racks. But if they fit your dehydrator, why not? Probably, you’ll need also some mesh sheets to cover your food to prevent scattering of small pieces throughout the dehydrator.

  5. Mitch on November 15, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Curious about why you would dehydrate cooked rice? What’s the relative weight advantage to uncooked rice? Or is it just quicker to cook on the go?

  6. Anonymous on November 15, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Curious about why you would dehydrate cooked rice? What’s the relative weight advantage to uncooked rice? Or is it just quicker to cook on the go?

  7. Mark Hayes on August 28, 2019 at 6:20 am

    What kind of rice is best for this? I eat sticky rice and can’t imagine being able to spread it out in a nice layer without getting mad.

    • Tanya Krezevska on September 7, 2019 at 10:02 am

      Hi Mark! Brown rice is the best option in terms of nutrition. You can also dry basmati or wild rice. They are quite easy to spread and dehydrate quickly.

  8. Mary on July 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Tanya, I suspect this is such a basic question, but what are the ratios for rehydrating rice and quinoa? Thanks a million for all GREAT ideas and instruction! we are madly prepping for an epic family hiking adventure and it has been awesome dehydrating our goodies.

    • Tanya Krezevska on July 10, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Mary! I usually use 1 to 1 ratio. You always can add more water later to get consistency you desire.

  9. Jaye on May 15, 2019 at 4:28 am

    How long will the rice keep once it’s dehydrated?

    • Tanya Krezevska on May 20, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Up to year. It can be kept quite a long time.

  10. Dehydramator on March 27, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Tanya,
    Just a heads up- you have a typo in the last bullet point. Thanks for the great info!!

    • Tanya Krezevska on March 28, 2019 at 8:18 am

      Thank you!

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