Many people associate ‘Meals Ready to Eat’ commonly referred to as MRE, with meals for military personnel in combat or space Astronauts. However, MRE is the next best thing to having a cooked meal when you go out camping, mountain climbing, or want to spend a few days outdoors. Another growing need for MRE is preparedness for emergencies, such as natural disasters, blackouts, or conflicts. According to the owner of www.bugoutbill.com, the beauty of MREs is that you can eat them straight out of the packet without needing heat. If heat is necessary, one can use warm water or a camper’s stove.
There is nothing wrong with buying store-bought MRE for emergencies or outdoor occasions. It has become common for many people to make their MRE for exceptional events. Would you want to make your MRE? Well, consider the nutritional value of your own MREs and cooking for your taste buds. So, how can you make your own?
Consider foods high in calorie content, can last for a long time, do not need refrigeration, are lightweight, and require little or no cooking. Initially, you might need the following tools and ingredients to make your own MREs. You will need –
- A food dehydrator or oven to dry out the selected food and fruits
- A vacuum sealer in place of a dehydrator
- Vacuum Sealing bags or Mylar Bags with Oxygen Absorbers.
- A sealing heating rod.
With these tools and foods high in calories, let us review some of the simple MRE you can make. Try to pack each meal serving per bag per person.
Oatmeal and Fruit Breakfast
- 1–2 cups of oats toasted in honey and brown sugar
- Dried fruits of your choice (Cranberries, raisins, cashew nuts, mango, blueberries, almonds, currants, dried dates, pistachio, etc.)
- 1 Packet of powdered milk
- 1 Packet of coffee or drinking chocolate mix (usually have coffee or cocoa with powdered cream and added sugar) or a teabag
- 2 Packets of sugar
- Warm water
- 1 Energy bar (optional)
In one sealing bag, pour in the toasted oats and seal the bag. In a different sealing bag, put in a packet of powdered milk, coffee/drinking chocolate/tea bag, and packet/s of sugar. Seal the dried fruits of choice in one bag. Combine all these in one larger sealing back to serve as one serving.
When you need to eat the MRE, add a cup of warm water into the bag of toasted oats and wait for the Oats to hydrate to the texture you want. Add in your dried fruits and sugar if so desired. Pour the powdered milk into a cup and add to the coffee/drinking chocolate/ teabag. You can finish your meal with an energy bar.
For Lunch or Dinner
Beef Chili Stew and Instant Potatoes
- Cook your favorite beef stew mixed with cooked beans and chili powder until done. Allow the beef chili stew to cool down, spread it out in your dehydrator’s tray/s (depends on how much stew you have made), and dehydrate it for approximately 10 hours. Halfway through the dehydration process, stir the chili to remove any lumps by breaking down chunks of meat and beans. Once the beef chili has dehydrated, distribute it into different sealing bags and seal.
- 1 Packet of instant potato powder and distribute it into different sealing bags and vacuum seal.
- Packets of salt and pepper packets to assemble in a different bag
When you need the MRE, pour warm water into the instant potato powder bags, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until you smoothen it into mashed potatoes.
Meanwhile, mix a cup of the dehydrated beef chili stew with one cup of water in a pot and let rest for about 5 to 6 minutes. Heat the mixture until it boils for one minute. Reduce and simmer on low heat for another 8 to 10 minutes. Your food is ready to eat.
You can turn your home recipes into simple MRE. Dehydrated foods last longer than vacuum-sealed MRE. As stated above, the food ingredients you use should have a long shelf life and have high calories.