Sweet Potato Bark turns into mashed sweet potatoes in your pot – or in your mouth. I snack on it in its bark form while hiking, chewing it slowly to enjoy the hints of cinnamon and maple syrup. In the evening, it makes a tasty side dish of mashed sweet potatoes. For breakfast, I use it in a high-energy porridge with apples and raisins. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and carbohydrates.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.
Boil until soft, drain, and mash.
Stir in apple juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon. If you like nutmeg, you may replace half of the cinnamon with nutmeg.
Run the mashed sweet potatoes through a blender until creamy. If your blender struggles with the mixture, add a few more spoonfuls of juice or water.
Cover dehydrator trays with non-stick Excalibur Paraflexx® sheets, parchment paper, or the fruit leather inserts that came with your dehydrator.
Spread thinly and as evenly as possible on covered dehydrator trays. Shoot for an eighth inch thickness. The quantities in this recipe will cover one Excalibur Dehydrator tray.
Dehydrate at 135° for eight to ten hours. The sweet potatoes will form a sheet that may have cracks running through it.
After about six hours of drying, peel the bark off the non-stick sheets and flip it over to expose the bottom side to more hot air for the remainder of the drying time. Place the bark directly on the mesh dehydrator trays without the non-stick sheets.
Depending on how long you dry it, the sweet potato sheet will either tear like fruit leather or break into bark. For snacking and short term use, you may prefer to dry it to the leather stage. If packing for a trip that will last more than a month, dry it longer to the snappy bark stage.
One large or two small sweet potatoes (approx. 13 ounces before peeling) will yield approximately ¾ cup of bark and weigh 2½ ounces. Increase the ingredients proportionately for larger batches.
Pack bark in a plastic bag. Make mashed sweet potatoes once at home to see if you are satisfied with the serving size.
On the Trail:
Combine bark and water in pot and heat over low flame until hot, stirring frequently. It is not necessary to boil. Add a few more spoonfuls of water if necessary to keep the sweet potatoes from getting scorched on the bottom of the pot.
This meal makes a delicious, high-energy breakfast or a tasty dessert. You can substitute nuts for the granola.
The above recipe provides 625 calories and should satisfy all but the hungriest hikers. To make a really big portion with 886 calories, use ¾ cup sweet potato bark, ¾ cup dried apples, ⅓ cup raisins, ⅓ cup granola or nuts and 2 cups water to rehydrate.
Any kind of whole, halved, sliced, or chopped nuts may be used in place of or in combination with granola. Pack raisins and granola/nuts in separate small plastic bags and enclose with bark and apples in a larger plastic bag.
On the Trail:
Combine all ingredients except granola/nuts with water in pot and soak for five minutes. Light stove and heat over low flame until hot, stirring frequently. It is not necessary to boil. If the sweet potatoes soak up most of the water, add a few more spoonfuls of water to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Remove pot from heat and wait ten minutes to give the apples more time to rehydrate. Stir in granola or chopped nuts before eating.
Root Bark Stew with Chicken
I combine sweet potatoes with parsnips,turnips and rutabaga to make a terrific root stew with a Moroccan Flair.
Next topic: Bean Bark
How to make Bean Bark for stew, soup or a spread
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