How to Make a Homemade MRE

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MRE stands for Meal Ready to Eat, and was introduced in 1981. An MRE is a complete meal and are used primarily for military personnel. Each MRE contains an entree, side dish, carbohydrate, dessert or candy, seasoning or sauce, utensils for eating, and a beverage. MRE's can be purchased by the general public, but are often somewhat expensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Food dehydrator
  • Vacuum Sealer
  • Gather the foods you wish to use in your MRE. Choose any foods you like, but do not use any foods which will require refrigeration or dairy products for their preparation. A typical MRE will contain items from all the basic food groups. If anything will require seasoning or eating utensils, include those as well.

  • Arrange your food choices into meals. Try to make balanced meals for nutritional reasons. Most store-bought or military-provided MRE's contain roughly 1200 calories. Base your meals on your own nutritional needs.

  • Dehydrate the arranged food items for your MRE. If a food has water in it, it needs to be dehydrated for preservation. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, you can choose canned goods or fresh goods. Follow the instructions included with the food dehydrator to successfully dehydrate all items.

  • Puncture any pre-packaged items (crackers, ramen noodles, etc). This will prevent the packages from causing your final product to be bulky.

  • Follow the instructions included with the vacuum sealer to correctly seal all meals into individual packages. The vacuum sealer will remove all air from the dehydrated items and help to ensure a long shelf life for your MRE's. Most MRE's should last between three and five years if packaged correctly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider how you plan on preparing your items once the MRE is opened. If you aren't going to have a way to heat it, you may want to consider using items that will taste fine cold or at room temperature.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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