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Do you find most backpacking recipes to be dull and boring? I do, and that is why I came up with some exciting, flavorful foods for taking on the trail, that give your taste buds joy and eliminate the monotony of the same bland foods day after day. Here are five easy recipes that make eating while backpacking something to enjoy, and no longer just tolerate.
These are easy to make using English muffins, a packet of pizza sauce, and cheese. The English muffins can be rewrapped in tinfoil, while the pizza sauce can be put in a small plastic container, and the cheese in a zip lock bag. When you are ready for this meal you simply add the pizza sauce and cheese on top of the English muffin and wrap them in tin foil. In order to prevent the cheese from sticking to the tin foil, make it loose on top. These can be cooked on top of a stove, or by leaving in the sun for an hour or so, just long enough to melt the cheese. Other ingredients, such as onions, mushrooms, or black olives can be added for a more flavorful variety of toppings.
Biscuits & Gravy
The biscuits can be made at home. I pack them in a water bottle with a large opening on top, since this saves space. The gravy mix is easy to pack since most come in a powdered form than can be put in a Ziploc bag. I find mixes that only need water added, but you can also find one that needs milk, and bring along some powdered milk. When ready for this meal you can head some water and the gravy mix and pour it over the biscuits. The biscuits do not need to be reheated, since they will get warm from the gravy. You can also bring jelly packets and use any left over biscuits as a treat with jelly spread on them.
Noodles With Wild Mushrooms
There are many varieties of mushrooms that are sold in their dried form. These can be purchased at most grocery stores, and an assorted pack of wild ones can provide a wonderful variety of tastes. The noodles can be any type, but I find the flat varieties most efficient for space and durability. Other than the noodles and mushrooms, a couple tablespoons of butter, as well as salt and pepper, are needed. The dried mushrooms need to soak for a couple of hours before being cooked. The liquid used to soak them is reused to cook the noodles in. After the noodles are cooked, they need to be mostly drained, with a slight amount of liquid left in. Add the mushrooms, butter, salt and pepper. Another great addition is some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Backpacking Recipes That Don’t Need Cooking
Pita Pockets with Hummus
This is a quick, filling, and versatile meal. Pita pockets can be found at most grocery stores, and are ideal for packing since they are flat and compact. Hummus is great because it provides a lot of protein and flavor, and can be purchased in powdered form where water is added to reconstitute it. The hummus can be spread inside of the pita pocket, and cucumbers and olives can be added to enhance the flavors.
Tuna Fish on Tortillas
This is a great meal that is easy to make. The tuna fish can be purchased in a pouch. Sweet relish should be packed in a leak-proof plastic container, and mixed in with the tuna during preparation of this meal. The tuna and relish mixture is then heated and served on top of a small tortilla. A slice of cheddar cheese can be put on top of the tuna, and will melt slightly from the heat of it. The tortilla can then be folded in half, or rolled up. This is surprisingly good tasting and very filling.
While there are many more ideas for tasty backpacking recipes, this is a sample of how simple and scrumptious cooking for the back country can be. Enjoy!
Ready to hit the trails but without the beef jerky? Here are a few vegetarian backpacking recipes you can try, along with some simple snack foods.
Olive Oil Noodles
This is a simple recipe that you don’t need to write down. Bring a small bag of spices (whatever kinds you like), some dried vegetables, pasta and olive oil. Soak the dried vegetables while you are setting up camp. Then cook them along with the pasta. Drain and add the spices, salt and olive oil for a delicious dinner.
If you bring the thinnest pasta you can find – something like angel hair spaghetti – it will save some time, fuel and trouble cooking. If you want to dress up the meal a bit more and you are backpacking in the southwest, you can collect some pinon pine nuts to add. Parmesan cheese is another nice addition, and can be carried for days if kept out of the hot sun.
The Simplest Soups
Most grocery stores carry dry soups that just require you to pour boiling water on them. The ones in the cups take more space, but are still light and very convenient. No dishes to wash except for your spoon.
Vegetarian options are limited with these, but the good news is that there are a few. Even better news: some of the tastiest soups-in-a-cup you can get are the black bean varieties or lentil soups. Most of these have no animal products in them.
Uncooked Vegetarian Backpacking Recipes
I personally don’t like to cook. In fact, I rarely even bring a stove when backpacking. Going without cooked food means no stove, no fuel, and no pans. That’s less weight and fewer dishes to wash. But what about vegetarian backpacking recipes for those of us who don’t want to cook?
Most snacks (with few exceptions like that beef jerky) are naturally vegetarian. For example, mix any number of dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips and cooked dry oats for an easy trail mix. You don’t have to be precise about any of this or remember any recipes.
Peanut butter and wheat crackers is another high-protein high-energy backpacking food. Bread can be carried carefully and you can make sandwiches of peanut butter and wild berries. I have done this with strawberries, but peanut butter and blueberry sandwiches are my favorite.
If you eat cheese it can be carried for the first day without spoiling. Frozen “veggie dogs” can be brought as well, and will thaw out in time to cook them over the first night’s fire. In other words, it doesn’t have to get complicated. You can make your own simple vegetarian backpacking recipes.