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the LIGHTEST WEIGHT dinner possible
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Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
the LIGHTEST WEIGHT dinner possible on 05/30/2009 14:24:37 MDT Print View

My Iceland thru-hike is coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm getting my food together. There will be a 9 day stretch without resupply and I want to go as light as possible in that section of the hike. I'm going to be bringing over bars and dinners with me and will buy snacks once I'm there.

I'm looking for dinners that are nutritionally balanced and extremely lightweight (preferably freeze dried and vacuum packed). Has anyone found anything that is lighter than traditional thru-hiker fare (ie, mac n cheese, liptons, etc)?

Thanks.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: the LIGHTEST WEIGHT dinner possible on 05/30/2009 17:49:17 MDT Print View

"Has anyone found anything that is lighter than traditional thru-hiker fare (ie, mac n cheese, liptons, etc)?"

Dried pea, bean, or corn chowder soups. Dried refried black or pinto beans. Dried Potatoes. Cous cous. All of these, combined with olive oil, dried cheese(parmesan, "Just the Cheese", etc) will give you the base for a high calorie, tasty meal. Lots of things you can add to dress them up, e.g. dried tomato powder, dried veggies, bouillion cubes or powder. All of these ingredients except the olive oil are very compressible and lightweight(no water to speak of), and olive oil is as high calorie/oz as you can get.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: the LIGHTEST WEIGHT dinner possible on 06/01/2009 17:59:13 MDT Print View

Zack,

If you have a food dehydrator you can also make some of your own lightweight foods. We often dry hummus or other legume based dips and add some olive oil to it to really bump up the calories.

Bob Ellenberg
(BobTheBuilder) - F
light weight nutrition on 06/01/2009 20:41:03 MDT Print View

Get one of the products made from young Barley plants such as Barley Life or Barley Max (retailers all over the internet). I don't think anything else comes close in terms of nutrition to weight ratio. When we hike we take about 2-3 teaspoons per day and use a minimum amount of dried food (oatmeal/grits for breakfast, noodles, etc. for dinners). We take nothing with moisture (no meat, cheese, etc.) and have incredibly low weights for our food.

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
BarleySuperDuperBlockbusterMaxLife on 06/02/2009 18:38:00 MDT Print View

Bob--I commonly add some green foods powder to my morning smoothies, so this is something I am familiar with. I don't know if I'm looking in the wrong place, but I can't seem to find the nutritional information for either product you recommended. Any help?

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Powdered hummus on 06/02/2009 19:12:14 MDT Print View

Laurie, what sorts of things do you like to add to your powdered or dehydrated hummus to do a pita-lunch thing on the trail? And what other ways do you have to utilize hummus, like at dinnertime, other than as an appetizer with chips?

Other nutrition/dehydration questions I have include: Is dehydrated sour cream trail-stable (spoilage)? Can you dehydrate olives? Sauerkraut? Pickles? I'm not being facetious here--I'm just trying to find new and refreshing meal combinations to eat out there that don't weigh anything.

And we've never really addressed that critical conundrum--dehydrated beer. Maybe if somebody would come up with a beer-flavored "fizzie" (anybody remember fizzies?), and add Everclear...they'd become rich beyond their wildest dreams.

C'mon, Roger, could you get Cascade, maybe Boag's, to do that for us? Oz trail beer--I like the sound of that.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Powdered hummus on 06/02/2009 20:07:36 MDT Print View

Olives dry well! I make a olive hummus that is super tasty :-)

I add to my hummus whatever sounds good - a favorite I do I add in curry powder and freeze dried fruit. A little olive oil is nice as well.

Curried Fruit Hummus
In a sandwich bag put:
1/4 cup commercial hummus mix (such as Fantastic Foods or Casbah)
3 Tbsp freeze dried cubed apples
3 Tbsp freeze dried cubed mangoes
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
Also bring olive oil and nibbelage of choice.
Add 1/2 cup cool water and stir. Seal bag tightly and gently knead till mixed. Let sit for a few minutes.
Serve in pitas, on tortillas or with crackers.
Serves 1.

Btw, you can get sour cream powder. It won't make sour cream but it does work great added to meals for a creamy taste.

And you can also get freeze dried olive slices as well from Packit Gourmet.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Hummus on 06/02/2009 20:50:21 MDT Print View

I love your generosity, Sarah. Thanks for the suggestion. You always have so much to contribute to the BPL sites. By the way, is "nibbelage of choice" a technical culinary term? I like it.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Powdered hummus on 06/03/2009 07:12:42 MDT Print View

Hi Gary,

At dinner I've used hummus in pasta with rehydrated grilled veggies (merely add a touch more olive oil and a little extra water to reduce the thickness when using it for pasta). At lunch it goes in wraps with chicken as a sort-of chicken salad - also with veggies as a dip (sometimes I'll sneak a cucumber and some carrots into my husband Bryan's pack for this) and merely on it's own with pita. I like it just with lavash or a sturdy cracker too.

I have several hummus recipes in my repetoire and try to stay away from the pre-dried mixes so that I can really make the flavors the way I like. It isn't unusual for us to have 3 differently flavored hummus like dips on a trip.

Dehydrated sour cream only works as a minor ingredient when you are drying an entire dish. Choose a low-fat or fat free variety and that will help with the shelf life. I figure if I am running the dehydrator anyway there is no need to spend the money on powdered.

Yes you can dehydrate olives and saurkraut and pickles... but be forewarned... it's a smelly process. I dry olives all the time for our trail pizzas and to add to wraps as they are my husband's favorite. I also make a mean olive tapenade that is very light when dried. It's terrific on crackers. Puttanesca sauce, which has olives in it, also dries beautifully. If you dry these types of things then do so in the warmer weather so you can have a window open and a fan blowing the air to the outside - this will reduce the smell substantially.

PS I know you aren't trying to be facetious. Keep in mind that I was once like that... full of questions. Also don't be afraid to experiment as you never know what you'll come up with.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 06/03/2009 07:18:13 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Hummus on 06/03/2009 08:07:56 MDT Print View

Hehheh..."nibbelage of choice" became my favorite way to say it :-D So more fun than saying "Bring crackers, bread, tortillas to spread/dip with" :-D

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Thanks on 06/03/2009 08:24:35 MDT Print View

Sarah and Laurie, you both so toatally rock. I think I'll name my next cat Hummus McNibbelage in honor of the two of you!

James Dubendorf
(dubendorf) - M

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
UL Lard? on 06/03/2009 19:40:54 MDT Print View

Hello All,

Has anyone experimented with lard on the trail? Check out this article for an interesting take on lard's resurgence as an alternative to shortening or olive oil.

http://www.slate.com/id/2219314/

So, what do you think? Any potential there?

James

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
lard on 06/03/2009 19:46:35 MDT Print View

I only use lard or shortening for one thing... pastry... and yes I bake apple pie in the backcountry.