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Leafy greens on the trail
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Patrick S
(xpatrickxad) - F

Locale: Upper East TN
Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 14:36:34 MDT Print View

So this weekend I did a quick 24 hour hike and for dinner I had some whole wheat tortillas with salmon, and avocado topped with some garlic, spinach and arugula I had boiled up. It was much better than what I'm used to packing out, but I just put the greens in a ziplock bag and they were pretty wilted. Not gross or anything and still tasty.

The question I had is if anyone had any better ideas for carrying leafy greens on the trail? I've tried dehydrated peas, beans and corn in the past that I hated so I'm hesitant to try dehydrated again.

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Leafy greens. on 04/25/2011 14:45:05 MDT Print View

You could learn what the edible greens are in your area. Miners lettuce, stinging nettle, most new fern growths....are pretty ubiquitous. Have someone teach you a few basic - can't be confused - plants and you won't need to carry greens from home.
I know this does not address your exact questions, but it's a thought.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 15:07:27 MDT Print View

"The question I had is if anyone had any better ideas for carrying leafy greens on the trail?"

This is not very leafy, but Napa Cabbage travels pretty well.

Use that with a little Southeast Asian peanut sauce in a tortilla.


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 15:22:29 MDT Print View

Carry dried spinach. In flakes. I add it to most anything.

On not liking dried vegetables - were they home dried? Freeze-dried? Try commercial versions - you may like them better. IMO freeze-dried corn, peas and green beans are superior vastly to home dried.

Btw, with fresh? It carries better if you wrap the greens loosely in a damp paper towel. It needs some moisture or will wilt rapidly.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 15:26:52 MDT Print View

Did you use a normal plastic bag/tupperware? Maybe try a specific produce bag so the greens can breathe some in the bag.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 15:27:32 MDT Print View

"Carry dried spinach. In flakes."

At the grocery store, I buy one of those frozen packages of chopped spinach. As that begins to thaw, I throw the chunks onto my food dehydrator tray. When it gets done, I have little green flakes ready for the next trip.

The good news is that you can add that to just about any soup, or add it to white rice for color. The bad news is that it does not have much in the way of calories, and there are many foods that are richer in vitamins and nutrients. But it is easy.


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 15:40:12 MDT Print View

It does though have iron, so that is one reason I eat so much of it. I am severely anemic :-(

Btw, if one is doing just an overnight carry greens that you get in the grocery store - prebagged. That bag will protect them!!

Patrick S
(xpatrickxad) - F

Locale: Upper East TN
RE: Leafy Greens on 04/25/2011 19:16:08 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the tips, guys! I think next time I'll try to pack some out in a breathable produce bag wrapped in a damp cloth. Or see if I can find source in town for dehydrated and try that route again. The veggies I've tried before were dehydrated at home by a friend of mine and just didn't seem to rehydrate.

These days I'm usually only ever out for one or two nights so I try to keep my food as fresh as I can.

Katharina, I'm still trying to learn more edible plants. I always tend to forget and can only ever identify ramps. I've been using up much of my brainpower trying to learn wildflowers and apparently only have room for so much new information to come in at one time.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/25/2011 20:04:55 MDT Print View

I forgot where I read this, but you can bring seeds and sprout them -- try radish or alfalfa.

(Now I remember!)

Edited by asdzxc57 on 04/26/2011 17:13:42 MDT.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/26/2011 09:06:57 MDT Print View

Timothy... maybe in my book or here where I posted instructions/photos...

You can buy a hemp sprouting bag to do this as well but I prefer to use a hard-sided container binered to the outside of my pack. That way they don't get bruised.

edited to add...

I buy my organic sprout seeds from Mumm's Organic - Another good source is Sprout People and they sell the Hemp Sprouting Bag.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 04/26/2011 09:16:32 MDT.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
Spinach on 04/26/2011 11:14:42 MDT Print View

Bagged spinach will last up to 4 days on the trail.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Mustard plants on 04/26/2011 11:18:48 MDT Print View

Plants of the mustard family are great for leafy greens. Domesticated varieties include broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, etc. And of course, mustard seeds, from which mustard is made. Plants of this family are easy to recognize, once you're familiar with them - the flower always has four petals, is usually yellow or white, sometimes pink or purple. the leaves of wild varieties are often peppery in taste, and best steamed, sautee or boiled. If boiling, some authorities recommend changing the water at least once, to reduce the intensity of flavor - I've never found that necessary.

There are both native and introduced species here - feel free to pick the introduced ones as much as you like - they are essentially weeds, useful only to those who enjoy them! Limit your picking of native ones.

I don't know of any mustards (Brassicae) that are poisonous.

For pictures, descriptions, recipes, etc, if you don't have a local person who can teach you, just google "mustard plant, mustard greens, mustard flowers", and check the "images" as well.

Will Webster
Kale on 04/26/2011 11:27:08 MDT Print View

Cooked kale dries and rehydrates well. One of our favorite backpacking dinners is Indian-spiced lentils with kale. I cook and dry them separately then combine when I pack for for FBC. Serve over brown rice or whole wheat couscous.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Kale on 04/26/2011 11:35:41 MDT Print View

Kale packs well too.

One of my favorite trail dinners is mac n cheese with tuna/salmon and fresh kale added.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
RE: mustard family on 04/26/2011 11:37:45 MDT Print View

If you're in the midwest or out east (and not to far south), it's likely you have garlic mustard growing wild, not to mention squeezing out native plants). It's plentiful where I am in Illinois. A friend of mine made a pretty good garlic mustard pesto from what he cleared from his yard.

Reminded me a bit of the saying, "when life gives you lemons...".

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
lemons on 04/26/2011 15:43:24 MDT Print View

Reminded me a bit of the saying, "when life gives you lemons...".

...make pesto?????


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Leafy greens on the trail on 04/26/2011 16:39:37 MDT Print View

I just got this book and I'm having a great time reading it: "Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest."

Another that is interesting, helpful, and well illustrated: "Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska"

I would be a cautious wild forager, but I really like the idea, especially for adding fresh salads and greens to the uber-processed packaged foods. I'll pass on fungi--- I just hate dieing!