Millie & Suzy

Follow our walking adventures around the Cotswolds & beyond


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Easy Vegan Hiking and Camping Food

 

camping.jpg

 

In December 2016 we decided to become vegan after watching too many Netflix food documentaries! Whether the health benefits are true or not, there is no doubt that it is a more compassionate and sustainable way of life for those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to choose what we eat. So we needed to come up with some ideas for vegan/ plant-based foods which are suitable for hiking. I will add more to this list as I think of things, and of course some items keep for longer than others. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

  • Sandwiches with substantial fillings such as hummus and falafels
  • Potato, bean or pasta based salads
  • Wholemeal bread rolls, wraps or pittas
  • Peanut butter – you can also get dehydrated peanut butter in health stores.
  • Baked beans – on the heavy side to carry, but ‘snap pots’ are lighter than tins.
  • Homemade banana bread with nuts & seeds – filling, delicious, and keeps well. Alternatively, you could take store bought banana bread such as ‘Soreen’.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit – bananas are great for energy. I find they store best individually wrapped in sealed plastic food bags, near the top of your pack.
  • Olives
  • Potato or root vegetable crisps
  • Ritz original crackers
  • Rice crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Nakd bars, granola, cereal bars
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Biscuits eg. Oreos (Original or Mint), Lotus, Digestives
  • Dark chocolate – my favourite is dark chocolate with mint fondant filling

Earlier this week, we went walking for a couple of days, staying overnight at an inn. We weren’t sure if we would be able to get anything for breakfast so we came up with a simple idea that we could make using the in-room kettle. We bought some freezer pouches, usually called ‘pour and store’ or ‘zip and pour’, but you could use any food/ freezer bags which are strong enough to hold almost boiling liquid. I found an 8 pack for 79p in Home Bargains. To one pouch, we added 3 crushed Weetabix, 30g of coconut powder, and 15g sugar. Then it was simply a matter of boiling the kettle, adding 300 – 400ml of hot water to the bag, and giving it all a good stir. You could use other cereals for example instant oats. For a small pouch weighing 100g, it was definitely worth taking, although in the end we were able to have a delicious vegetarian breakfast minus the eggs!

Similarly, if you are camping, you’ll mostly likely want some hot food. I love the idea of #FBC – freezer bag cooking as it’s so simple and mess free. The good news is that there are still plenty of vegan options. Add the dry ingredients to the freezer bag, and when you are ready to eat, pour in hot water, stir, zip up the bag, and leave it for up to 10 minutes to re-hydrate. The length of time depends on what you are preparing: noodles take longer, whereas potato is instant. Use your hat as a pot cosy to keep it warm, and hey presto you have a delicious and quick meal with virtually no fuss and no washing up. The dry ingredients can be measured out into the pouches before you set off on your trip. It helps if you mark the bag with the contents and how much water to add. The great thing about pour and store bags is that unlike Ziplock bags they have the liquid measurements marked on the side.

Some freezer bag cooking ideas:

  • Instant mashed potato
  • Instant polenta (cornmeal)
  • Couscous
  • Vermicelli noodles
  • Nori seaweed sheets
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Dried onions
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Seasoning such as stock cubes and salt & pepper
  • Mixed herbs & spices eg. dried mustard powder, smoked paprika
  • Nutritional yeast flakes
  • Dried peanut butter, coconut powder, salt & chilli flakes = satay sauce
  • Instant custard with coconut powder
  • Cereal with coconut powder

A food dehydrator would be a great investment, as you could add all sorts of dried vegetables, or just dehydrate your favourite pre-cooked meals.

 

 


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Best Hiking Food Vegan Banana Bread

 

banana-bread

 

I have to share this brilliant recipe with you. It’s the best banana bread I have ever tasted, and it’s vegan too. Even if you’re not vegan, I think you’ll find this pretty delicious, and it happens to be great hiking food. The bananas, raisins, nuts and seeds give you a real energy boost.

If you have little or no baking experience it is easy to make. It keeps well, and the flavour improves with time. Once cooled, you can cut it into slices, but I usually cut it into generous chunks to make it easier to eat while out walking the trail.

Ingredients:

(Makes a 450g / 1lb loaf tin)

175g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

50g chopped nuts & seeds (eg. pecans, sunflower & pumpkin seeds)

25g raisins

150g mashed very ripe banana

100g sugar

60ml olive oil (or 60g apple puree)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nuts, seeds and raisins.

In a separate bowl mash the ripe banana with the sugar and olive oil. Then pour the mixture into the bowl of flour.

Stir just enough that the mixture is moist.

Spoon into a greased loaf tin.

Bake in the middle of the oven, for approximately 45 minutes.

Tips:

Avoid stirring the mixture too much, it can make it tough.

Get it into the oven as quickly as possible, and don’t reopen the door until you think it is baked to ensure a good rise.

To check it is done, insert a skewer in the middle. If it comes out clean it is cooked.

If it browns too much on top, try covering it with greaseproof paper.

 

I find that this recipe is surprisingly forgiving for a cake recipe, and in particular a vegan cake recipe!! I hope you will give it a go, and please let me know how you get on in the comments.


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The Shewee For When Nature Calls

Shewee

 

A Shewee is a Polypropylene (recyclable plastic) funnel shaped device which allows women to urinate while standing, or sitting, without needing to remove clothing. A quick google search reveals that this female device is a bit of a controversial subject. Some women are horrified at the idea of peeing ‘like a man’, while some men think they are a bit of a joke, designed for feminists and butch lesbians. Others love them.

There are many situations in which a Shewee could potentially come in handy for example: backpacking, camping in the wilderness, extremely cold conditions, dirty public toilets… Personally, I just want to stop having to crouch in the bushes while out walking. Ticks are a problem in the countryside, and if this device helps me to avoid exposing myself more than necessary, then you can count me in.

I first purchased a Shewee about 5 years ago, hoping that it would be useful on camping trips, but couldn’t get on with it. I now realise my technique was all wrong. I made the mistake of pushing the Shewee too tightly against my body as though it was a suction cup, and it spilled over every time. I began to assume that I must have something peculiar about my anatomy, and reluctantly gave up.

A while later, I was at a music festival and saw a line of ladies queuing up to use ‘Shewee urinal’ cubicles. I wondered what their secret was, clearly there were women out there who had mastered the art of the Shewee.

So it was only a few weeks ago, having read some useful reviews on Amazon, that I decided to give the Shewee another go. This time, using the correct technique, I managed it first time and I haven’t had any mishaps! I expect it will take a bit of confidence to use it outdoors for the first time, but I’d rather not have ticks crawling on my bottom!

Instructions for use:

It’s obviously a good idea to practice this in your own bathroom first!

  1. Undo your trousers, push your underwear down or to one side, and place the Shewee gently against your body. The pointy end should be touching your perineum and the rounded end at the front should be held a few millimetres below your body to allow airflow. Avoid pushing the Shewee tightly against you, as though it’s a suction cup. If you do this it will definitely overflow!
  2. Position your back into the wind, and remember gravity – the outlet pipe must be lower than the pointy end. Aim the Shewee away from your feet, towards the ground. It helps if you stand with your legs wider apart than usual, and slightly bent at the knees.
  3. When finished, pull the Shewee away and wipe. Any droplets can be shaken off the Shewee’s liquid repellent surface.
  4. Place the Shewee back into its case, or into a resealable bag. You can clean it with a mild soap later on.

 

UPDATE: I have since used the Shewee successfully outdoors. Yay! I’m not sure how I ever managed to go walking without it, but it is now an essential part of my outdoors kit.