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.
- Potato or root vegetable crisps
- Ritz original crackers
- Rice crackers
- 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)
- 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.