food

How to eat a whole apple

Mmm, yum! Fresh fruit on the trail is such a treat. Sometimes I wish I could have a juicy watermelon whenever it gets hot and dusty, but I know that ain't happening. I won't take anything that leaves any kind of remainder, like watermelon rind or an apple core. I would have to pack that out and why would I carry extra weight if it can be helped?

I'm not about to eat watermelon rind, but what if you could make the apple core disappear?

True story: I had never considered eating the ENTIRE apple before I met an experienced backpacker who talked about eating the whole apple as if it were nothing. Well sir, for this suburban-raised girl, that was not even an option. I was like, "He's crazy." Well....that was until I tried it and thought, "K, he's not crazy, but I don't like this one bit." 

Yet, I now eat my whole apple (when backpacking) and I'll tell you how I do it so you don't make the same mistakes I have.

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HOW TO EAT A WHOLE APPLE

  1. Take the stem completely off. Twist twist twist until the whole things comes out. (If you forget to do this, it's okay, you won't even notice it in your pack out trash bag.)
  2. Wash the apple thoroughly.
  3. Don't leave the core for the end. Eat through the apple from one side to the other side. That way, your last bite is a good one. (If you decide to eat around the core and save that for last, it's a truly unappetizing process. I did that the first time because no one ever told me how to eat a whole apple!)
  4. When biting into the core, get a good ratio of apple meat mixed in there so you don't only taste the seeds. 
  5. PRO TIP: Beware of biting into the hardened parts (aka: endocarp) that encases the seeds. It can get stuck in between your teeth yo!

Honestly, you might not enjoy this process. I still don't, but I tolerate it so I can take an apple or two on the trail as a delicious juicy treat. I never regret eating an refreshing apple on the trail while my trail mates eat dry nuts. ;-P

What fresh fruit/veggies do you want to take on the trail?


Sample 4-day Backcountry Menu

Note: All the links below are affiliate links, which means I earn a tiny bit of commission if you end up buying something. Your purchase supports Snowqueen & Scout - how cool! :)


Meals Meals Meals!
Why is it so hard to figure out what to take to eat in the backcountry? I think it's because we want to eat something that's made in our kitchens, but all we have is a flame and a pot a quarter of the size of your smallest pot at home. Well, at least that's all I'm willing to carry. 

I'm a pretty simple backcountry eater, but I need variety. The ease of planning and ease of how my meal is prepared (boiling water) typically beats out my willingness for variety. Make sense?

HOW DO I THINK ABOUT WHAT TO CHOOSE?

1. One-step meals = only boiling water = easy
2. Willing to eat the same lunch for up to 5 days (b/c it's easier to plan)
3. My food options need to be significantly different than my previous backpacking trip (but still easy!)
4. Very easy clean-up = swish around water in dirty pot and voila!
5. What looks appetizing when I pick it up and look at it (when I haven't even hike 5 miles yet)? 
6. If something looks "meh," I don't take it. I know I won't want to eat it when I'm in the wilderness, and that's bad. Getting calories in is important, but if I don't feel like eating, it'll really take a toll physically and mentally. So I only take stuff that I WANT to eat. 

here's a sample 4-day backcountry trip menu.

BREAKFAST (QTY: 3)

LUNCH (QTY: 4)

  • Wraps
    • Tortilla (1/day)
    • Cheddar cheese (1-2oz/day)
    • Salami (1.5oz/day)
    • Mayo and Dijonnaise packets (1/day) - really helps elevate the meal!

DINNER (QTY: 3)

  • Good To-Go Smoked Three Bean Chili split into two meals (Or try their Thai Curry - it's THE BEST!)
  • Tapatio Hot Sauce (For added oomph!)
  • Korean Ramen noodles + extra a handful of dehydrated veggies (found a veggie soup in the bulk section of my local natural food store)

SNACKS + ENERGY

What do you see in this sample menu that piques your curiosity? Or what do you pack that you think I should know about? I need more variety!  ;-)

xo
Liz

Backpacking Snack Ideas / Snack Down, Part 3

I've been a fan of Justin's for a while now, not just because I am in love with their packaging, but because their products are fantastic. But I wanted to give Wild Friends a try simply because it's helpful to know what else is out there. I mean what if there's something better I've been missing out on? So here's my quick take on these almond butters.

Justin's Honey Almond Butter VS. Wild Friends' Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter

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Justin's has a great sweetness to nuttiness ratio. I tried the plain almond butter and it was fine, but perhaps a little too one-dimensional. It's straight almond butter. The honey, however, adds a really nice touch of moisture which makes it easier to eat. In other words, I don't feel like a dog trying to eat peanut butter

Wild Friends on the other hand was not as awesome. You know it's going to be dry because when it says to kneed before you consume, you really need to get in there. That was the first flag for me. The vanilla was hardly noticeable because the espresso flavor was definitely dominant. I also didn't think it was sweet enough for my palette. 

I'm still stickin' with Justin's after this Snack Down. Have you tried these brands? What was your take? 

Backpacking Snack Ideas / Snack Down, Part 2

I bet cavemen never thought grass-fed, organic (wait, it was only grass-fed and organic back then) meat would be available fully cooked and wrapped up in a rectangular block. Actually, who would've known meat would become the next granola bar? Clearly my imagination was stunted by seeing mystery meat sticks only in the form of long thin cylindrical shapes!

There's a growing number of meat bars out there now, even one made locally here in Missoula. But if you're like me, you might be feeling skeptical. I saw meat bars popping up at the store next to my usual granola/power/nut bars and thought, "Ew. WEIRD. I kinda want to try it, but it's probably gross. But Chipotle flavored? Hmm...." Well I decided to try a few for you so you don't have to spend $2.99 on potentially gross rectangle bar of meat.

Okay, I kid. They're not gross. Only one is and only sometimes.

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I tried EPIC's Habanero Cherry Beef, OMNIBAR Chipotle Beef, and EPIC Pulled Pork Pineapple for this Snack Down and below are the specs. 

THOUGHTS

1. EPIC Habanero Cherry Beef: The tartness was sort of surprising and took some getting used to. I'm not sure I liked it, but felt compelled to eat it all. I kept expecting it to be chewy like beef jerky, but it crumbled rather easily. I think I would eat it again especially considering the amount of protein.

2. OMNIBAR Chipotle Beef: Wow! (And that's not the good kind.) I admit I was a bit hungry when I ate my bar, but I have to say it's a hard one to swallow - literally. The texture is really really strange. It reminded me of the recycled paper we used to make out of old newspapers back in elementary school - remember that? The chipotle flavor is 10xs better than the Mango Curry (one I tried a while back that made me gag a little), but that's not saying much.

I don't mean to sound so harsh in this review of OMNIBAR, especially since they're a local company and all, but I can't recommend it. I love that they're 100% grass fed, local, etc, but [insert squished weirdy face here]. I bet you want to try one now, don't you. What's wrong with your fascination of abomination? Go ahead, try it. Tell me what you think. 

3. EPIC Pulled Pork Pineapple: Have you ever had a Costco polish dog + soda for $1.50? Well, if you have (admit it), I guarantee you had to re-live that polish dog via burps for the rest of the day. This pork bar has the same exact effect. It was the tastiest one of the three and I'd eat it again. It's more smokey than pineappley, and if you don't mind those burps, I'd recommend trying this one. 

So who's the winner?

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Winner of this Snack Down is: EPIC Pork. Hands down. For 15g of protein, reasonable flavor, and nice texture, this one's the clear winner.

Runner-up: EPIC Beef. High in protein, fine flavor, reasonable texture. Would definitely scarf this down if I were hungry. 

Which one would you try? 


SHOP EPIC BARS