snack ideas

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 1

Do you ever cringe at spending $2-3 for a bar you've never tried? What if it doesn't taste good?! What a waste! 

I often buy the same bar over and over because I know it won't disappoint especially when I'm hungry on the trail, but there are often a hundred different bars to choose from! As a curious person, I want to know if there's another treasure out there in that massive mix. Sadly, it seems like there are more misses than hits, and the risk feels a bit too expensive.

So I'm trying something new here. It's the Snowqueen & Scout Snack Down! (Get it? Like "smack down." Hehe.)

I'll choose some random bars and let you know the info I'm looking for in a product, like price, calories and protein (plus a few other bits of info like sugar content and if it's gluten-free). Then, I'll share my thoughts on the texture and taste. 

NOTES
*The price will vary depending on where you buy them. The prices I list is how much I paid at a local grocery store.
*No one provided these bars to me. I paid for them with all the pennies I saved. ;-)

CLICK on the images below for more info & to ZOOM in

The pictures below correspond with the order of images above. 

Winner of this Snack Down is #4: CLIF Mojo. Even though it was too salty, for the price and the amount of protein it has, it's the most worth it. 
Runner-up: #3: KIND Almond & Coconut. It's low in protein, but it's the tastiest one of this batch. It's one that I can imagine wanting to eat when I'm tired and feeling low. 

Which one would you try?

Backpacking Snack Ideas / Are thimbleberries edible?

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When I was backpacking in Glacier National Park, most of the trails were sprinkled with thimbleberries. On our first day, I noticed these pops of red along the trail, but I had no idea what they were so I steered clear. (Note: We should NOT put anything wild into our mouths unless you're absolutely 100% sure it's safe to eat.)

My trail mate eventually verified that those red pops of color were thimbleberries and shoved a few into his mouth. My eyes grew big and I squealed with glee inside. I remember thinking, "Oh. GAME. ON." You see, I grew up eating lots of fresh fruit, but on the trail, I get maybe one apple on the first day. The rest of the time, it's rehydrated food. So getting any kind of fruit/fiber/freshness on the trail was going to be a huge win.

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Let's just say that more often than not, I was holding up my group because I stopped to collect a mouthful of berries. (Sorry guys!) So, YES, thimbleberries are edible! But make sure you're 100% that's what you're eating. 

Note: I'm not a naturalist or expert in plant identification by any means, so I'm not recommending anything here. This is simply an account of my experience of finding and eating wild edible thimbleberries. Don't sue me for your decisions! ;-)