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

Breakfast Idea / Easy, simple, and tasty oatmeal packets

I'm a simple gal. A hassle-free one, really. Backcountry meals really brings that out in me. So when I found this recipe for homemade instant oatmeal packets, I was sold! It's perfect for simple, nourishing backpacking breakfasts with (this is key) VARIETY!

I tried the exact recipe from the website and found that I wanted more milkiness, sweetener and flavor, so altered it to suit my palette. The best part of these recipes is that you can get really creative and mix & match flavors and make it what you want it to be. Here's my version of The Yummy Life's recipe:

Ingredients for oatmeal base

  • Small snack-size ziploc bag
  • 1/3 c instant or quick rolled oats
  • 2 tsp oat bran
  • 3 Tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

SHOP THE OATMEAL BASE INGREDIENTS

Ideas for Flavor Combos

  • Apricot-Ginger: 1 Tbsp chopped apricot + 1 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
  • Apricot-Almond-Coconut: 1 Tbsp chopped apricot + 1 Tbsp of almonds + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Ginger-Almond-Coconut: 1 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger + 1 Tbsp of almonds + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Almond-Coconut:  1 Tbsp of almonds + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Banana-Apricot: 3 Tbsp freeze-dried bananas + 1 Tbsp chopped apricot
  • Strawberry/Banana-Coconut: 3 Tbsp of freeze-dried strawberry/banana mix + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Flax-Coconut-Almond: 1 tsp ground flax seeds + 1 Tbsp of coconut + 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Chia-Coconut-Almond: 1/2 tsp chia + 1 Tbsp of coconut + 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Blueberry-Banana-Almond: 2 Tbsp freeze-dried blueberries + 3 Tbsp freeze-dried bananas + 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Apricot-Walnut: 1 Tbsp chopped apricot + 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts

HOW TO PREP

  1. Open up all the small snack bags
  2. Go through and systematically go through one ingredient at a time: oatmeal, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and then salt
  3. Chop up your preferred toppings (i.e. I chop the ginger, apricots, walnuts, macadamia into small pieces and don't worry about the freeze dried fruits because they'll get kinda crushed in your pack anyway.) 
  4. Add your toppings to each ziploc snack bag
  5. Seal up and label with the flavor + "Add 3/4c H2O" so you don't forget how much water to add. 

PREPARATION

  1. HOT: Put in your cup, add 3/4c-1c of water, stir and eat.
  2. NO COOK: Put in a ziploc bag (slightly larger) OR a ziploc twist n' lock, add water and let it sit overnight. When you wake up in the morning, breakfast is served. 

Chef's notes

  • I buy almost all the products from the bulk section at our local grocery store, so I just use what's available there. But if you don't have a natural food store in your hood, you can get any of the toppings online. Check out the variety!
  • You can make this however you want. You really can't go wrong.

SHOP FOR ALL YOUR FAVORITE FLAVORS

PROTIP: Just take one cup to eat and drink out of. Less mess, less cleaning. Simple! 

Have a suggestion for an awesome oatmeal combo? Tell me in the comments below. 

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Enjoy!

Lunch Idea / Flat Bread, Salami, and Cheese Wrap

Ever have NO IDEA what to eat for lunch in the backcountry? 

Dehydrated beef stroganoff? A dry bar? [Insert: Tongue sticking out, eyes all buggy with a "BlaahHh" sound]

Here's my latest lunch find that I sometimes even crave when I'm at home.
THE ELEVATED PAPA PITA GREEK FLAT BREAD, SALAMI, CHEESE WRAP

NUTRITION FACTS & SHOP*

ONE  |  Papa Pita Flatbread  |  200 calories  |  8g of protein
1 OZ  |  Tillamook Cheddar Cheese  |  110 calories  |  7g of protein
1 OZ  |  Columbus Peppered Dry Salami  |  90 calories  |  6g of protein
ONE  | Mustard packet**  |  5 calories  |  0g of protein
ONE  | Mayo packet**  |  80 calories  |  0g of protein

TOTAL  |  485 calories  |  21g of protein (at a minimum)


*All purchases made with these affiliate links support Snowqueen & Scout. Thank you!
**The mustard and mayo packets require you carrying a little bit of extra trash, but I truly think they elevate the wrap. It's so nice to have a little bit of fatty moisture! 

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?