Whole-Food, Plant-Based Backpacking Meals

 Desolation Wilderness, California

Desolation Wilderness, California

Can you stay nourished, energized, and satisfied on this diet while backpacking through the wilderness? YES! I recently gave it a go during a 3-day, 2-night, trip and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. In fact, I planned the food for six people and everyone was thankful for the hearty and tasty meals I provided. Here is what we ate:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, dried fruit, and almond butter

Oatmeal is a whole-grain, making it the ideal breakfast food for a good amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber, along with traces of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, zine, and iron!

The nutritional value of dried fruit depends on what variety you choose. I found a good list with information here. We brought a variety of dried raisins to put in our morning oatmeal, giving a calorie, protein, and fiber boost to our day.

Nut butters are a good source of protein, fiber, and good fats.

 

Lunch: Hummus, carrots, green peppers, whole-wheat tortillas, apples, and almond butter

Although hummus is low in calories, it is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It also has traces of vitamin k, vitamin c, zinc, iron, and magnesium.

I love the satisfying crunch of carrots and green peppers and used them to dip in the hummus. I also find green peppers refreshing and hydrating. You can play around with what vegetables to bring- carrots and green peppers are pretty sturdy and pack well.

We actually brought whole-wheat tortillas AND pita bread, but I prefer tortillas and use them to make a hummus and veggie wrap.

Apples are also very refreshing and easy to pack. DELICIOUS with almond butter. We managed to bring 6-8 apples (everyone carried at least one) and I think we had an extra to cut up and put in our oatmeal on the third morning :)

 

Snack Attack- nuts and seeds, dried fruit, chocolate- also more veggies, hummus, apples, and nut butter

We brought a variety of nuts and seeds, including almonds, cashews, peanuts, and macadamia nuts along with dried cranberries and cherries and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. They all contain a good amount of calories, healthy fats and carbohydrates, and different vitamins and minerals. Here is more information about nuts and seeds.

We also had a trail mix with chocolate. WARNING: chocolate might melt and turn your trail mix into a gooey, but still delicious snack! 

 

Dinner Meal #1- Green lentils, millet, onion, spices (turmeric, coriander, paprika, ground cumin, and salt)

Green Lentils are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber! The are also a good source of iron, zinc, potassium and folate.

I had never cooked millet before, but I heard it was very good for you. It took a bit longer to cook than I would have liked, but this could have been because the pot we were using wasn't cooking evenly. However, millet has a TON of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, and phosphorous. Couscous or quinoa would be two other good options to add here.

Onions are easy to pack and add a delicious flavor to any meal! 

I pre-mixed a variety of spices and put them in a ziplock bag. This is totally optional, but definitely added a lot of good flavor to our meals.

 

Dinner Meal #2- barley, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and green pepper

Barley is whole grain that is very filling and delicious. It contains many good vitamins and minerals and is easy to cook. We added our last onion and green pepper to add some fresh flavor.

Sun-dried tomatoes will add a PUNCH of good flavor along with a good amount of calories, protein, and fiber. 

 

Success! We ate so well and felt great the entire trip.

What is your experience? What meals would you or have you packed on overnight hiking trips? Please share you own ideas! Let's support each other in living long and healthy lives!

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