Hiking food prep made easy and cheap

One of the ways that I decided to adopt to deal with my shoulder injury is to focus more on training my legs –  and what better way to strengthen and lean out at the same time than to hike? If you ask me it’s a win-win. I am of course looking forward to resuming my regular routine, but you can only work with what you’ve got and right now I have an incapacitated shoulder but a pair of pretty strong legs 😉

As a form of treatment for my shoulder, I have decided to try Chinese Medicine. Yes, I know, many people would probably dismiss this idea as a waste of time, but the thought of physiotherapy, that I was referred to, did not seem that appealing to me, so I went in the totally opposite direction. So far I have received traditional acupuncture, cupping and laser treatment. Initially, I figured I would only want to go once every 2 weeks, mostly because of the cost, but now after only 3 visits, I wish I could go every single day. Is it helping? It’s hard to say right now because I am ingesting a lot of ibuprofen and it’s only been 3 visits, but I am very optimistic, except for the times when I get deeply depressed about my situation and images of an operating room flash in front of me in my nightmares. I am actively trying to refocus, though and find peace within myself to help my recovery. Here is what I looked like after my last treatment, turns out there is a lot of inflammation in the general area of my injury, which is the anterior deltoid.

To take my mind off this irritating, debilitating issue I have taken to prepping easy to store, grab and go snacks for the trail – dehydrated vegetables and fruit.  Sure, you can buy them already made, but a lot of it has added sugar that really isn’t needed when we’re talking fruit, not to mention preservatives and other additives. So here is how I make mine.

You will need a mandoline and a dehydrator. I can almost hear you rolling your eyes with cynicism, but trust me all you need is the most basic one there is, it will run you about $40 at Canadian Tire and if you are smart about reducing the weight of your pack while hiking you will use it a lot.

All you need to do is slice your fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries, mangos what have you) or vegetables (mushrooms, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots etc.) quite thinly and lay them out on the trays like so:

 

 

You think produce is expensive? Think again! These 3 beauties were discounted probably for their blemishes. I got them at half the regular price. Again, it pays to pay a little attention – don’t dismiss the discount shelf at the grocery store, there is often great things to be had at a fraction of the cost 🙂

Turn on the dehydrator and forget about it for at least 12h. When you are happy with the level of dehydration harvest your crop and put it in an airtight container and store until needed. For tracking nutrition purposes only I weigh my pre-dehydrated produce and divide the weight by 100g. When the fruit/veg is fully dehydrated I weigh it again and divide that weight by the number I got from weighing it raw. This way I know how much of the dry product equals 100g of the raw product. For example: if my raw fruit weighs 500g, then I know there are 5 servings of 100g in the whole batch. Let’s say the dehydrated version has shrunk to 150g (by eliminating water content), then I’ll know that to get 100g I need to divide 150g by 5 and weigh out only 30g of the dehydrated product. Why is this important to me? Well, it’s easy to overeat on dry fruit and I’m not looking to gain any weight while I’m exerting myself. I want my body to tap into my stored energy more so than to overload it with energy. But of course, this step is not necessary if you are not tracking your meals.

What do I do with my dehydrated fruits and vegetables? You saw how I incorporated Sweet Potato Chips in my Chickpea Burger recipe. Granted you won’t take that on the trail, but you can just as easily throw some chips into your pasta meal for added crunch or simply use them instead of traditional chips. In fact, for this batch of Sweet Potato Chips, I sprayed them lightly with some coconut oil and seasoned with some Himalayan Salt so they resemble traditional chips quite well (not as greasy, though). Dehydrated fruit usually ends up in my morning meal while hiking which mostly happens to be oatmeal, but you can most definitely put it in your trail mix or munch on it like you would on chips. Or go a step further and include it in your homemade granola bars! 

When these were baking in the oven the house filled out with the most amazing aroma. If I didn’t know any better I would have said there was an apple pie in the oven!

I sprinkled the apple slices with some cinnamon because everybody knows cinnamon and apples make the greatest of marriages!

 

Apple Granola Bars
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Serving size: 50g
  • Calories: 153
  • Fat: 3.6
  • Saturated fat: .4
  • Unsaturated fat: .8
  • Carbohydrates: 24
  • Sugar: 7.8
  • Sodium: 53
  • Fiber: 4.2
  • Protein: 7.1
  • Cholesterol: 0
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Vegan and nut free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Don't settle for junk, make your own granola bars that are chock-full of nutrition!
Ingredients
  • 200g whole Oats
  • 1.5 scoop Clean Protein by Vega (you can sub for your favorite brand)
  • 60g Natural California Raisins
  • 200g Bananas
  • 60g Prunes
  • 20g whole Flax Seeds (ground)
  • 50g dyhadrated Apple chopped into tiny pieces (optional but recommended)
  • 20g Chia Seeds
  • 20g Hemp Seeds
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of water
Instructions
  1. Grind the flax seed and add to the rest of the ingredients and incorporate with your bare hands. Add enough water for the mixture to bind together.
  2. Transfer the mass onto a parchment lined pyrex dish and press with your hands to mold it into what's to become your granola bars.
  3. Place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes depending on your oven.
  4. Check for doneness - you want the edges to crisp up a bit.
  5. When out of the oven cut into individual bars.
  6. Store in the fridge to preserve freshness.

 

Since we are on the topic of hiking I feel it’s necessary to share pictures from my umptieth visit to Deadman’s Bay Path. I kid you not, for a person known for not being that much of a hiker I know this path inside and out 🙂

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