When planning overnight adventures we often have our gear list ready to go; clothes, sleeping gear, tent. We plan meticulously the lightweight aspects of these things but did you know often it is our food that weighs us down.
Foil fresh olives, pickles and parmesan crisps make for a great afternoon snacks
We often see couples on the trails, far from the point that they hiked in, who have packed tin food, and bottles of wine, and the ‘normal’ food you would eat at home. The problem is not only is it heavy to carry in, these containers are often heavy to carry out- which is a requirement of all hike-in locations.
When I started hiking years ago, we would head to Anaconda and grab whatever lightweight packet foods that were available. These are often loaded with preservatives and at the end of an arduous day hiking and sightseeing, you are happy to eat anything BUT what if there were a better way?
Avoid the swollen feeling of these chemical loaded foods (inflammatory response) with some simple food hacks and your hiking trip will be a lot more enjoyable, not to mention a lot tastier. Hiking is a BIG calorie burner so you want to ensure you have plenty of high-calorie foods to keep you fuelled- fruit leathers are ideal as they are lighter and more concentrated having been dehydrated.
2 years ago when we started Holistic Hikes, we invested in an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator – well because we spend most weekends on the trails wither with clients or on our own private adventures. We want to share the benefits of healthy food choices and the simple ways that we can make the overnight hiking trips more holistic. Our regular hikes include some sampling of these dehydrated snacks and sharing of recipes so that you too can enjoy food that we have come to love for adventures along the trails.
We aim to not only inspire outdoor adventures but empower you with education on the WHY, HOW and WHAT of good hiking food. Holistic is an all-encompassing approach and we shouldn’t compromise on taste and health to get lightweight food to fuel our adventures.
Dehydrating is a simple food preserving technique that essentially removes enough water content from food to prevent the growth of yeasts, moulds and bacteria. It’s a natural process that has been used for years and provides a concentrated, naturally sweet and tasty hiking snacks and meals.
By removing the moisture content, it lowers the pack weight and you need only add water to enjoy a Moroccan tagine, curry, or jerky and fruit leathers. It's quick to prepare and drying time depends on what you are drying. More moisture in food= more drying time.
TO MAKE: Simply blitz fruit of choice into a smoothie consistency and spread over trays. Dehydrate at 55c for 4-6 hours or until leathery. Cut in strips and roll up (Better than store-bought sugar-loaded snacks)
Dried food takes up little space and weighs little so it’s the perfect option for weekend trail adventures sans the chemicals. Unsure what to dehydrate? Try a variety of fresh foods including fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, cheese, fish and meats, and yoghurt plus meals!
Our hiking snacks made for hikers include jerky, fruit leather or fruit and the meals reconstituted for cooking by simply adding water. In a dehydrator or at low-temperature 47c, preserves the nutrients of our food.
The process of drying food retains the natural flavours and sugars within the foods concentrate providing a stronger, sweeter and more flavourful taste. By means of preservations, drying retains many nutrients (no nasty chemical preservatives) and for those wanting more benefits, a lower temperature creates what is known as ‘Living Foods’.
These are foods dehydrated at 47c or below to ensure that the enzymes aren’t deactivated within our foods. Raw or Living foods are uncooked, easy to digest, rich in enzymes and highly nutritious. Our body is able to digest these living foods better as the enzymes help our body’s digestive enzymes to break down the food into proteins, essentially our bodies don’t have to work too hard to digest food.
So I love to share and I know you will love these recipes as much as we do! Get creative and know that we should never compromise on our hike health for the weight of a packet!
The best thing about these snacks is that you don’t have to take a hike to enjoy them, Add to school or work lunch boxes for a tasty treat!
Maybe it's a camping trip with the family, a day hike or bigger adventure you have planned, what we pack to fuel our adventures needn't compromise our health.