Whether you’re tackling a 6-Day Tuolumne Meadows to Half Dome backpacking trip in Yosemite or a leisurely 3 days on the Ozette Coast in Olympic National Park, the importance of a hearty breakfast in the backcountry is undisputed. A breakfast done right can really fuel your fire and keep you going when the going gets tough on the trail. While we have nothing against instant oatmeal packets and the super quick and easy meals they are, they actually have a lot of sugar and are lacking a bit nutritionally. Breakfast can set the mood for the whole day so why not make that mood nutritious AND delicious?
If you go out on a Lasting Adventures guided backpacking trip you may be surprised that our guides are not just pouring hot water into a bowl of instant oats and kicking back to watch the sunrise. They make amazing meals!! Not only do they want you to have that 5-star experience in the backcountry but our guides also want variety so they’re not eating the same meals all summer. We’ve rounded up a few of their trail favorites here to share with you. Getting full is a must, summiting is optional.
Peanut Butter Cacao Oatmeal
A lot of people love to hate oatmeal but as a naturally gluten-free whole grain that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, carbs, AND antioxidants it packs a pretty powerful nutritional punch. With oatmeal, it’s all about the fix-ins and there are plenty to choose from beyond brown sugar and raisins. This Peanut Butter Cacao Oatmeal recipe utilizes Naked PB powdered peanut butter to up the protein ante without the extra weight and cacao products to sneak even more antioxidants in. After consuming a bowl of this goodness the miles will fly by on the trail without even the thought of a snack.
2 cups instant oatmeal
4 cups of water
1/2 cup Naked Powdered Peanut Butter
4 tsp cacao powder
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup cacao nibs
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup banana chips
1 cup sliced almonds
Directions: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in the oatmeal and stir for a minute before putting in the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with the banana chips and sliced almonds and voila!
- Pro-tip: add some chocolate chips to up the sweetness!
Berry Wheat Dream Bowl
Cream of Wheat is an excellent source of calcium, folic acid, iron, protein, carbohydrates, and B vitamins. It has so much iron in fact that one cup cooked contains more than 110% of the daily needs for men and 52% of the daily requirements for women. Cream of Wheat is like a superhero of the breakfast world and you will feel like a superhero (cape encouraged) when you start your day with this Berry Wheat Dream Bowl.
3/4 cup Cream of Wheat (substitute with corn grits for a wheat-free experience, but adjust your cooking time according to the directions on the bag)
7 cups of Water
1 cup freeze-dried strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
4 Tbsp dehydrated coconut milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
Add your water to a pot and cook on medium heat until water boils. Add in the Cream of Wheat and whisk constantly to eliminate lumps. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 2 minutes allowing the cream of wheat to thicken. It should have the thickness of oatmeal when it is ready. Turn off the heat and add the coconut milk powder, Naked Shake strawberry banana protein shake, freeze-dried berries, coconut flakes, and the flaxseed meal, stirring it until it is all absorbed and looks smooth.
Add a garnish like granola if you like some crunch and more coconut flakes and berries.
Sunshine Savory Grits
Grits are ridiculously old. Like 5,000 years old, old. And they are also ridiculously good for you! Another naturally gluten-free grain, one serving provides 10% of the daily recommended intake of iron, 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. That equals enough grams of sumthin’ sumthin’ to keep your appetite sated for several hours. Add that double dose of cheese and everyone will be saying “yes, please” when you ask who wants seconds.
1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 bouillon cubes
4 cups of water
2 Tbsp butter (or butter powder)
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated or chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
bacon bits, to taste
Heat the bacon over medium heat in a pan, then cook the jalapeños until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more. Remove from the pan then carefully pour in the broth. Bring to a boil, then whisk in the grits. Continue whisking while the mix thickens for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Stir occasionally, and cook until the desired creaminess is reached at around 10 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar, then season with salt and pepper, as desired. Add more bacon bits and some fried garlic pieces on top and dig in!
- Optional: add in jerky (meat or mushroom!) instead of bacon bits
- Optional: Substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese, drop the bacon, and use plant-based butter if you want to make it vegan
While we encourage you to try one or all of these recipes at home, they will most certainly taste better on a Lasting Adventures backpacking trip while having one of our guides whip them up for you before hiking the day away. Kicking back and watching the sunrises required.
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