By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD
Question: I’m going on an overnight winter camping trip with my college’s outings club and need to come up with a vegan high calorie alternative to the planned dinner – pasta with broccoli and cheese.The leader says the cheese will be added after the pasta is cooked.Any other ideas for high calorie foods? – I know I need a lot of calories to help me stay warm and because it’s a pretty strenuous hike.
Answer: Dinner is easy – pack some peanut butter, mix with a little hot water, season with a pinch of pepper or other spice and mix it with your pasta and broccoli. You could also pack a commercial peanut or satay sauce (check for milk or fish ingredients). If you’d like, mix some chickpeas or other canned beans in with the pasta. For a winter trip, assuming it’s pretty cold outside, you can drain canned chickpeas before leaving and pack them in a light-weight plastic container. They should keep for the one night you’ll be out.
Here are some ideas for high calorie foods you can keep in an accessible pocket in your backpack or parka: trail mix (your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate or carob chips), vegan energy bars or dark chocolate bars, peanut butter and cracker sandwiches, a bagel or two, a thermos of vegan hot chocolate.
Bring packets of instant oatmeal and dried fruit for an easy breakfast and dehydrated hummus or black bean dip (just mix with hot water) for lunch (with crackers, pita, or bagels). Peanut butter or other nut butter sandwiches also are easy and filling.
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