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Tramping – January 2003

Start the NEW YEAR with a tramp!

A customer asked me for some tramping food ideas one day. Of course, my mind went blank, until ten minutes after she left the shop! It later gave me the idea for this summer newsletter. (So acknowledgements to Kate for this newsletter!)
Maybe this can give you some new ideas whether you're tramping or simply enjoying life!
After a few days of tramping, who craves a nice fatty, greasy meal?! My guess is this is possibly due to a lack of protein and B12. Here are some ideas to help boost your intake while on the track.

Seaweed - An excellent source of protein and minerals! Unfortunately, this is not a good source of B12, as many may believe. It contains B12 analogues, which are not an effective or active form of B12.
Seaweeds contain large amounts of cholorophyll, iron, protein, and iodine, in addition to many vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
The saltiness of it is also beneficial to replenish the electrolytes lost when one is as physically active as tramping can be, or it's a hot day.
Seaweed is light and easy to carry. Nori is easy to add to a meal or soup. If it is held very briefly above the flame of the stove, it will become crispy and easily break into pieces; or just rip it into pieces.
Karengo fronds are yummy to simply pop in the mouth, or add to food. Kelp is another easy option to add to meals.
There's always Spirulina too!

Miso - An easy-to-make snack that is great to revitalise yourself following a long tramp.
Again, the saltiness will replenish some of those valuable electrolytes lost on those long or hot days. Miso also makes a great spread on a sandwich. Obviously, only carry what you need versus the whole package.

Textured Vegetable Protein (T.V.P.) - This is light to carry and is another way to add the benefits of the soybean to your meals.

Eggs - Hard-boiled eggs make a great lunch or snack and travel well.
Raw eggs are not as tough to pack and carry, as it may seem. Individually wrap each egg in paper and place them within a hard surfaced tupperware-like
container. I have never broken an egg and carried up to six in one container. I then place them near the top of my pack. It makes for an excellent start to the day, but beware of jealous trampers in the hut when they smell eggs frying!

Bee pollen - It is an excellent source of protein and B12, and easy to carry a small container.
About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids (versus chained links of amino acids which make proteins), making it a highly assimilable protein-perfect when your body desires power to walk the extra mile in the bush! It is recommended to take 10-15 grams (about two teaspoons) daily for those seeking
strength and endurance (Pritchford 1993).

Nuts & Seeds are always a great source of protein and all around goodness. Have you ever tried roasted almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds with tamari? Totally tantalizing and the dry roasting makes them a bit lighter to carry in a pack since it removes the excess moisture. After dry roasting (heat in fry pan or oven tray with nothing added until nut or seed begins to brown or pop), add a dash or so of tamari, blend a bit, and let dry. Outstanding for anytime!

Extra ideas

Fresh produce - Carrying a few fresh veggies is such a treat and well worth it! While they are bulky to carry amongst a heavy pack, they don't seem to add that much extra weight (unless you're a mountain climber, of course you may disagree). They produce little waste, if any, to carry out. The raw and fresh form
of vitamins and minerals most likely makes a big difference to your body, versus eating solely dehydrated foods. Either enjoy it raw or liven up any meal by adding it as stir-fry.
Produce that travels well includes carrot, cauliflower (bring only edible bits to reduce weight), onion, avocado, lemon, cucumber, potato, mushrooms (keep in paper bag vs. plastic), capsicum, or broccoli (seems to keep better in paper bag). No scurvy on this tramping trip!

Herbs and spices - Carry a small container full of your favourites to spice up a bland meal, e.g. curry, cayenne, or basil. Additionally, they will add a bit of extra vitamins for the body.
For example, did you know that cayenne is one of the highest botanic sources of vitamin C (Pritchford 1993)? A few cloves of garlic are easy to carry and always a great addition to the tramping meal.

Powdered milk - Are you aware yet that organic milk powder is now available? Only skim is available, but still, it's organic!

Sundried tomatoes are an excellent addition to the lunch or simply to chew upon. Salty too, implying electrolytes.

Oil - Carry a small container to put atop your food. An extra teaspoon or two of this a day, could make a difference for you if you truly crave fats while tramping. This will give you the essential fatty acids and some extra calories that your body requires.
Recommended oils include olive, sesame or sunflower.

Pitas, climber's bread, or tortillas are easy to carry-breads without the fear of smooshing.

Muesli Bars - Make your own energy bars without all the added sugars and packaging of supermarket brands. Here's an easy recipe that is easily adaptable with its ingredients!

1 C. rolled oats, millet or rice flakes (soak rice flakes first)
1 C. coconut or ground nuts
1 C. any flour (or ½ c. carob and ½ c. flour) (Rice flour works well for gluten free variety)
1 C. dried fruit or sultanas
¼ C. sesame seeds
¼ C. sunflower seeds
1/3 C. oil
½ C. rice malt, rice syrup or honey
1 grated apple

Mix dry ingredients. Mix oil and rice malt together and add to dry mix with grated apple. If necessary add ¼-1/2 C. soy milk or milk.
Press mixture into an oiled tray. Bake at 190° for 25 minutes. Cool and cut when firm.
Revised from "Vegan Voice", Dec 2000-Feb 2001

Here's a recipe for a sturdy, homemade cracker that might be good for a lunch or snack on the track.
Indestructible Cornmeal Rounds (makes ~2 doz.)
1 ½ C. cornmeal
¼ C. each: sunflower seeds, grated Parmesan
cheese, soy flour, toasted wheatgerm or
buckwheat semolina or flour, sesame seeds
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oil
1 C. plus 1 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350°F and generously oil 2 cookie pans. Mix dry ingredients together. Boil the water and add to mixture.
On a board sprinkled with flour or cornmeal, pat and roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut rounds with cookie cutter and carefully place on pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and brown on the undersides, then turn the rounds over and bake until the other side browns.
Store in fridge or freezer until you go.
Revised from Fleming, J. (1986), The Well-Fed Backpacker

Ok, so it seems the pack is going to be a bit heavy with all this. Of course, you must be the judge of what works for you, and pack accordingly. You can always try one or two of the suggestions and determine if it makes a difference for you. Whatever you decide, enjoy your outdoor summer endeavours and BE SAFE!
Happy New Year from Piko Wholefoods!

PIKO NOTES-Shelley has left the coop to be a full-time mother of her gorgeous girl Eva. We wish you the best Shell Bell and will sure miss watching your peanut butter skills (and safety); but also your positive nature, laughing and singing while you work!
And also...Susan is soon to leave in February. We will certainly miss hearing her laugh from the back, her hard work, determination, efficiency, practicality, surf reports and muscles around here! We all wish her the best of luck, love and happiness in her new endeavour!
But have you met our newest co-op member, Bridget? Some of you may recognise her from the Nature's Organics where she used to work. It's certainly nice having her calm nature, warm smile and artistic hand around here. And she knows heaps about making herbal remedies!

References:
Pritchford, P. (1993) Healing with Wholefoods Oriental Traditions
and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley.

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