Re: [John Muir Trail] corn / polenta for through hiking
Thanks for this post, John! and, you're welcome. Remember . . . the stevia is 300x as sweet as sugar! Suggest you use very sparingly until you get a sense of it.:-) Good luck! And have fun! A friend and I have been planning on doing virtually the same trip you are doing with Anya the weekend after next. I've never been there before, so I'm excited for the adventure! I just hope the heat lets up some.:-)
--- On Thu, 7/15/10, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] corn / polenta for through hiking
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 2:21 PM
warning to the not-food-obsessed: this posting has still more on Chocolate and on things that go with pesto (or olive oil and hard cheese)
Chocolate: Karpani mentioned her variation on a recipe I suggested a while back (chocolate, coconut oil, artificial sweetener and various other add-ins). Turns out there is a commercial version of the basic underlying ingredients - chocoolate (here as cacao) and coconut oil.
https://www. drbenkim. com/sunshop/ index.php? l=product_ detail&p=76
It's 177 cal per oz (For comparison, Nutella is 152 calories per oz). 7% protein by weight.
Eat it with a spoon for a late-night snack (the calorie boost will keep you warm in your sleeping bag). The oils may separate in the day's heat, so you may need to stir it back up.
I found it unbranded, in bulk at San Francisco's Rainbow Grocery, but there are several jarred brands including the one at the link above. I assume it would usually be found in stores catering to the "health" crowd. Ask your local vegan.
No reason you couldn't add some higher calorie ingredients. It softens up easily (or melts in a double boiler) and you can mix in the following if you want to increase the calories
more coconut oil - about 250 cal/oz
macadamia nuts - 205
dried flaked coconut - 200
peanut butter (or other nut butters) 170-200 cal.oz
(I also like salt, but I'm weird)
It will require careful packaging because summer temps may cause it to liquefy.
Note that making your own will typically give you a still more efficient sweet snack (in cal.oz terms) because you can substitute the sweetener (here agave syrup) -- which always brings down the cal/oz -- with something that weighs almost nothing - Splenda or white Stevia.
Pesto: This was another find, in my continuing search for things that go well with pesto
Dried Mezzaluna with gorgonzola filling
It is sold in a box in the unrefrigerated section of the grocery store (with the other high-end dried pastas) so it should be trail-stable and should even go into a resupply bucket mailed to VVR, MTR, etc.
brand is La Piana
takes 15-16 minutes to cook, but my guess is that you could steep it in a cozy for multiple 5-minute rounds, re-bringing it to a bare simmer between steeps which takes minimal fuel if you have a stove that re-lights readily (like a JetBoil)
117 cal per oz - 15% protein by weight (about 10% better than my last favorite)
Packs fairly compactly (1 lb occupies about 1 qt. of space)
You can serve it with pesto
or with olive oil (or ghee) and grated hard parmesan or romano cheese and some dried sage
http://www.italianf oods.com/ index.php? option=com_ virtuemart&Itemid=13
Corn: I also found some dried bulk corn that claims that it cooks quickly after it is soaked. Looks more compact and substantial that the freeze-dried versions. (Online, I see a suggeston that it needs to soak 2 hours in initially hot water, so I suppose I'd have to start it soaking about as soon as I roll into camp or maybe soak some one night for next day's eating.)
Karpani - white stevia is going with me on next week's trip. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
John Curran Ladd
1616 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:02 PM, Karpani <karpanilove@ yahoo.com> wrote:
Thanks, John, for all this great info!
Approx. how long does the pesto last? Those Nalgene jars are EXACTLY what I have been looking for:-) I've even had a friend saving a Skippy jar for me, but nobody's eating the Skippy! And the size was bigger than I wanted anyway. I checked Wilderness Exchange online and they had the jars in blue or green at $4.99 and $3.70 for 8 and 4oz. respectively. Campor has clear 8 and 4oz. for $2.30 and $1.99. Is there any advantage to color? I didn't see an option for white at either source.
Also wanted to chime in on the corn-on-the- trail subject. I just tested dehydrated corn chowder that I got from our bulk section at Eureka Natural Foods in, aha!, Eureka! It is excellent! Has carrots, sweet corn kernals in what seems to be a potato base and is peppery and well-seasoned. It could also be mixed with pasta, or chili, for a really hefty meal. I'm sure other places like Trader Joe's and perhaps Whole Foods must carry something like this. I didn't realize the value of corn/polenta in considering for JMT food before this thread was started. I'm really grateful for everyone's input on this.
And I created a version of your "Natella"/chocolate spread thing, which absolutely knocked my taste buds off! I combined, all organic, one bar 80% organic chocolate, 4 tblsp. coconut oil, 1/4 cup (or so) chunky peanut butter, about 2 tblsp crunched up unsweetened coconut flakes, 2 hefty tblsp raw roughly-ground macadamia nuts (extracted from the food processor before finishing the mac butter:-)), and approx. 1/8 tsp. or less of white stevia. I melted it all down in a double boiler as you suggested, and poured it into a jar to cool. I put it in the frig. overnight to see how hard it would get. It got darn hard! The next morning I took it out again for the day to see if any of the oils would separate sitting at room temp. They did not and it had the consistency of thick creamy peanut butter or a very thick chocolate mousse and could easily be spooned, again and again! I took a small portion of it with me this weekend up in the Chemise Mt. area for an overnight. In the 90 degree heat on Sunday, it finally melted to gooey, but the oils still did not separate and I continued to enjoy it! With the coconut flakes and mac nuts, it has the most wonderful crunch around the creamy delight. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Just a note, if you intend to try stevia, make sure you get white and not green. The green has a strong taste that is detected in everything. White has none but sweet. And use SPARINGLY! You may have read when you checked it out that it is 300x as sweet as sugar!
--- On Tue, 7/13/10, John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com> wrote:Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] corn / polenta for through hiking
From: John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com>
To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com, "Lighttrailfood" <lighttrailfood@ yahoogroups. com>
Date: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 12:25 PMBob makes a good point about pesto - It's hard to store and hard to cook without making a terrible mess. I've also had to clean out a bearcan where everything got splattered with pesto and it's an unholy mess. (In my case, I had actually packaged the pesto OK, but then I sloppily opened my container right over the bearcan -- thinking it was my ghee jar -- and spilled some of it all over everything. Dumb!)While my just-completed modification doesn't seem to leak, I'm not sure that the seal on the wingnut will be good enough, so I'll carry one jar and two tops -- use the regular top for storage/transportat ion and the modified top only for heating the pesto.
Anyway, try this:
1) Don't count on store packaging. Repackage the pesto in something you trust. For a little, I'd probably use a 4-oz nalgene jar. For more, I'd use a 8-oz plastic jar of the kind you can buy at Wilderness Exchange in Berkeley. (see white jar in picture below). Plastic Peanut Butter jars work well, but it's hard to get small ones.
2) To heat the pesto, bring to a simmer the water you will eventually use to cook your couscous (pasta or rice or gnocchi or ravioli or whatever) and just put the Nalgene or other jar in the hot water, turn off the burner for 5-10 minutes and let it come up to a moderate degree of warmth (the heat from the couscous will complete the process.) Once the pesto is warmish, set it aside (or -- better -- put it in a cozy) while you cook the couscous, pasta, rice etc. Once your couscous is done, add the warm pesto to the couscous (or vice versa if you've heated the pesto in a large enough container). You will have to clean whatever you use for your eating dish, but at least you haven't tried to heat the pesto directly over a flame and made your pot dirty.
3) This worked fine for me when I used a 4-oz Nalgene jar in my JetBoil, but when I tried to use the 8-oz. jar, it was really hard to get the jar out of the JetBoil (its outside diameter was close to the inner diameter of the JetBoil pot and I couldn't get my fingers around it to lift it out.)
I think I've found a solution to this. I just bought a nylon bolt, 2 nylon washers and a nylon wingnut. I'm going to drill a hole in the top of the jar and insert the nylon fasteners (wingnut facing up), I'll use a little McNett seam-sealer to make sure I have a tight seal. Then the wingnut will give me something I can grab to retrieve the jar from the JetBoil pot. See pic below.
Picture of the 8-oz jar with proposed wingnut "handle" - hole drilled in the top to accept the handle.
Picture of 4-oz. Nalgene bottle (if there is anyone out there who doesn't already know what they look like) - very handy for carrying things that like to leak. Available in sizes from 1-oz. to 32 oz. (though a bit hard to find above 8 oz.) They have extremely good seals and therefore are great -- in appropriate sizes -- for carrying things that will make a mess if they leak (olive oil, povidone iodine, maple syrup, deet, camp soap). (BPA free, for those with concerns about that.)
BTW,I love the little 8-oz jars because they seal almost as well as the Nalgene, are lightweight and have such a wide mouth. Unfortunately, I've never seen them anywhere other than at Wilderness exchange in Berkeley (not form the REI there). They are made by Lermer Packaging Corporation, which seems to sell wholesale only.
Also, pesto is one of those things that is kind of fun to make yourself - fresh basil leaves, olive oil, salt, pine nuts in a pestle or a blender or a food processor. Lots of recipes online. Either add hard Parmesan to it before leaving town or carry the cheese separately and add before you eat it. Also, if you have only something small for transporting it, you can make it with minimal olive oil and add more olive oil in the field (particularly if you are carrying it anyway).
John Curran Ladd
1616 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
On Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 2:30 PM, robert shattuck <bobolonius@hotmail. com> wrote:
I've found pesto in a tube at Molly Stone's––as well as tomato paste--and even after opening, it stayed fresh enough to last me a few days in a warm bear canister. The Bummer about pesto (just for me, I'm sure) is that it's one of those things that really gets your pot(s) and utensils dirty and oily, which seemed to get everywhere, including inside my canister for some reason and along with the dirt came the laborious clean up.I didn't use polenta, but instead, TJ's pasta bits. I've found the best way to eat well on the trail is just wander into someone else's camp––maybe someone you've had a good chat with earlier that day––and just eat all the stuff they've realized they've made or packed waaaay too much of. "No fuss, no muss . . . " (honest, I tried to wash the dishes, but they wouldn't let me)