Backpacker’s Pantry: The Ingredients, Part 1

Packaging Sausage Crumbles

Packaging Sausage Crumbles

I eat fairly healthy, but admit to having foods along on my trips that I don’t normally eat at home. Some of these foods I am trying to modify into healthier, less processed versions of their former selves and you will see the process here as that is half of what this blog is about; experiments. The “what” of my pantry is a mix of bulk and store bought items. They must be fuel efficient, light, and tasty. I pack for the trip, so what is fuel efficient and light enough for an overnight may not be for a longer trip. The pantry allows for those adjustments. Here we go…

Getting to the Meat of it:

Freeze Dried Chicken

Freeze Dried Chicken

Provident Pantry cooked freeze dried chicken: It comes in a 1lb 6oz #10 can and will last 20 years if you don’t open it. I usually go thru one and a half cans per season, using about ¼ cup per person in my meals. That would equal 45 meals in one can for one person, but it is just an estimate. Some meals I add more and rarely do I go less. Actual serving recommendations are ¾ cup, but I only use that amount for a couple of recipes that are mainly chicken and not much else. Chicken does go in the bulk of our meals, so I go thru a lot of it. It is an easy source of protein and in its basic form, bland as can be, which makes it perfect to add to anything. It rehydrates with hot or cold water, but you want to be careful adding it to other foods that hydrate quickly, like mashed potatoes or stuffing. It’s best to add the other items after it’s had a few moments hydrating alone in the freezer bag otherwise you could end up with crunchy chicken and not in a good way.

One Breakfast Ready

One Breakfast Ready

Provident Pantry cooked freeze dried pork sausage crumbles: This comes in a 2.40lb #10 can, and like the chicken, is meant to last a long time if left unopened. We use the recommended ½ cup in each serving for every recipe and even though I can’t eat most meats with high fat content, I seem to be able to endure small quantities of this. We use the same amount whether it’s the whole family, just the two of us, or just Richard by himself. You are getting 30g of fat in each serving and 310 calories and that makes it a great way to fuel up for a day of activity. Like the chicken, it’s better to let it hydrate a little first before adding other ingredients, though the fat in it leaves it
softer than the chicken and under hydrating it just leaves it chewy rather than crunchy. Because of the fat, you don’t want to leave an opened can sitting around. We vacuum pack the individual servings and they can be stored in the freezer to keep even longer.

Tuna Wrap

Tuna Wrap

Starkist Chunk Light Tuna: Sold at your favorite grocery store in 2.6oz foil pouches, getting these on sale is a great way to stock your pantry without having to do anything special. Low fat and high in protein at 18g per packet, they are perfect for easy, cold lunches. The down side is you are left with the fishy foil packet afterwards, which is why I don’t take these on longer backpacks, but they are awesome on an overnight and for the purpose of being able to grab food in a jiffy, they are ideal.

Spicy Beef

Spicy Beef

Libby’s spicy seasoned beef crumbles : This is a recent find, but I can see it easily being a regular in our pantry. I can’t eat this at all, but it’s not always about me and my tummy. Richard finds it yummy, and, like the tuna, it is easy to find on the grocery shelves. See my review for further information on this product.

On the Subject of Jerky…

We don’t keep jerky around the house regularly. This is something Richard takes on his longer hikes when he goes without me, but it is hard to hide jerky and it would get eaten down to the last crumb if I found it, stomach issues or not. I’m not proud, I admit my failings and jerky is one of them. So, while he uses it backpacking, it’s not kept in the pantry and hence, not addressed here.

Where to buy Provident Pantry products: www.BePrepared.com

High Divide

High Divide

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