Monday, 23 November 2009

Spicy Fruit & Nut Porridge Recipe

  • Porridge Oats ( 5 tbsp )
  • Muesli ( 2 tbsp )
  • Dried Milk ( 1 tbsp )
  • Dried Dates ( 1tbsp chopped )
  • Cashew Nuts ( 1tbsp broken up )
  • Sultanas ( 1tbsp )
  • Crystalized Ginger ( 1tbsp chopped )
  • Brown Sugar ( 2 tsp )
  • Salt ( 1 tsp )
  • Cinnamon ( 1/2 tsp )

Spicy Fruit and Nut Porridge ingredients

Put all ingredients into a Pour & Store type freezer bag and take on the trail with you. To prepare simply boil 330ml of water, pour into the bag, leave for 10 minutes, shaking bag every few minutes, open and enjoy using a long handled spoon. Simples!

I discovered the freezer bag style of cooking a few years ago and have since tried many recipes, mainly porridge, pasta and cous cous based. Freezer Bag cooking is bascially home made dried food or dehydrated food meals stored in a strong zip lock type freezer bag for consumption when backpacking or wild camping on the trail. For more information on the concept and pages of recipes see the Trail Cooking website.

Long handled sporks are perfect for freezer bag cooking

There are other techniques to freezer bag cooking. A few people I know have bought their own food dehyrdraters and made some delicous meals that they have successfully dehydrated then bagged up and taken on camps where they then simply rehydrate the meal. Other techniques which are very popular include using pot and bag cozys. These are home made insulating pouches designed to keep heat in your pot or food bag, allowing the food to cook slowly but surely allowing the heat to cook the food and not use up precious stove fuel. For example if cooking pasta or rice it makes so much more sense to bring the rice to a boil then put the pot in a cosy and leave the piping hot water to cook the rice on its own without keeping the pot on the stove wasting fuel. You can make your own pot cosy using Thermarwrap type metallic bubble wrap from B&Q or you can also buy ready made ones from places like Bob Cartwright's excellent Backpacking Light website.

Pour and Store bags are ideal packaging

The biggest advantage Freezer Bag cooking is that the meals are very lightweight and you can easilly carry many days worth of substantial and tasty food. There are several other advantages to this method of carrying food. These are the reasons I like this way of cooking when backpacking or wild camping...

  • Lightweight and small pack size for easy carrying.
  • No pots to clean and food waste is zipped safely away.
  • Freezer Bags are re-usable, robust, cheap, self standing and double as litter bags.
  • Small amount of boiled water required so smaller cooking kitchen equipment required.

You only need a titanium mug to boil 330ml of water 

For most Freezer Bag meals you only need 330ml of boiling water. On a recent three day backpacking trip I took only the MSR Titan titanium mug as my cooking pot and was more than happy, I cooked porridge in the mornings and a combination of expensive commercial Mountain House meals and Cous Cous home made meals during days and nights. I will never carry a large pot again when cooking this way. The mug weighs only 52g and fits in it, my F1 Stove, Foil Lid and Firesteel which was all I needed. What I tend to do is boil 330ml of water then pour that into the meal, leave the meal to settle for 10 minutes while I boil another 330ml in the mug and make a cup of tea.

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