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Grain-free backcountry meals


Original Post
alpinejason · · Minneapolis · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 175

A friend of mine has gluten and corn allergies and recently converted to an entirely grain-free diet. Naturally her diet eliminates most backcountry staples, e.g. oatmeal, pasta, rice, granola, etc.

Anybody with similar dietary restrictions? Suggestions on what we can pack for her?

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 478

Larabars. Dried fruits, nuts, vegetables. Jerky. Olive oil. Justin's hazelnut or almond or whatever butter. Look up "paleo backpacking food" or something like that for ideas.

Evan S · · Erie, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 510

Anthing quinoa (yeah, a grain...) or chic pea based, just read every single ingredient thoroughly. Any maltodextrin, citric acid, "spices" and the like can mean gluten or corn. The Tasty Bites brand has some garbanzo bean dishes, and lentils too I think, that are good and free of the bad stuff. Otherwise, nuts and dried fruit en' mass are what I usually do. It weighs more than dried foodstuffs, but it's nutrient dense. Protein powders and things like spirulina powder are good low-weight options too.

Eddie Brown · · Tempe, Arizona · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 955

Rice, rice noodles, quinoa, beans, premade soup soup mixes, dried fruits and veggies, nuts, jerky.

I avoid gluten, oats, dairy, soy, and preservatives due to allergies. I dehydrate a lot of my own stuff before back country trips. Pretty much whatever I eat in town I just dehydrate for when I'm in the boonies. If you are just doing weekend trips its a lot easier cause you can bring in whatever you had for dinner the night before. Just freeze it and shove it down into your bag for insulation. I'll even go as far as to bring steaks and potatoes since weight isn't as much of an issue.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Smoked Herring.....

Jeff Thomas · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 0

Beef jerky and whiskey

Mike Lane · · Centennial, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 905

Elk

fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 13,181

marmot

I know you're trying to be helpful, but someone that high maintenance shouldn't expect you to pack her food for her.

Darren in Vegas · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 2,230
Eddie Brown wrote:Rice, rice noodles
FYI rice is a grain

I am currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet due to UC, which is grain free, so like the OP rice, quinoa, wheat etc. is off limits. This diet also forbids canned food, so no canned fish etc. (and even prepackaged foods like Larabars), so I am wondering what the heck I am going to do for certain trips. I went to the Ruth Gorge in Alaska, and want to go back but I am worried about the labor involved with preparing for a trip like that. So I too am interested in learning what others are doing for extended back country trips in remote regions not accessible by car. This means for me that preparing food ahead of time is going to be a logistical challenge.

This grain free banana bread recipe is really good FWIW.

Right now every meal I prepare is from fresh vegetables and meats, but in the backcountry, this kind of cooking is a no go.

If anyone else is into discussing these kinds of issues, feel free to PM me through this site.
Darren in Vegas · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 2,230
chufftard wrote: Not eating brown rice is just being difficult.
This statement is not necessarily true for all people.
Darren in Vegas · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 2,230
fossana wrote: I know you're trying to be helpful, but someone that high maintenance shouldn't expect you to pack her food for her.
This however is a true statement.
brat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 80

Spent 44 days in the backcountry with someone with the same allergies.

We ate a lot of dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated beans, soup mix...

Howrad McGreehan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 0
Darren in Vegas wrote: This however is a true statement.
+1
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Darren in Vegas wrote: FYI rice is a grain I am currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet due to UC, which is grain free, so like the OP rice, quinoa, wheat etc. is off limits.
Sorry, but what is UC?

And what is it about canned food that is a problem? I can think of only two things that characterize ALL canned food: water... and the can. Are you allergic to water?
camhead · · Vandalia, Appalachia · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,240

Cool thread. For backcountry meals, carbs are key for energy, so the non-wheat thing can be a challenge. I'm a big fan of instant potatoes, as someone mentioned upthread.

A question, though– quinoa is awesome, but in its standard, regular form, it takes quite a while to cook; about the same as rice. This is a pain, and can waste fuel in a backcountry situation. Anyone know of any places that sell "minute" quinoa, like the equivalent of minute rice?

Oh, and this is awesome:

Darren in Vegas · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 2,230
Gunkiemike wrote: Sorry, but what is UC? And what is it about canned food that is a problem? I can think of only two things that characterize ALL canned food: water... and the can. Are you allergic to water?
Apparently canned foods contain additives that don't need to be listed on the label.

http://pecanbread.com/p/how/manufacturedfoods.html specific carbohydrate diet and canned foods info

This diet has a bunch of stuff to it that doesn't always make sense to me, but it has a lot of adherents who claim it has worked for them.
I have been trying this diet for about 3 months with success, but as soon as I have a flare up, I will conclude the diet is bogus and go back to pizza and beer.
Andy Librande · · Denver, CO · Joined Nov 2005 · Points: 1,865

Along the canned food side, I have always liked the Bumblebee Chicken in a pouch for ease of bringing into the backcountry; expensive but easy (and I am not sure what weird stuff might be in it but works for backpacking). Also Tuna in a pouch is high-quality as well and easy to pack out the trash.

Also you could bring a lot of eggs cracked into a waterbottle or something as long as it wasn't for too many days or if it got too hot.

One of the recipes I do on shorter trips is Chicken curry: onion/red peppers/zucchini/garbanzo beans/chicken/coconut milk/curry powder usually over couscous but you could substitute something else or have that for the rest of you and she just eats the veggie part. A little heavy with fresh veggies but not too bad if weight is not the utmost concern.

Also learn to dry food as mentioned above, then you can bring just about anything and food dehydrators are awesome. For example we have done thanksgiving dinners at the end of week-long trips b/c we were able to dry the turkey, veggies, cranberry sauce and brought stuffing that we made and instant mashed potatoes.

Bill Shubert · · Lexington, MA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 55

Quinoa is actually not a grain at all. Grains come from the grass family, quinoa doesn't. It's used like a grain, it tastes a little bit like a grain, nutritionally it is similar to grains (but with more and better protein, and no gluten), but it is from a completely different type of plant. Many people with grain problems try to avoid gluten, which makes quinoa great.

So if your friend is really on a "no grains" diet then quinoa is the thing for you, it gives the complex carbs that are so good when hiking or climbing or whatever. If you friend is saying "nothing that reminds me of grain" then you've got a more difficult task.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Darren in Vegas wrote: Apparently canned foods contain additives that don't need to be listed on the label. http://pecanbread.com/p/how/manufacturedfoods.html specific carbohydrate diet and canned foods info
Wow, if you buy into the load that site is spewing I'm surprised you can eat anything at all.
Darren in Vegas · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 2,230
Gunkiemike wrote: Wow, if you buy into the load that site is spewing I'm surprised you can eat anything at all.
First of all, I don't find it that hard to believe that corporations are putting things in our food that are not listed on food labels.
What ever maximizes shelf life maximizes profit. Food to big business is a commodity, not nutrition.

With that being said, as a scientifically minded individual, I am skeptical of many of the claims of the specific carbohydrate diet, and of the website I linked to earlier. The specific carbohydrate diet was developed by a microbiologist (which lends a bit of credibility) and is outlined in http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/
However, the diet has not been studied in a full-on scientific, double blind manner....so that is a mark against it.

(However this webpage about a study done at UMASS is claiming 100% success http://crohnsdad.com/2012/01/13/ibd-pilot-study-using-diet-based-on-scd-shows-100-success-rate/ )

If you have ever dealt with the symptoms of this disease (bloody diarrhea! yay!)you would know it is not fun.
In addition, if the disease goes unchecked, the end result is removal of large intestines and the grand prize of a colostomy bag. Since colostomy bags interfere with harnesses, and therefore climbing, I am willing to try anything to avoid that fate.

The diet is VERY restrictive, and currently I am eating meat, vegetables, fruits and some nuts (ground into nut flour), and that's about it.
Hans · · Squamish, BC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 2,102
Jeff Thomas wrote:Beef jerky and whiskey
+1
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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