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  1. #1
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    Default How do you get more fruits & veggies on the trail?

    I consider myself a health nut/exercise fanatic and I struggle with getting my fruits & veggies when I'm out away from home. Taking fresh of either is darn near impossible.

    Once upon a time I bought a small plastic container of Superfood. It was a powder mix you could add to foods that had valuable vitamins and nutrients in it. It tasted horrific but I managed to choke it down for the 10 days. Anyone use something similar?

    I'd really like to experiment and find something that is similar that you could add a scoop to each dehydrated meal or even mix and just drink. I know my body and what it likes and what makes it function.

    I should add most of my trips or expeditions involve either mtn. climbing, long days of endless miles or mountaineering trips to foreign lands. So being able to bring something like this along would greatly benefit me.

  2. #2
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    It's not impossible. You might want to research Vegan and Raw Food Thru-hikers.

    As a 98% pesce vegetarian on trail(I'll consume a small amt of Organic chicken or turkey) I:

    1) Food resupply more often. This allows greater access to fresh produce and greater food wt and bulk flexibility per food resupply. This requires more judicious LD hiking produce decisions. I'm not carrying three heads of lettuce and a watermelon. This is my preferred approach as I seek a whole food diet emphasizing whole foods rather than highly processed human "engineered" packaged food like products. This also works because my kit(gear) is already SUL to light weight being solidly UL overall offering greater flexibility in food wt and bulk carried.

    2) When this optimal wholefoods - produce - resupplying approach isn't as forthcoming I'll: a) grow trail sprouts https://outdoorherbivore.com/trail-sprouts/ b) bite the wt and bulk wholefoods bullet within personal UL "reason" per resupply c) supplement with Garden of Life products https://www.gardenoflife.com/content...green-formula/ https://www.gardenoflife.com/content...eggie-formula/

  3. #3
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    Agreed, some veggie powder mixes can taste like grass by themselves. Try something with a vanilla or berry flavor or mix into other foods like an oats b-fast or make an energy H2O based drink drunk as you hike. Drink your veggies,

  4. #4

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    I eat a lot of dried or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables on the trail. I add handfuls of fruit in hot or cold cereal in the morning and add handfuls dried or freeze-dried vegetables into most of my dinners. I also snack on dried fruit and/or freeze-dried vegetables throughout the day. I also try and carry a bit of fresh stuff for the first day or two back on the trail. And, if you start snacking on your fresh food as soon as you start walking and don't think it is only for dinner you don't have to carry it so long.

    The Most common freeze-dried vegetables for me are available from REI and at least some grocery stores.
    I also dump packages of frozen mixed vegetables directly into my food drier and then add them to my food just like freeze-dried vegetables. Good for cooking, not good for direct snacking the the freeze-dried veggies are.

    Most fresh vegetables keep for at least a day or two. Root vegetables keep longer and better. The down side is mostly the added weight. If you want more fresh veggies, as noted above, you will want to do more frequent resupplies.
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  5. #5

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    I got this tip from female hiker that raised several kids. Check out the baby food section in whatever grocery store you resupply in. There is a fair selection of dehydrated fruit and vegetable "snacks" available.
    I add dehydrated fruit pieces in my breakfast and vegetables in whatever I'm freezer bag cooking for supper. They don't add many calories but sure are tasty and break up the monotony. I will add that they are not, what I would consider to be, inexpensive.

  6. #6
    Siestita's Avatar
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    Thanks oldwetherman for suggesting looking for dried vegies marketed as snacks for babies. I'll try that.

    For the past several years large grocery stores here in Kentucky (Walmart, Krogers) have been selling several kinds of dried vegetables as snack food for adults. I have experimented with some of those snack items imported from Vietnam as potential additions to Liptons/Knorrs rice or pasta dinners. I've discovered that I liked cooking with either the dried okra or the dried green beans, but not with the dried peas.

    To get those snack vegetables to hydrate well I usually add them to my cooking water (slightly more than usual) for about ten minutes before I begin heating that water. That initial hydration, followed by the Knorrs' cooking time, softens the green beans or okra pieces nicely. In addition to making my dinners more appealing, those vegies (like the dried fruit that I snack on during the day) add some digestion enhancing fiber to my diet. And, they are not heavy. In addition to the fiber, which provides no calories, those dried vegie snacks also contain lots of fat. Apparently the fat was added during to the vegetables' processing to make them tastier as snacks. So, lots of "calories per ounce" are generated, according to package labeling.

    I sometimes soak dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, raisins, or pitted prunes) overnight in a water bottle. That re-hydrated fruit makes a nice addition to my breakfast cereal.
    Last edited by Siestita; 01-13-2018 at 00:17.

  7. #7
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    https://www.freshoffthegrid.com/back...s-trader-joes/

    Scroll down to Fruits and Veggies. The crunchy broccoli florets may be pricey(so they are a treat not a staple) but the cal/oz ratio is high and they are tasty added to a dinner or eaten from the bag. The Just Beets are something different eaten as a snack. Inner Beans are a nice alternative to a candy bar like Snockers. All the dried fruits are above average.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    https://www.freshoffthegrid.com/back...s-trader-joes/

    Scroll down to Fruits and Veggies. The crunchy broccoli florets may be pricey(so they are a treat not a staple) but the cal/oz ratio is high and they are tasty added to a dinner or eaten from the bag. The Just Beets are something different eaten as a snack. Inner Beans are a nice alternative to a candy bar like Snockers. All the dried fruits are above average.
    I have never seen dehydrated vegetables or legumes in my local trader Joe's..fruits yes


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  9. #9

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    I sometimes bring nutritional yeast backpacking. In addition to the b vitamins, it adds a savory flavor to the standard hiking starches.
    For the most part I get satisfactory nutrition on the trail by dehydrating my own fruit and vegetables. I buy up a whole mess of something when it goes on sale. Often, I start with frozen foods, as sometimes these are previously blanched. Recently I bought a case of frozen mango bits, and after drying I ran the numbers and the mango I dehydrated myself cost less than the stuff at Costco; although my mango is a bit chewier.

  10. #10
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    Sorry my bad. I should clarify a little bit better what I'm doing and where I'm going. I do extensive multi week long expedition style mountaineering trips. Often in 3rd world countries so resources are very limited. You can't get more off the grid than these trips.

    I like the idea of powders or additives for the simple reasons that they are simple, take up very little space and are lightweight. Anything I take will travel with me from the states and have to go through customs somewhere in the world.

    I will look into the dried baby food snacks things though. Sounds like good trail food. I have found the baby food squeeze packs work good in a pinch as well when I'm on the trail here more locally and don't mind the few ounces of weight or space.

  11. #11
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    Baby food should be available in 3rd world countries and remote places and at pretty low prices, at least thats what I found out so far.
    Downside might be that it might be of a flavor and consistency you do not like so much, and it usually comes in smal glass containers, so this would add a lot of weight.

  12. #12
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    I have eaten plantain and nettles that grow along a large portion of the AT. Some fresh boiled greens added to instant potatoes makes them taste like real food. Learning about wild weeds can add variety, early in the spring the garlic mustard is good raw. Feel free to pull up as much as you want as the ATC is trying to get rid of it!

  13. #13
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    Thanks Sandy but there is no vegetation where I go.

  14. #14
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    I don't know about this in regard to International travel so asking as much as sharing this for consideration. Have you ever had or do you suppose you will have any issues getting through TSA or Customs check pts on flights with several wks of powders or dried produce even if in unsealed original packaging? I have recently had two issues at two different domestic(U.S. AP's) flying domestically in the Lower 48 regarding 3 days of unsealed dried produce. I was delayed 80 mins at one AP where my entire food bag contents and backpack was scrutinized in detail. Still, no questions about the big bag of pill supplements I often travel with. Fortunately I arrived at the AP well ahead of departure. Maybe, you should mail your products ahead of time whatever approach you take?

  15. #15

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    You can eat that, but be aware that it is some of the least nutritious food available. Especially fruit is mainly sugar, nature's candy. Sadly, sugar is different from food. It is the energy separated from food. Your body needs nutrients, not starch and sugar, especially for hard hiking work. Traditionally this was real dense nutritive animal food. Get it while you can.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    I have eaten plantain and nettles that grow along a large portion of the AT. Some fresh boiled greens added to instant potatoes makes them taste like real food. Learning about wild weeds can add variety, early in the spring the garlic mustard is good raw. Feel free to pull up as much as you want as the ATC is trying to get rid of it!
    Probably best to skip this, as 99% of people won't know what they're doing, and Leave What You Find and all that.
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  17. #17
    Registered User SoaknWet's Avatar
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    That's some what of the problem now days people are walking or sitting around all sorts of free food and drink because they don't take the time to learn. I seldom hike without enjoying a cup of hot pine needle tea or dandelion coffee or some sort of wild plant. There's more out there than app!es and blueberries!

  18. #18
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    I have spent weeks at a time between 15,000'-21,000'. There is zero vegetation to be found anywhere. Unless you like rocks .

    I've had decent luck getting through TSA and customs checks with things like mtn house meals, energy gels and other packaged energy bars. Part of the reason I'd like to find various powders already produced and in packaging as it helps with this issue. Just not sure what's out there.

  19. #19
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    You have to decide more specifically(and relate it?) what you're after in a powder. It's not enough to say you want more fruits and veggies in a powder based supplement . There are an umpteen number of powdered supplements that contain powdered fruits and veggies. This is compounded by a gamut of opinions. So, you can easily fall into an abyss of products, information, and opinions. Here's my 3 cts worth.




    For example, when I do carry a powder I not only want fruits and greens but I want them Organic, preferably containing some sprouted, RAW ingredients, typically Vegan, containing either Marine Greens(algae), such as the highest grade Hawaiian spirulina, and/or the highest grade cleanest freshwater blue green chlorella, enzymes, probiotics, decent plant based protein amounts, maybe something fermented, other phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins and no sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, or additives. If I'm carrying a powder that means I have to balance the nutrition of it with other foods and nutrition carried.




    That's another thing you need to decide. Are you desiring to just supplement or totally subsist off a powder and for what duration. For example, for myself, powders are only a short term supplement to a wider whole foods largely plant based diet both on and off trail as largely a LD hiker, budding climber, and intermediate paddler. I'm not up to your level though spending wks at a time between 15-21 K. BUT, a powder whether supplemented or as a meal replacement, does not have to revolve around a Vegan or vegetarian diet.



    I'm also not inclined to be totally informed by or knee jerk reach for powdered supplements offered by the Body Building Industry and to some extent the mainstream "Fitness Industry." Good luck going down either of those paths should you really step off the edge of the cliff into that abyss.




    Already gave you Garden of Life, a company I stand by. https://www.gardenoflife.com/content...r-life/greens/ Here's another link to a GOF product I like in Vanilla for what was shared plus it's protein content, amino acid profile, low sugar content, high quality ingredients,...



    Amazing Grass powdered supplements I have also worked into these activities. I like both the Green Super Foods and Protein Super Foods in flavored versions. https://www.amazinggrass.com/store/ Don't let the "grass" name let you assume it all taste like fresh mowed grass. And, don't let "super food" throw you off your quest either.



    You'll find both GOF and AG products in small packets at health food stores, Earth Fare, Whole Foods, etc so you can sample frugally for acceptance. When you find something acceptable cost save buying a large container or two considering different versions with different flavors. To not get tired of eating it mix up how you consume it as a supplement added to other foods like a B-fast or dinner, making different shakes as a meal replacement, also eating dried fruits and veggies, etc.



    Here's some info in helping you decide. https://wellnessmama.com/124151/greens-powder/

  20. #20

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    Anyone go with the freeze-dried bulk foods that can be ordered? Surprised no one has mentioned it. Wide range of offerings on some sites. It is expensive but then there is a hight content to weight ratio.

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