In early July my family and I embarked on a two-week cross country car camping vacation that took us from North Carolina to Montana and back with dozens of interesting pit stops along the way. I'll post more updates on our vacation as time permits.
One thing that we had to change for this type of family camping compared to my normal ultralight, fend for myself style, was the way we cooked and the type of food we took with us. When I hike on my own or with my hiking buddies I tend to all carry dehydrated food that I can easily reconstitute using boiled water - this lets me carry a light weight canister stove or an alcohol stove both of which are great for simple needs like boiling two cups of water. However, for this trip I had bought a nice little Coleman two burner stove that was better suited to more demanding cooking needs - you may recall my previous post about choosing a family camping stove.
We stayed at KOAs or small, inexpensive hotels along the way depending on how far we had to travel and the availability of the campsites spaces, so we were never really very far from civilization or a place to buy food supplies. Even so, we wanted to have a core selection of foods that were easy to prepare and that we could tap into at any time to satisfy a craving or the constant snacking need of our two small kids. To accomplish this my wife bought an excellent backpacking recipe book called
Lip Smackin' Backpackin by Tim and Christine Conners. It's full of lightweight trail-tested recipes for backpackers and hikers and perfect for us to test out our dehydrator for something other than just beef jerky.
The book is fantastic and packed full of great information on making lightweight meals in addition to all the recipes that are provided, I would highly recommend it. For now I want to share with you one of the very simple recipes that we tried and now love, called Matt Food (don't ask me why).
- 2 cups of peanut butter
- 2 cups of low-fat powdered milk
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- Nuts, coconut, dried fruit, cinnamon, vanilla (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients together and store in an air tight container. Use it just like regular peanut butter by spreading it on crackers or bagels. During our camping trip my wife made breakfast burritos by spreading a layer of this on a small tortilla and placing a sliced banana in the middle. The combination of Matt Food and banana was delicious!
There aren't very many ingredients and not a whole heck of a lot of preparation other than mixing, but trust me when I say that this is absolutely delicious. We've had friends that have tried it ask for the recipe. So if you get a chance to make some give it a shot. If you do try it, be sure to let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Happy munching.
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