I tried a new recipe for my trip to Mt Whitney that is a calorie-dense, delicious treat that can be eaten on its own or added to other meals, like breakfast oatmeal, for a boost of energy to kick-start your day.
Unlike most people, ultralight backpackers do not eat low-calorie snacks. We're not dieting when we're on the trail, our bodies are being pushed hard for long periods of time so we want delicious easy to prepare snacks and meals that are packed with as many calories as possible. My goal is to pack as much nutrition and energy into the least amount of food as I can.
I was excited to read about a snack called Super Spackle in Mike Clellan's new book "Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips: 153 amazing and inexpensive tips for extremely lightweight camping". He likens it to his own version of Gu with a thick but runny consistency.
|Illustration from Ultralight Backpackin' Tips|
Some of the ingredients were a little tricky to find, like cashew butter. I was unable to find pre-packaged cashew butter at any of my local grocery stores or natural food markets, so I used our kitchen food processor to blend a bag of unsalted roasted cashews until they turned into a thick paste - home-made cashew butter!
To make your own batch of Super Spackle at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 Cup unsalted almond butter
- 1 Cup unsalted cashew butter (I make this myself)
- ½ Cup agave syrup
- ¼ Cup almond oil
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 Teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch salt
Once I had gathered all of the necessary ingredients I started by measuring the almond butter and home-made cashew butter into a large glass mixing bowl.
Then I added all of the wet ingredients which were the two liquid extracts, agave syrup, and the almond oil.
Rather than use a food mixer, I used a spoon to mix all of the ingredients together until they formed a thick paste-like consistency. The final result was visually less than enticing, but it smelled absolutely fantastic! After some trepidation I mustered up the courage to try some and was surprised by what I tasted. The best way that I can describe it is liquid biscotti or a nuttier version of very strong marzipan.
After making the super spackle I stored it in a lightweight plastic container with an air-tight lid until I was ready to take it on my trip. It doesn't require refrigeration.
Mike Clellan recommends carrying the super spackle in a Platypus container during a backpacking trip and employing it like a squeeze tube, so that it can be eaten without using a spoon. I decided to use a Sip'n Go collapsible bottle to carry my spackle.
It took less than 10 minutes to make the super spackle once I had gathered all of the ingredients. Finding some of the ingredients was the hardest part, but it is possible to improvise if necessary.
I'm a huge fan of almonds so this was a big win for me, my kids weren't so excited about the look or the taste as I was. Next time I think I'll blend the whole thing until it's a little bit smoother. On a side note, my backpacking buddies (Jason and Ben) thought this looked more like something that belonged in a WAG bag than something that should be eaten as a snack. Just sayin! With the popularity of Mike's book I wonder if anyone else has tried this or modified it?
Update with Nutritional Info:
Several of you have requested that I provide nutritional information for this recipe, so I have entered each of the ingredients (and measures) into SparkPeople.com in order to calculate the calorific values. I'm surprised it's not as high as I thought it would be.