Everest Worthy Loaded Camping Porridge Recipe
When you’re spending in excess of eight hours a day hiking up a mountain the importance of powering your body with kick ass fuel is critical. There’s no denying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this age old mantra has never been more relevant when you’re burning 400+ calories an hour. Plain and simple, there’s just no room for half arsed brekkies. That’s why whenever I set off on a trip, my food planning always involves porridge. Hell, even if you’re just car camping and have barely lifted a finger bar setting up your tent, the taste of creamy oats and bucket loads of toppings in the morning makes getting down and dirty with nature all the more enjoyable.
To help you whip up a camping porridge that would make Bear Grylls drool, we’ve spilled the beans on one of our favourite recipes. Packed full of goodness, there’s no better way to kick-start your morning!
Steel cut oats
First things first. When whipping up this recipe steel cut oats are my base ingredient of choice. I love the full bodied consistency, and the gritty yet soft texture makes the whole dish oh so hearty. This particular variety is made from whole oat groats, with the ‘steel cut’ reference signifying the way the flakes are split into small, granular pieces. When cooking this exposes the contained starches to water, which creates a gorgeous thick, creamy porridge that Goldilocks would die for. I usually pack half a cup of steel cut oats, but the ratio is totally up to you.
Next up is shredded coconut. I always opt for the unsweetened version, but if you need a sugar hit in the mornings you can opt for the slightly less healthy counterpart. A quarter of a cup is all you need to give your porridge serious street cred on the mountains. Shredded coconut is packed full of fibre, iron and healthy fats, and it adds a sexy aroma and creamy hint to the dish. No need for milk here!
Beef up your morning porridge by adding a tablespoon of flax seeds into the mix. When they hit water these babies swell up and create a lovely thick texture that keeps you fuller for longer. Nutritionally speaking, flaxseeds are rich in micronutrients, dietary fibre, manganese and vitamin B1, as well as the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic, aka omega-3. The ancient Egyptians and Chinese couldn’t get enough of this superfood! If you’re not a huge fan of flax you can substitute in chia seeds instead. They bring the same thick texture, and offer similar health benefits. Or, go with half a tablespoon of both!
Vanilla protein powder
For a blend that’s delicious beyond description, a quarter cup of protein powder will take your morning camping refuel ritual to a whole new level. Just throw it into the bag and watch your porridge turn into an ultra-creamy concoction that’s loaded with protein. I’m a diehard vanilla loyalist, but you can pretty much go with whatever flavour takes your fancy.
Simultaneously chewy and crunchy, pumpkin seeds add a splash of colour and cheekiness to this epic mountain porridge recipe. These pint sized seeds are brimming with magnesium for a healthy heart, which is crucial if you’re working up a sweat. Zinc offers immune support, omega-3 fats stuff you full of ALA and the abundance of tryptophan helps make for a good night’s sleep when cosied up with a camping pad and down sleeping bag under the stars. I’d go with half a tablespoon of these bad boys, however the ratios are pretty much at your discretion.
Raisins or sultanas
Sure, these dried spheres of deliciousness may be sugary as hell, but you deserve it! They plump up when cooked for a minute or two, which makes the porridge juicy and sweet. I love the flavour they bring to a bowl of this camping inspired goodness, and they do contain energy, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Another little luxury, dried dates add serious grunt to this camping porridge recipe. They’re creamy and reminiscent of caramel, especially when you throw in the coveted ultra-sweet medjool variety. Go easy as they’re not technically the healthiest of ingredients, buy they do bring a host of vitamins to the table, including A, B, E and K. Not to mention niacin and thiamine, as well as minerals like iron, potassium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and copper, all of which boost overall health.
Bring a tantalising crunch to your bowl with a sprinkling of bee pollen. As the male seed of flowers, this superfood is around 40% protein, and contains nearly all the nutrients required by the human body. From a health perspective, it improves performance, endurance and vitality, which are all keynote when hiking trails, climbing mountains and the like. Available from health stores, bee pollen isn’t the cheapest of ingredients but the health benefits are pretty impressive. Remember to add this after you’ve cooked up a storm, as you don’t want your pollen to get soggy.
An orange (on the side)
Everyone knows that juice is just a whole lot of sugar disguised as something healthy. That’s why instead of chugging a tetra pack of OJ in the mornings, I opt for Mother Nature’s pre-packages ball of pre-packaged goodness – an orange. They’re hardy and virtually bruise resistant, which makes them great for packing on long hiking trips. There’s nothing worse than a bruised and battered banana in my opinion. Who needs OJ when you’ve got super juicy segments of orange at your disposal? Plus, the packaging (i.e. peel) is disposable which minimises your pack out weight.
So there you have it. My not so secret recipe for an epic camping breakfast that transforms any trip into a five-star dining experience, that doesn’t compromise on nutrition. Even if you’re not camping, this recipe is still guaranteed to create orgasmic reactions in your kitchen. You’ve been warned!