Dried Food Basics
Lots of basic dried tramping food ingredients can be bought from the supermarket and here are a few basics worth seeking out.
Pasta: there are lots of great pastas shapes and styles to choose from and so many of these are now available in the quick-cook form. Look out for Angel Hair Spaghetti, this cooks in 2 minutes and is very versatile. Quick Cook Macaroni cooks in 3 minutes and small quick cook pasta spirals are also a good light weight option. Don’t forget couscous – a real winner when fast and light weight meals are needed.
Rice: this is a fantastic food for tramping, it takes a little longer to cook than some foods, so where possible choose varieties that are faster cooking. Basmati is the best long grain rice for savoury dishes, while Arborio is the great for risotto. I like using par-boiled brown rice, as it is quicker cooking and probably more nutritious for you.
Flaked brown rice is a real winner for quick desserts. You can usually buy it in the health food sections of the supermarket. This rice cooks in only a minute or two and is full of energy. This is the basis for a good number of dessert recipes in my Fast and Light book.
Another good source of energy is from grains like millet, quinoa, etc. Most are easy to cook and provide a good weight for energy ratio. Quinoa is also available in a pre-cooked flaked form which makes it ideal for adding to a range of quick cook meals.
Other dried foods that are not used a great deal by trampers, but should be, are pulses and lentils. These foods are real power houses of energy, they just need a little more cooking than some other tramping foods.
- Dried beans