Aug 6, 2013 at 6:55 am #1306228
I came across these in whole foods the other day:
Relatively heavy at around 5oz but they have slightly more protein than oatmeal and are very tasty. They also don't require any extra water or heating.Aug 6, 2013 at 8:59 am #2012918
$3.50 a serving was the cheapest I could find.
Just for comparison, 5 ounces of basic instant oatmeat has 535 calories and 18 grams of protein. But I'm sure Cocomama tastes better.Aug 6, 2013 at 9:34 am #2012926
That is 5oz of dry oatmeal though, not sure the comparison works out the same since these pouches are already hydrated.
Here is the nutrition info for a standard oatmeal packet that yields 177 grams:
Yeah, they are pretty pricey but I think they are a good luxury no cook alternative.Aug 6, 2013 at 11:05 am #2012947
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Not a bad option. I've been known to take homemade quinoa pilaf with me for lunches on short outings.Aug 6, 2013 at 11:18 am #2012954
oops. I didn't realize the product was already hydrated.
Just the same, if I were going to take a cereal, I'd take it dry to maximize the calories/oz.Aug 6, 2013 at 11:27 am #2012960
I agree Greg, I usually take dry oatmeal as well but maybe when you factor in the weight of the fuel and water to hydrate it might work out to be around the same. I like the idea of not cooking so I can get going faster in the morning and these taste better to me than a probar. On a longer trip I might take one or two of these just for variety.Aug 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm #2013029
Dry cereal with Nido is my go-to. I probably go with 2 servings of cereal so i can get 4g of protein from that and probably not a whole serving of Nido so a few more g from that.
;) NOMMMAug 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #2013034
Just take regular oatmeal, add almonds and whey protein (Isolate, not blended).
Protein blast without the sugars.Aug 12, 2013 at 9:41 am #2014587
I like plain quinoa flakes like these: http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Harvest-Quinoa-Organic-12-Ounce/dp/B001JJXDSC
They cook fast and can be dressed up with maple sugar, coconut, nuts, dried fruit, whatever. If you have the budget to upgrade from oats, the nutrition profile is definitely superior (quinoa is a seed, not a grain!).Aug 12, 2013 at 11:19 am #2014609
Cereals are seeds – the seeds that form at the head of a grain.Aug 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm #2014649
Quinoa isn't actually a cereal grain in the botanical sense of a caryopsis, which is specifically a seed that comes from a member of the grass family (Poaceae). Those include wheat, corn, rye, etc. If you want to get technical, a caryopsis is actually the fruit and the seed fused into a single grain.
Quinoa, on the other hand, is a "pseudocereal": it is somewhat starchy like a cereal crop but comes from a dicotyledonous plant, not a monocot (which all the grasses are). Buckwheat would fall into this category, too. Also, amaranth. From a nutritional perspective, all of these have a higher ratio of protein to carbs than the cereal grains do.
All grains are seeds, but not all seeds are grains. (Think squares and rectangles). This is why the nutritional profile of quinoa is substantially different from that of oats/wheat/etc and why we digest it somewhat differently.
Also, with the increasing popularity of quinoa as a health food in North America, its prices have skyrocketed to the point where the indigenous Andeans who've been cultivating it for millenia can no longer afford it.
It's been a while since my last Bio class, but I hope that's a pretty good nutshell (and don't get me started on nuts vs. seeds…).Aug 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm #2014680
Thanks for clarifying that. I go with granola, protein powder and nido with some dried fruit. Quinoa is for dinner.Aug 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm #2014734
I was curious about the claim that quinoa has a lot of protein, so I poked around a bit.
It is amazingly difficult to find a on-line nutrition site that uses standardized measures, and addresses both quinoa flakes and rolled oats. So, a little math is involved to get measure-to-measure results.
In this cut-and-paste from caloriecount.about.com the serving size for quinoa is 34 grams and for instant rolled oats is 27 grams.
To get an equivalent measure for the oats take the quinoa weight, divide it my the oats weight, and then multiply by the oats' protein –
34/27 x 3.59 = 4.5 grams of protein in a 34 gram serving versus 4.3 grams for the quinoa
At http://www.shopwell.com the serving size for the quinoa is 34 grams and for the instant rolled oats is 40 grams.
Since the first site also had a 34 gram measure we can "standardize" to that by Reducing the amount of rolled oats to 34 grams.
34/40 x 5 = 4.25 grams of protein in a 34 gram serving for the oats versus 4.0 grams for the quinoa.
I don't have a clue why the two sites give two different numbers, but in both cases, oats come out ahead.
If anyone has different data, please share.Aug 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm #2014737
I don't have any data on the total amount of protein, but the protein in Quinoa is a complete protein. That's not quite the case for oatmeal. On the other hand, adding milk powder to just about anything will make the protein more complete.
–B.G.–Aug 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm #2014745
Quinoa is a complete protein. This is where it comes from….Aug 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm #2014979
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
I had some chai almond flavored quinoa cereal that was pretty darn good in emigrant wilderness this past weekend. I forgot the name but i got it at Berkeley bowl..Aug 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm #2015022
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
Hey, I want to know what web-site was cited above that had the Glycemic Index and Inflammatory profile. That looks cool!Aug 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm #2015032Aug 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm #2018098
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
> the protein in Quinoa is a complete protein. That's not quite the case for oatmeal.
Correct. Quinoa is unusual for being a sort of "self-contained" protein that provides all the essential amino acids from one plant source. It isn't as high protein as, say, eggs or meat or lentils…but it is complete (as are soybeans and buckwheat, btw). Quinoa isn't protein dense enough to replace other high-protein foods.
I make quinoa dishes at home, then dehydrate them. They reconstitute quickly and very well with no fuss and no muss on my supercat stove in a single pot. To me, quinoa is a backpacking miracle food.
You could easily dehydrate/rehydrate the breakfasts posted above, to get them light enough for carry.Aug 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm #2018100
"I make quinoa dishes at home, then dehydrate them."
I cook quinoa at home, then dehydrate it into little tan nuggets. That gets carried in a ziploc bag. I also dehydrate tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, finely diced vegetables, and all sorts of ingredients. Then I purchase some dry soup, bacon pieces, etc.
When I arrive in camp, I decide how I want to mix my ingredients for rehydration/simmering as dinner. That depends on my mood.
Actually, breakfast is much the same, except that instead of vegetables, it is probably freeze-dried fruit bits, air dehydrated fruit bits, and milk powder to go with the quinoa.
The richest proteins for me seem to be soy-based and milk-based.
Now, maybe some of the nutritionists can help with this. How complete is a complete protein? Or, what happens if it is not complete? I know that different incomplete vegetable proteins can be balanced to form a complete mixture, but I don't know how far that needs to go.
Let's just take an example. Suppose that my body needs 60 grams of protein per day. Now suppose that I consume 30 grams of high-quality complete protein, and another 30 grams of incomplete peanut butter protein. How big of a deal is this?
–B.G.–Aug 24, 2013 at 7:34 am #2018169
"The richest proteins for me seem to be soy-based and milk-based."
The FDA and WHO would agree with you, BG. According to their analysis of various proteins, milk, egg, and soy proteins rank highest in how well your body is able to use the protein (that is, what percentage of the amino acids is your body able to absorb and use?). Probably why these three are currently the most common bases for protein powders and supplements. That, and they're relatively low-cost and shelf-stable…
The concept of complete proteins and amino acid requirements is a pretty new one (1930s, I think?), and there is currently still a lot of revision going on to try to figure out what human bodies need. So figuring out amino requirements/net protein utilization/nitrogen balance is all kind of a big rabbit hole. Especially since each body seems to respond very differently to different types, amounts, and concentrations of protein. And different ways of processing foods probably alter their amino content (and its bio-availability) to some degree.
You can read about the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) used by the WHO here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Digestibility_Corrected_Amino_Acid_Score
If you want a headache-inducing read, the WHO has a 300-page study called "Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition": http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_935_eng.pdf
**This one is useful! The only website I know of that gives you the amino breakdown for individual foods (and a list of daily amino intake requirements) is: http://www.peacounter.com
What happens if you deprive yourself of any of the nine essential aminos? Commonly described symptoms are dizziness and fatigue. I think you'd have to be eating a *seriously* imbalanced diet on the trail to make a noticeable impact.
For instance, it would be very hard (for me at least) to eat 30 g of peanut butter protein without putting it on some kind of bread, which will provide a complimentary array of aminos. The not-very-scientific recommendation for vegans and vegetarians is to make sure you eat something from each of these three categories everyday: grains (preferably whole), beans, nuts/seeds.
For vegetarians the biggest limiting factor is the amino acid lysine, which doesn't occur in many plant foods. Soy has it, which is part of why it's hard to be vegan without it. Quinoa also has it. That's what makes these two "complete" proteins, which most plant foods are not.
Now, I can't claim to eat soy or quinoa on a daily basis. I'm also predominantly vegan in my habits. Does this mean I'm occasionally lysine-deficient? Quite possibly yes. Has it had a negative effect on my overall health? Not that I can tell. Maybe it explains the powerful cravings I sometimes have for Clif Bars, though. :)Aug 24, 2013 at 8:06 am #2018182
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I have been using Quaker instant oatmeal for over 40 years. Need hot water for coffee anyway, and I am not going to change. As to protein, carbs, etc; I don't pay attention to those kinds of things. I know how much food to bring based on experience. After 7 days I need more food per day. Seems way too complicated and way too time consuming to be worrying about all these ingredients. The most important thing to me is to take food that tastes good.Aug 24, 2013 at 8:35 am #2018190
Hmmm. Lots to read. Thanks.
Apparently you have never sucked peanut butter out of a Gerry tube.
–B.G.–Aug 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm #2018230
I tend to agree with you, Nick. Food choices *should* be based primarily in common sense, or "what works."
My interest in nutrition and the biochem behind it stems mainly from the fact that a lot of people's day-to-day diets *don't* work for them; in North America we see obesity and malnutrition rolled into one package–how is that even possible?
Plus, years of being veggie/vegan and being told I "wasn't getting enough protein" to participate in endurance sports ticked me off, so having the nutritional analysis to whip out and prove the naysayers wrong became a pet project. (It's the thru-hikers living on ramen and honey buns who aren't getting enough protein–or much else, for that matter.) ;p
For backpackers, I think the biggest hurdle is learning that expensive "supplements" like shakes and bars and sports drinks are unnecessary; all that stuff can be obtained from real foods for much cheaper (and tastier). You're lucky to have established your backpacking diet before gimmicky sports foods hit the market and before processed convenience foods became the foundation of the standard american diet.Aug 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm #2018552
"Now, maybe some of the nutritionists can help with this. How complete is a complete protein? Or, what happens if it is not complete? I know that different incomplete vegetable proteins can be balanced to form a complete mixture, but I don't know how far that needs to go.
"Let's just take an example. Suppose that my body needs 60 grams of protein per day. Now suppose that I consume 30 grams of high-quality complete protein, and another 30 grams of incomplete peanut butter protein. How big of a deal is this?"
These are really important questions, maybe not so much for backpacking, but for thinking about addressing serious malnutrition issues that affect on the order of a billion people worldwide.
In almost all balanced diets that provide a reasonable number of calories, there's also going to be adequate protein to prevent an amino acid deficiency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_protein and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_combining are useful references that show why this is the case, and discuss the exceptions.
That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be ideal, so back to your question as a backpacking question. As others have pointed out, lysine is often the limiter among incomplete plant proteins, even after they're combined. Peanut butter is a rich source of protein, but it only has about half the amount of lysine that would be ideal (some other nuts are actually ~ ideal). Dairy products, meat and fish, on the other hand, have substantially more lysine than is needed, so they'll more than make up for the relative deficiency in the peanut butter, *even if* you are only meeting your minimum requirement. In principle, some other complete proteins that have ~ the ideal lysine level but not extra wouldn't balance your peanut butter quite as well. In practice, few if any recreational backpackers are ever right on the margin, though. After looking pretty closely at my typical backpacking foods, I've concluded that I am more than safe getting the majority of my protein from plant sources with any potential deficiencies more than balanced by the milk I had on my granola at breakfast and the very small amounts of animal-based protein in other meals more as a flavoring than as a calorie source.
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