The Perfect Vegetable
Nov 16, 2023 at 12:18 am #3793223Atif KhanBPL Member
Which vegetable is ultralight, nutrient-dense, hardy, and keeps for at least a week?
After several days of dried foods like grain, meat, nuts, and dates, I crave vegetables. Kale is a possible contender.
Suggestions?Nov 16, 2023 at 1:46 am #3793224Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Potatoes.Nov 16, 2023 at 3:42 am #3793226ThomBPL Member
@popcornmanLocale: N NY
Carrots ,onions potato’s, avocado ,squash banana’s any non refrigerated fruit or veg. Dried fruit
thomNov 16, 2023 at 5:42 am #3793230Matthew / BPLModerator
Kale is a nice choice. It’s so durable.
I am still sad that For for the Sole closed their doors. Their peanut slaw was so fresh and crunchy, rehydrated quickly in cool water and very high in calories. I still have one bag I need to eat before it expires.
Packit Gourmet has a nice variety of FD veggies. I’ve had good experiences with their spinach, onions, broccoli, etc. I usually mix them with couscous and some spices/oil.Nov 16, 2023 at 7:48 am #3793232
I bring sun dried tomatoes every trip, 7 days no problem if stored well. They add some nice flavour and comfort to pasta and couscous
I’ve managed diced peppers for 5 days with no issues but not really ultralightNov 16, 2023 at 8:31 am #3793235Jon Fong / Flat Cat GearBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
What I miss is the crunch so I like Wakame. Oh, and Garbanzo beans. My 2 cents.Nov 16, 2023 at 11:45 am #3793246David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Mother Earth Products (and others) have freeze-dried and dehydrated spinach, cauliflower, green onions, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, etc available on Amazon.
I’ll make up my own meals around dehydrated beans, add those other veggies, and often add a pinch of a red-, yellow- or green curry and coconut milk powder to make a sauce. Check a batch for rehydration and cooking times in advance, but I had a 9-person trip with some vegetarians and making up our own meals from bulk dehydrated/F-D ingredients was much cheaper and more compact than off-the-shelf F-D meals.
You can also sprinkle those veggies into/onto ramen, rice/noodle sides, mashed potatoes, soups, etc.Nov 16, 2023 at 12:40 pm #3793249Axel JBPL Member
I take a couple of tangerines and nibble on them, including the skin. Fresh vegetables don’t stay fresh very long but a small onion works ok. I don’t care for how broccoli or zucchini rehydrate but Okra and peas do rehydrate well, so that’s what I pack.Nov 16, 2023 at 1:34 pm #3793253Chris KBPL Member
Matthew – how do you eat the kale usually? Just plain? In a tortilla wrap with other things? Or go the salad route and toss with olive oil?Nov 16, 2023 at 4:51 pm #3793266jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern CaliforniaNov 16, 2023 at 5:15 pm #3793267Matthew / BPLModerator
Oh I haven’t taken Kale. Sorry if my response was unclear but it does seem like a fresh green that would keep well in a pack. I’d rip it up and put it in couscous or soup or instant potatoes. I bet it would be great on a wrap with peanut butter and a sriracha packet. That’s sounds really good. Or with cheese. Yum!Nov 17, 2023 at 9:12 am #3793291d kBPL Member
Cabbage keeps well.Nov 17, 2023 at 12:34 pm #3793298
Nutrition density is usually shown per calorie, not per ounce, because target audience is dieters. For backpacking, I think calorie per ounce and nutrition per ounce are more interesting.
The potato is near the top of the list for caloric density. I was curious and found this list for nutrition.
Edit: curiosity got the better of me. Here are vegetable nutritional densities (per ounce) sorted by Vit A, Vit C, Iron and Calories. I think Kale (and maybe swiss chard) would be near top for nutritional density but wasn’t listed.Nov 17, 2023 at 1:37 pm #3793304
I had some sun dried tomato around, it’s ~ a whopping 80 cals/oz. I estimated the nutrition from tomatoes, assuming processing doesn’t strip nutrients and nutritional density scales up the same as caloric density by the drying. The iron estimated by this is actually a bit short of the label’s stated iron so this assumption is probably close to real. So, sun dried tomato looks like it skyrockets to the top of the charts for nutrition per ounce (no dehydrator required), a great ultralight backpacking food nutrition boost if your system can handle it in quantityNov 20, 2023 at 9:27 am #3793519AK GranolaBPL Member
How about seaweed? I have to wonder how many nutrients hang around in freeze dried or just dried product for any veg. I seek out fresh fruit and veg in towns and tend to not worry about it on trail. Always open to ideas though!Nov 20, 2023 at 1:05 pm #3793555
Here’s the USDA database for nutritional content by weight.
AK, you’re right, sun drying strips some vitamins so ignore my earlier table for sun dried tomato. Here’s the update. Still the highest in this list by calories (a lot of sugar), protein and iron by weight (which weren’t affected by drying) but about 1/2 the vitamin C of bell pepper or broccoli, and pretty modest in vitamin A.
Here’s seaweed, sorted by brand. I always worried that it was so strongly scented it would call in curious critters. :)
Hopefully someone can figure out how to download veg tables with all the nutritional info by weight. Benefits may be modest but I’m curious if there are any veg “super foods” for a lightweight carry.Nov 20, 2023 at 5:40 pm #3793577Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
Honestly? The only fresh veg I carry is avocadoes. Freeze-dried is so easy to get of everything else these days. Then you know it won’t go bad, get squishy, etc. Bananas last 1 day in summer before going funky.Nov 20, 2023 at 7:55 pm #3793587
FWIW, here’s fresh Avocado, pretty good for calories from fat for a veg/fruit and average on other stuff
Just a couple examples, but it looks like freeze drying and dehydrating these veg (and others?) deplete vitamins per calorie but are still more vitamins per ounce than fresh, which is what matters here. I calculated these using data from the USDA siteNov 20, 2023 at 9:58 pm #3793594Tom KBPL Member
Fresh garlic, fresh ginger, fresh tumeric, brussels sprouts(chop finely when ready to use – they will keep for at least several days whole if not exposed to sunlight/heat). The first 3 items are really great at picking up the flavor of freeze dried and/or dehydrated dishes, nothing like their dried equivalents.Nov 21, 2023 at 12:37 pm #3793632Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
You’ve not had freeze-dried garlic you grew yourself I am going to guess. It doesn’t lose its flavor at all. I processed a couple rows last year of it, and it still tastes amazing. The key is it wasn’t bland garlic to begin with (most garlic is pretty bland in stores, as it is soft neck and China grown).Dec 1, 2023 at 12:59 pm #3794300dmorganBPL Member
I’ll add my two cents; Seaweeds are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E, B complex and B12 as well as calcium, potassium, iodine, and iron. In addition, they are a good source of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It retains these nutrients in their dried form.
Miso soup can be a delicious treat on the trail! I add Dulse and Nori into the broth. Also, Wasabi roasted seaweed snacks. Fried Dulse with olive oil is tasty, too (when smoked, it almost tasetes like bacon).Dec 4, 2023 at 3:00 pm #3794567
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