Monday, March 25, 2013

The Meat & Muffin Combo

My favorite breakfast on the trail lately has been what I'll call the "Meat-and-Muffin Combo." Essentially, it is just that: meat and some muffin. I've been having hot dogs for breakfast instead of dinner the last couple weeks, and they're really good roasted over the fire in the morning. I'll eat 2 Applegate Farms Grass-Fed Hot Dogs, and half of a Wild Blueberry Flax4Life muffin. I know those aren't really paleo, but I've been short on time lately and haven't been able to experiment with making my own paleo muffins. They're pretty high carb, which is why I only eat half at a time. With two hot dogs, I still feel balanced after breakfast and I have plenty of energy through lunch time. 

In Northeastern Utah, we are quickly leaving the deep-freeze months where I didn't worry about any of my food spoiling (the days never reached above freezing for weeks at a time) and entering what my co-guides have called "food poisoning season." So I'm starting to rethink the hot dogs part of the combo and looking into other forms of meat. Possibilities could be: 

  • grass-fed beef jerky
  • summer sausage
  • smoked salmon (expensive to eat for 8 mornings every other week)
  • pepperoni sticks
  • pemmican
  • salami (already eat this for lunch and dinner a lot...)
  • sardines (also eat this for lunch every day...)

As for the muffins, if you're in a time pinch, I would recommend the Flax4Life muffins. The Wild Blueberry ones are the lowest carb at 20g per half muffin. They're not perfect (the third ingredient is evaporated cane juice, and they use oats, safflower oil, soy lecithin, and "natural" blueberry flavoring, but they require no prep and are at least gluten-free). This week I had enough time to make my own, so I made these Coconut Flour Pumpkin Muffins. They turned out really good and have considerably less carbs per muffin (9g per one muffin, versus 20 g per half muffin). I'm going to take them on trail and see how they hold up*. 

Here are some others I tried, with calorie & carb info:
  • Carrot Raisin Everything Muffins - Very dense and SUPER tasty! (For 18 muffins per batch: 198 calories, 17.5 carbs)
  • Paleo "Cornbread" Muffins - Also dense, and they do taste slightly reminiscent of cornbread. They turn out pretty small though. (For 6 muffins per batch: 148 calories, 9.3 carbs)
  • Morning Glory Muffins - Really intense muffins. It's an involved recipe, but they're a pretty good meal on their own and worth the work. (For 12 muffins per batch: 225 calories, 12.5 carbs)
  • Lemon Chia Seed Muffins - HOLY COW! These are SO good. They're a similar density to the "cornbread" muffins, and taste like sunshine. Seriously. Try them. 

Here's a list of others I would like to try!
*Update: I took the Coconut Pumpkin muffins out on one of my 8-day shifts, and kept them in a locking plastic tupperware (not super space-economical, but I was worried about them getting squished in a Ziploc...and I really don't care very much about how much room my food bag takes up because it's worth being able to eat paleo on trail and not have gut-bending G-n-O (granola and oats) for breakfast every morning). The verdict: They started to condensate inside the tupperware on the second day (they're pretty moist muffins) and I was worried about them molding by the 8th morning, but they didn't. As a temperature gauge, we were in the 60's during the day and high 30's at night. I'll probably have to figure something else out once we get up to the 90's but at these temps, the muffins were fine.