Tuesday, August 13, 2013

'Nola - Grain-free Granola!

Granola and oats (or, as we call it at my program, "G-n-O") are a backpacking breakfast staple. Unfortunately, oats are not paleo. Fortunately, granola is easily paleo-fied! Here are a couple different recipes to get you started, but there are endless flavor combinations. I recommend soaking the nuts in salted water overnight, changing the water out once or twice if it's not already part of the recipe. This helps cut out the phytates that are in nuts that can keep you from absorbing nutrients.

Basic Granola from The Primalist
Apple Pie Granola from Multiply Delicious
Vanilla Nut Granola from Five and Spice
Vanilla Almond Granola from Against All Grain
Spiced Pumpkin Granola from Against All Grain (I tried this one this week and it was soo good!)
Chocolate Nut Granola from Paleo Diet Lifestyle

Now, to hydrate, your options will depend on your tripping situation. Car camping? Bring grass-fed raw milk, raw goats milk, or some good grass-fed, whole-milk yogurt and keep it in a cooler. Doing a couple days overnight? Maybe bring a couple small 5.5-oz cans of coconut milk and either split one with your tripping partner, or if you're hiking 30 miles that day, eat it all to yourself.

Extended expedition? The small cans might still work for you, ooor....powdered coconut milk! Apparently it's a thing. It's got two weird things - sodium caseinate and non-GMO maltodextrin - as emulsifiers, but their statement on their website says, "It is scientifically impossible to have pure 100% organic coconut milk powder. As we strive to offer products free of emulsifiers we feel that the benefits of the Coconut Milk Powder outweigh the tiny amounts of emulsifiers in this product. We are working diligently in R&D to remedy this situation."So stay tuned, I guess. And, as you probably already know, you could just use the original Pow-Cow (powdered milk) if you're a dairy-eater.

If you don't have time to make your own granola, a good alternative is Living Intentions' Superfood Cereals. They come in a lot of tasty flavors, like Cacao Crunch (so good), Chia Ginger, Hemp & Greens, and Acai Blueberry. They're made with organic buckwheat sprouts, which are gluten-free, and technically not a grain, but they are still pretty high in carbs. The cereal is sweetened with coconut palm sugar, and have other intriguing add-ins like astragulus extract and reishi mycelium in the Cacao Crunch, spirulina, chlorella, and dandelion leaves in the Hemp and Greens, and bilberries, elderberries, amla berry extract, and camu camu berries in the Acai Blueberry cereal.

I say "intriguing" because I'm not convinced that getting a small dose of these superfoods in a bowl of cereal in the morning is enough to get lasting benefits from them, but they sure won't hurt. The cereal overall is high in carbs (30 grams per 1/2 cup) but if you're doing a lot of work and eating low carb in other meals it's probably just fine.

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