Low-Waste Vegan Backpacking Meals

The last couple of days I have been searching the web for backpacking meal ideas that are vegan, low-waste, and flastic-free. At home I try to maintain a low-waste lifestyle, so it makes little sense to go into nature and carry with me a backpack full of pre-packaged foods.

Most meal ideas I could find online included a great variety of dehydrated foods. Problem is, I do not own a dehydrator and dehydrating food in the oven for hours does not seem a very environmentally sustainable option to me either. So, dehydrating my own food is not an option. However, the discovery that you can dehydrate hummus into a powder using the oven did blow my mind and is extremely tempting to try, despite the 2-4 hours cooking time.

This means I have to make do with foods that are dry (and thus lightweight) but easilly cooked and that I can buy in plastic-free packaging. So far my ingredient list includes: oats, couscous, bulgur, flour, noodles, seeds, nuts, lentils, dried fruit (rice). All these items I can get packaging free from a local refill/zero-waste store or from my cornershop in home-compostable packaging. Many zero-waste stores also stock a range of good snacks and sweets like banana chips, chilli/curry crackers, bombay mix, and gummies which are excellent on a long hike. I have not been able to find peanutbutter or hummus without packaging, so I buy a big glass jar or peanut butter and transfer it to a silicone pouch and I make fresh hummus at home and also take this with me in a silicone pouch.

My first draft of meal ideas are below, which I will update as I use and expand these meals. Besides these meals, I drink coffee and tea throughout the day. I also carry a spice-mix of salt, pepper, cumin powder, chili flakes, and turmeric powder to add to my meals for taste.

Breakfast:

Porridge with peanutbutter (or banana), chia seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and nuts.

Lunch:

  1. Pancakes (ingredients: flour, oats, salt, water, oil) with banana/peanutbutter/hummus.
  2. Noodles with vegetable stock. Will add fresh veggies if I passed a shop that day.
  3. Left-over porridge from breakfast.

Dinner:

  1. Bulgur with red split lentils (the latter pre-soaked to reduce cooking time) and soya chunks. Will add fresh veggies if I passed a shop that day.
  2. Couscous with raisins (or other dried fruit), nuts, and soya chunks. Will add fresh veggies if I passed a shop that day.

Snacks:

  1. Home-made energy bars. I like these Almond Butter Energy Bars.
  2. Home-made energy balls. I like these Energy Balls.
  3. Nuts and dried fruit (aka trail mix)
  4. Banana chips
  5. Bombay-mix
  6. Chilli crackers
  7. Gummies

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