Udi's Gluten Free Goes Wild!
As all of us in the Celiac community know and truly appreciate, the culinary options for a gluten free lifestyle have substantially increased and vastly improved. Gone are the days (thankfully) of ragged-looking shelves with two options of GF bread: the one that sucks every ounce of moisture from your body and the other that immediately turns to dust. Certain locations are better than others. My choice in fruit pies alone in Boulder, Colorado has almost become overwhelming. However, most large grocery stores have begun identifying GF items even in more rural environments…
To a point. “Rural” can be very subjective, and to an outdoor enthusiast who often equates rural with “uninhabited”, GF options become scarce very quickly. So what is one to do? How can a wilderness guide get his/her hands on GF products? More importantly, how can they prepare a dish for a potluck that fellow guides have any interest in eating? Additionally, how does the backpacker utilize GF food in the backcountry? This blog posting is intended directly to get that dialogue started. Udi’s Gluten Free allowed me the opportunity to begin experimenting with their GF products in the wild, from storage without refrigeration to easily-managed recipes both on and off the trail. When you’re working in the great outdoors day in and day out, GORP and corn cakes just can’t cut it. Udi’s can.
The following recipe became very relevant in Alaska, where canned salmon is cheap and delicious. This also works with canned tuna, but I recommend making the switch. It’ll make the backcountry salad that much more interesting- and what hiker doesn’t have a supply of craisins?
1 can salmon
1/3 cup GF mayonnaise
½ cup craisins
1-2 tsps dill
salt and pepper to taste
Udi’s GF Millet-Chia Sandwich bread or Whole Grain bagel
Black Bean Burgers
This recipe follows from the experience of fellow guides who value a little more excitement and flavor in the backcountry than the average ramen eater. These burgers are vegetarian and incorporate ingredients that are very lightweight. Additionally, this is perfect for the GF bread that is just about to turn or has become a little stale, but you just can’t imagine throwing it away- breadcrumbs! Serve on corn tortillas
1 cup dehydrated black beans (rehydrated of course!)
2 eggs (or equivalent dehydrated eggs or powdered egg replacement)
1 cup Udi’s GF bread, mashed into bread crumbs
¼ cup fresh or dried onions
1-2 tsps smoked paprika
1-2 tsps cumin
1-2 tsps garlic powder
2 tsps chili flakes (for the spice lovers)
These backcountry gems came from my desire (I mean need) for any type of pizza-tasting treat without overstocking on too many GF items. They are lightweight, easy to make and taste incredible. Using bagels for both breakfast and dinner allows you to have more options and enjoy the entire package before they mold. I tested them out on other guides and got big thumbs up.
2 bagels split in half (warmed over the fire or camp stove)
2 travel packets GF tomato sauce, spiced with basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper
Variety of cut vegetables (can use dehydrated if in the backcountry)
Grated cheese or parmesan (for weight)
*Dairy free option- crumbled tofu, already cooked if bringing to the backcountry
Udi’s Backcountry Shelf Life
For anyone spending significant time in remote locations, maintaining a steady supply of GF baked goods can be challenging as well as pricy. Refrigerators and deep freezes are not always available and the worst is watching the last half of that prized GF loaf get green and funky. From my experience in rural Alaska without the modern conveniences of anywhere cold to store my food, I have a few observations that may be useful for anyone who finds themselves in a similar position.
Udi’s GF White Sandwich Bread stands the test of time. It lasts much longer than most other products without refrigeration and without compromising taste or texture. If you would like to order other bread options, buy fewer of those and eat them first. You will be happy to turn to your Udi’s White Bread and find it still fresh and delicious.
Utilize Udi’s Bagels in multiple recipes to make it through a few packages before the mold sets in. They make excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner choices but do not last as long without refrigeration. I also recommend these for backcountry travel because they do not break and crumble as easily as bread. Excellent for the 2-5 day adventure.
Udi’s Millet-Chia Sandwich Bread is 100% A+. The alternative grains add diversity to a backcountry diet that often becomes boring and mundane. Additionally, the texture of the bread is soft, moist and does not require toasting- a gold star combination anywhere, but most welcomed in the middle of the woods. Lasts just around a week.