If you liked the Polenta Mush recipe I published last week, you’ll probably like this one too. Mountain Gruel is another simple, one pot backpacking meal that you can eat as sweet hot cereal or a savory vegetable porridge depending on what ingredients you add to the basic recipe. This gives you a lot of flexibility depending on your mood or what you find in resupply shops along your route. Further, by adding-in varying ingredients and different textures, you can avoid becoming bored with your food on a long hike.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (substitute 1/4 cup of rolled oats with rolled wheat, as a variant)
- 1/4 tablespoon salt
At home: Premeasure ingredients and store them in a snack-size ziplock. Alternatively, you can bring a larger amount of grains and a small measuring spoon/cup and determine your portion size on the fly in camp.
In Camp: Combine oat mixture with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil over moderate heat while stirring. Reduce heat and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until oat mixture thickens, stirring as needed to prevent the mixture from burning your pot.
Hot Cereal: Just before serving, stir in any of the following to taste (you can really load up the calories this way): raisins, chopped dates, dried and sweetened cherries, dried and chopped apricots or pears, sweetened cranberries, walnuts, hazelnuts, slivered pecans, sunflower seeds, milk powder, honey or brown sugar.
Vegetable Porridge: While cooking the grains, add 1 tablespoon of onion flakes, a chicken or vegetable boullion cubs, and a 1/4 cup serving of your favorite mild flavored dried vegetable such as carrots, cabbage, spinach flakes, or zuchini to the oatmeal. Thicken to desired consistency, but keep it soupy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Rating: This meal is a winner.