This is a guest blog post from Muir Energy ambassador Charlotte Austin, who is a Seattle-based travel writer and international mountain guide.
As a professional mountain guide, I have to take good care of my body: plenty of sleep, lots of exercise, and — as much as possible — real, nourishing foods. But as much as I value home-cooked meals, I’m often living out of a tent or a duffel bag. In the past twelve months, I’ve spent more than a hundred days in the mountains! It’s not easy to find portable, shelf-stable sources of energy that aren’t packed full of chemicals — and that’s why I’m such a fan of Muir Energy. The gel packets are easy to throw into my parka pocket or backpack. The ingredients are things I can pronounce. And my body feels so much better when I’m not eating neon-colored slime.
I shared this philosophy with a group of like-minded outdoorspeople last month when I led a cooking demonstration (sponsored by Snow Peak) at the Stay Wild EXPO in Portland, Oregon. In our hands-on brunch, we focused on simple, easy ways to make real food in the backcountry. Nothing was freeze-dried. Most ingredients were fresh. Participants got to customize recipes, and mistakes were embraced. And because we were practicing creating nourishing meals with ingredients we’d have in the backcountry, we even incorporated Muir Energy gels into our creations!
We made several dishes together, including a fruit cobbler (baked over a camping stove!) and a cabbage salad with handmade dressing. Here are the recipes:
Camp Cobbler: Collect whatever fruit is in season: apples, peaches, nectarines, berries, etc. Chop the fruit into bite-sized pieces, then transfer it into a cast-iron skillet — you’re aiming for one-half to two-thirds full. If you’re feeling inspired, drizzle Muir Energy’s blackberry thyme gel over the fruit mixture. To make the topping, mix one packet of instant oatmeal with a spoonful of butter or coconut oil, then add cinnamon and/or nutmeg and/or whatever spices are on hand. Crumble the mixture over the fruit, then cover. Bake in a fire or over a camping stove at low heat until the fruit is soft and it smells so good you can’t wait any longer.
Backcountry Vinaigrette: Put a big spoonful of Muir Energy’s red raspberry or blackberry thyme gel in a bowl or Ziploc bag, then add a splash of vinegar and/or olive oil. Get creative! Try experimenting with mustard, hot sauce, sea salt, cracked pepper, fresh herbs — the sky’s the limit. We drizzled ours over fresh cabbage, because it’s a super-durable veggie that transports beautifully in the backcountry.
What are your favorite backcountry recipes? How do you use your Muir Energy? We’d love to know! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more of Charlotte’s work at www.charlotteaustin.com. Photos are courtesy of Bryan Aulick: www.bryanaulick.com.