Monday, June 28, 2010

Healthy Coconut Rice Breakfast Dish (Troy Adair)

This recipe comes to us from Kara Bagley.  Kara has amazing culinary skills and she posts her wonderfully healthy recipes and insights at her blog Taste is Trump:

When my wife first made Coconut Rice for us I was a bit skeptical about the taste.  I love sweet brown rice in our Asian inspired dishes, but in a breakfast dish???  I wasn't sure I was going to like it.  Plus, I am not a big breakfast eater to begin with.  However, after two heaping bowls of this dish I was happy and satisfied.  I felt great all day and really didn't need much in the way of lunch.

Without further fanfare, here is the recipe:

1 teaspoon Real Salt

3 Cups Sweet Brown Rice

1 Can Coconut Milk

2 Cups Blueberries


Walnuts, coarsely chopped

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Pure Maple Syrup

Bring 6 cups water to a boil, add salt and stir in rice.  Bring back to a boil, place lid over pot and then turn down to simmer.  Allow to simmer for 45-50 minutes.  Stir in coconut milk into the rice.  Serve up in bowls and top with blueberries, shredded coconut and maple syrup to taste.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Adult Lightweight Backpack Assembly

Adult Lightweight Backpack Assembly
For use as a 72 Hour Kit, Backpacking Kit or Camping Kit

  • Lightweight backpack between 3,000 and 4,000 cubic inches

  • 3 Liters (or Quarts) of Water in Nalgene Bottles or Soft Canteens or 3 Empty Gatorade Bottles or Emergency Water Pouches
  • One (1) Lightweight Backpacking Filter
  • One (1) Pack of Chlorine Dioxide Tablets

  • Three (3) Freeze Dried Breakfast Meals
  • Six (6) Freeze Dried Entrees
  • Snacks

Meal Kit / Cook Set
  • Titanium Alcohol Stove  with Titanium Pot and Lid  with 8-10 Ounces of Denatured Alcohol in plastic containers

Esbit Cookset/Stove with 12 Esbit Fuel Tablets


Titanium backpacking canister stove with Titanium Pot and Lid with  Iso/Butane Fuel Canister
  • Windscreen for stove selected
  • Plastic cup from mess kit
  • Titanium Spork or Lexan Spork (or Lexan Spoon and Lexan Fork)

  • Lightweight headlamp or lightweight wind-up flashlight

Clothing to Wear
  • Synthetic pants or sport-style pants (non-cotton)
  • Long-sleeve high collar shirt (non-cotton)
  • Sturdy athletic style shoes or low-top trail (trekking) shoes
  • Micro Light or Lightweight wool socks
  • Nylon or Silk Underwear

Clothing System
  • Balaclava (full ski mask)
  • Wool or Fleece ski cap
  • Hat for shade
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra pair of lightweight wool socks
  • Wool mittens/gloves or fleece mittens/gloves
  • Waterproof/Breathable rain jacket and pants
  • Synthetic or Fleece zip up pullover/sweater
  • Bandana
  • Microlight or Lightweight wool underwear bottoms or Lightweight synthetic underwear bottoms
  • Microlight or Lightweight wool underwear long-sleeved top or Lightweight synthetic underwear long-sleeved top
  • Short nylon or silk underwear

Sleeping System
  • Lightweight synthetic or lightweight down sleeping bag
  • Closed cell sleeping pad or lightweight inflatable sleeping pad
  • Bivy Sack
  • Ground cloth (emergency mylar sleeping bag or emergency mylar blanket)

  • Small ultralight toothbrush
  • Baking soda or Dr. Bronners castile soap for toothpaste
  • Alcohol gel or foaming sanitizer
  • Small package of wet wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Wash cloth
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen

First Aid
  • Small first aid kit with common medications and Sawyer Extractor
  • Three (3) N95 masks
  • Personal essential items (inhaler, medications, etc)

  • Lightweight pocket knife or multi-tool or Swiss Army knife
  • Waterproof stuff sack or trash bag

  • Lightweight Double Wall or Lightweight Single Wall Tent

  • Cotton balls or cotton lint
  • Windproof/Waterproof matches in plastic Ziploc bag
  • Magnesium Firestarter
  • Mini Lighter

The Key to a Great 72 hour kit?

The key is.......Water, Water, Water.......and more Water.  Plus, make sure you have a water filtration device or water purification tablets.

Obviously that is not everything that makes up a 72 hour kit, but for most of us water and water filtration are at the top of the list.  Many individuals focus on their gear lists and fancy gadgets, but fail to recognize the importance of water and access to potable water.

Water storage and portage does create some issues.  One problem is that water is heavy.  You are looking at about 9 pounds per gallon when considering the water weight and container.  To help with this carrying weight, drink some of your water immediately.  Many agencies and experts feel that it is best to hold off on drinking water initially and wait for up to 24 hours.  In my own experience and in talking to other folks who I consider wilderness survival experts, it would seem that it is better to start drinking immediately.  There are several reasons for this.  1)  The exertion of carrying the extra water weight can lead to increased stress and perspiration.  Water inside of you is much easier to transport!  2)  Maintaining your existing level of hydration is important.  Once you are dehydrated it is difficult to return to a hydrated state.  Furthermore, your senses become dulled, your logic is impaired and you may become incoherent.  3)  The initial portion of an emergency and/or physical activity will often require more of your body.

A good recommendation is to store 1 gallon per person per day.  However, for an emergency kit this would prove to be too heavy.  3 Liters is usually a better recommendation as long as you have additional access to water.  If you do store 3 gallons, drink two of them as soon as possible.

Water storage can be an issue.  Build up of harmful bacteria can begin in water bottles due to light, heat and duration in a container.  A great way to avoid these issues is to store the Coast Guard Water Rations, or water pouches.  These pouches are usually good for 5 years and stand up to changes in weather better.  If you do store water in bottles, rotate frequently with a maximum of 3 months in between rotation.

In terms of filters, a great way to go are the AquaMira FrontierPro Filters.  These filters usually cost under $25.00 and are good for up to 50 gallons.  They are small, lightweight and extremely effective.  Keep one of these filters in your pack and know where reliable water sources are.  This allows you to expand your water capacity.

Another option is to purchase a pump style filter made by Katadyn or MSR.  Some of these units can filter 1,000's of gallons of water, but are heavier and bulkier.  Many folks also use water purification tablets made by Katadyn or AquaMira.  These are extremely lightweight and compact.

Whatever you decide to do, make water your focus and you won't be sorry.  The next post includes what I call an adult lightweight backpacking assembly with a list of components.  This is my pack for backpacking, camping and emergencies.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blueberry Waffles

Delightful Blueberry Waffles from Freeze Dried Blueberries
Freeze Dried Blueberries take a bit longer to rehydrate than most other fruits because they are a whole berry.  Most of the other freeze dried fruits are slices, dices or otherwise chopped.  In spite of the longer re-hydration process, the wait is worth it as these berries work great in your favorite recipes.  Of course, you can also snack on them right out of the can.
Freeze Dried Blueberries are quite tasty and versatile.  Blueberries are also a nutritional powerhouse and have a high level of antioxidants.  They add flavor and a sweet boost to smoothies, breakfast cereals, pancakes, muffins, breads, cobblers and more. 
The following recipe can be used for waffles or pancakes.  Try this great recipe and have the kids asking for more:
Blueberry Waffles made  from Freeze Dried Blueberries.  (In place of the 1/2 cup blueberries, you could also use shredded zucchini, diced apples, strawberry slices, diced bananas and nuts or other fruits.)
Blueberry Waffles 
Combine Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup Flour (Spelt Flour or Soft White Wheat Flour or White Flour)
1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp of Country Cream Instant Nonfat Milk Powder
1/2 tsp RealSalt Granular Salt
2 tsp Rumford Aluminum Free Baking Powder
Then add wet ingredients:
1 Cup Water
2 Eggs
4 Tbsp Coconut Oil for waffles (for pancakes use only 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp Honey (or Xagave or Sugar)
Mix all of the above ingredients and then add:
1/2 Cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Blueberries

Blueberry Syrup

Our recipe for Blueberry Syrup comes courtesy of Chef Brad.  If you don't have his book, Those Wonderful Grains II, it is time to get it!  This book is loaded with information on all of the grains, it has great bread recipes, plus it has recipes for meals, salads, desserts and more!

Blueberry Syrup is a delightful treat on pancakes and waffles.  It is simple to make and very delicious.

Combine in a sauce pan the following ingredients:

2 Cups Water

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Lemon Juice

1 Cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Blueberries

Cook on medium/high heat  until blueberries are soft and sugar is dissolved.
Making Syrup

Place mixture in blender and add 1/3 Cup Ultra Gel.  Blend until you achieve the desired consistency.  Store in the refrigerator.
Blueberry Waffles and Syrup

As you can see this makes a great topping!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Troy's Sour Cream Dip

Simple and Delicious Sour Cream Dip
Sour Cream Dip
One great way to use Sour Cream Powder is to make your own dip for vegetables, crackers or chips.  It is easy and fun to make.  Plus, you control the ingredients!  You can add different seasonings, herbs and salt to make your own great creation.  Parsley Flakes, Dill, Seasoning Salts or Seasoning Mixes work great.  Here is a simple recipe:
Sour Cream Dip

1/2 tsp Organic Real Salt Natural Season Salt
1/4 tsp Organic Real Salt Natural Onion Salt
1 Cup Sour Cream (from rehydrated Sour Cream Powder)
Chill for 1/2 hour and enjoy!