The challenge – To find the ideal, lightweight hiking food. It must be rich in nutrients and high in protein.
A food with a lot of energy with a low glycemic index. It must also be easy to prepare and have a really yummy flavour.
Finding the right food for hiking and trekking or mountain bike riding requires careful consideration as space and weight are critical factors…especially on those longer treks. Every gram saved on weight contributes toward completing the journey without unnecessary fatigue.
However, there is another aspect which outdoor enthusiasts need to consider and that is the nutritional value of the food to be taken. All too often hiking and trekking foods are dehydrated and consequently bereft of nutritional value. So while dehydrated foods often are light and quick to prepare they all too often fail the test for nutrient value.
Worse still is the propensity for prepackaged hiking food to be completely lacking in protein and unable to provide the nutrient dense requirements for endurance sports.
Which food which is both light and nutritious?
The ideal food would need to be high in protein to offset the muscle damage experienced with extreme sports. Muscle deterioration and rebuilding is a normal process associated with vigorous sustained exercise and it is therefore vital that a good source of protein is available.
The ideal hiking food would also need to exhibit low-glycemic-index so that the hiker or trekker can enjoy a smooth delivery of energy rather than highs and lows of associated with high GI food.
The food must be quick and easy to prepare and satisfy hunger for prolonged periods of time.
Lastly, the ideal hiking food must taste good… So, let’s see how powdered hummus satisfies all these requirements….
Everyone loves hummus. It’s a great party food, lunchbox snack, serious dinner party dip and ethnic food. Hummus is enjoying a huge growth in consumption throughout the western world. It is so yummy that even kids love it.
On an expedition, you can actually make a beautifully flavoured fresh tasting hummus quite easily. SImply take a couple of garlic cloves with you and if you like you can also add some grated lemon rind. Lemon rind is super light and yet the flavour intensity is really quite fantastic.
You will have to take a small portion of tahini paste to add to the powdered hummus. Tahini paste is available in two flavours..one sweet and nutty which is made from sesame seeds with the husk removed, and the other has a slightly bitter taste as it includes the Sesame husk. The wonderful thing about sesame seed paste is that it will not ‘go off’, even on the longest hiking trip and even in the hottest weather.
All you need to do to prepare your hummus is add water and the tahini paste. You can also add an optional clove of garlic and some lemon zest if you want to a more intense flavour.
Cooking the hummus is fairly quick and easy. Simply add the powdered hummus mix into a water and boil for a short period of time. Once it’s cooked you’ll have to stir briskly to mix into a creamy consistency.
Hummus is great when served with flatbread. Flatbread is great for hiking because it’s very low on moisture and it can’t be crushed or damaged in a tightly packed backpack.
Do not be fooled by hiking foods which sport super high protein levels. Those artificially high protein levels are achieved using artificial protein isolates. Such industrially made concentrates and isolates are made from soy, casein, whey, and rice waste products. These hydrolyzed protein powders are extremely detrimental to health and have intrinsic dangers.Steer clear of them no matter what.
The growing body of opinion is it no one should consume protein isolates and concentrates they are simply a very damaging ingredient in any food. http://bethelfarmmill.com.au/the-protein-pancake-beware-not-all-proteins-are-equal/
Hummus mix, on the other hand, is naturally prepared from a legume known as the Kabuli chickpea. This chickpea has very high naturally occuring protein levels – typically 24%.
If you compare that protein level of chick pea flour to say raw steak you will find that the chickpea has the same protein content!
Complex Carbohydrates and Low Glycemic index.
Hummus has a high level of complex carbohydrates. Hummus is also rich in fibre and that means that the carbohydrates are released slowly into the bloodstream. Hummus has a typical glycemic index of around 22 which is incredibly low – in fact pretty much as low as you can get.
Low GI is most important for the hiker since high GI foods provide a quick high spike in blood sugar. This, in turn, triggers appetite with the result that shortly after consuming such a food the hiker will feel ravenously hungry.
High GI foods produce a quick spurt of blood glucose and then leave you feeling tired and depleted of energy. High GI foods also spur appetite and leave you feeling hungry after only a short space of time.
It is a scientifically proven fact that high fibre plus high protein satisfies appetite. Hummus has high protein, high fibre and complex carbohydrates and this combination provides the perfect fuel for long distance endurance.
Chickpea has a negligible amount of fat and fat content is the fundamental factor in determining the life expectancy of any food. Fats go rancid and they spoil the food. Typically, the higher the fat content the more likely the food is to spoil. This is especially true under conditions of prolonged heat and humidity.
Powdered hummus has at least an 18 months life expectancy…more if you store it in the fridge or freezer.
Considering factors such as flavour, nutrient density, protein levels, and glycemic index flavour you can only conclude that hummus is the ideal hiking or trekking food. Powdered hummus is extremely light and one small 300-gram packet makes a colossal two litres of hummus.
Next time you go trekking or hiking perhaps you might be wise to look at the many virtues of powdered hummus. Historically hummus has been used for aeons as a food taken on long distance expeditions.http://bethelfarmmill.com.au/9-surprising-things-about-hummus/
Hummus also has the added advantage in that is gluten free.