Jack Elliott’s Custom Deluxe Trail Cakes

pancakesThe more time I spend hiking the more important food becomes both in taste and nutritive content. Sooner rather than later it seems every sort of energy bar, snack, meal and caloric form is tried. Some are hard to choke down with any enthusiasm or enjoyment, even though wholesome and well made. Yet even somethings that are enjoyed eventually no longer satisfy and are a chore to chew up and swallow.

Sometimes, to avoid eating what food I’ve brought because it’s thoroughly unappealing, I’ll go most of a day eating very little to the point of precipitating fatigue, headache, stomach pains and a sever decline in physical ability. I’ll get back to my vehicle, slide into the seat feeling like I’ve been tortured, and head straight for the calorie bomb of a freshly made hot meal somewhere which hits the stomach like a bowling ball. If only I could get a good greasy cheeseburger, burrito or plate of enchiladas out on the trail!

chia seedsAnd so with the idea of finding something new and which I actually look forward to eating and that I unintentionally scarf down quickly like a starving doga sure sign of tasty fulfilling foodI started frying up miniature pancakes to take out hiking.

I use as a base high quality organic whole wheat pancake mix to which I add organic buckwheat. I supplement the flour mixture with flax seed meal and whole chia seeds to add additional fiber and protein. Chia seeds, for example, pack five grams of fiber and three grams of protein in a single tablespoon and provide sustained energy. While these days chia seeds are renowned by athletes and distance runners as a source of long lasting power, the tiny seeds were long ago eaten by Aztec warriors for similar reasons. The word “chia” is derived from the Mayan language and means “strength.”

In mixing the batter I don’t skimp. I use whole milk for a creamier taste and more calories. I add cinnamon and vanilla extract for additional depth of flavor. I fry the cakes in a generous amount of coconut oil, which also adds flavor as well as calories and that results in a pancake with crispy, wavy edges that are irresistible. Fresh out of the pan I smother the hotcakes in honey to sweeten them, add further calories and provide a source of quick energy.

The result is a deliciously sweet and tasty, healthy treat that provides quick as well as sustained energy.

Related Post:

Jack Elliott’s Custom Deluxe Campfire Cuisine (Soup and Stew)

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9 Responses to Jack Elliott’s Custom Deluxe Trail Cakes

  1. Nico says:

    I suffer the same problem on longer hikers… after a while, eating the same old stuff becomes a chore rather than something to enjoy. I find myself alternately craving something sweet or something savory. Inevitably, I always seem to run out of, or not pack enough of, whichever one I’m craving that day or on that trip.

    This recipe sounds like a simple solution to try to hit the sweet tooth cravings. How long will they keep for? Any ballpark idea on calories per ounce or some other type of metric to gauge how much bang for your buck you’re getting with those?

    Thanks for sharing your idea.

    • Jack Elliott says:

      Hey Nico. Yeah, I’m constantly craving something sweet out there after all the plain lukewarm water I’m drinking. I’ll bring along a sugary sports drink to help with that, but after awhile I just want plain water again, and something sweet to eat.

      I have no idea what the calories per ounce would be. I imagine that there are certainly other options out there that provide a denser calorie content per ounce, but I’m not sure if they’d be as tasty to eat.

      These I assume to safely keep for at least day without refrigeration, as I do not add butter which would tend to spoil faster. They are essentially bread, which last days, cooked in oil, which is stable without refrigeration, with some honey which is also “shelf stable.”

      Hope you got some of that south swell out there in lieu of the island trip a few weeks back!

      • Nico says:

        Thanks Jack.
        Yeah, got some waves around town that week instead. Made it out to the islands a couple of weeks later once the gov. opened back up. Not much surf, but had a nice couple of days wandering empty beaches.

  2. Those look great! 🙂 I’m not sure whether we can get wholewheat pancake mix here though – or chia seeds – I’d have to look into that.

    I don’t really suffer any particular cravings when I’m out walking and generally eat whatever I’ve apportioned myself but eat very, very little when I’m away on a trip. I’ve basically trained my body to do without all day when I’m walking and then I just eat when I’ve finished for the day (I do try to gulp some kind of breakfast down but my stomach objects to eating early!). I don’t seem to suffer too much ill-effect from this approach apart from being over-tired at the end of the day sometimes (but only ever when I’ve finished walking). But I have noticed that, the minute I get back to civilisation, I literally empty the next shop I see of all their food and stuff it all down – the junkier the food, the better! LOL

  3. stephen bryne says:

    Your recipe sounds tasty. I made some delicious pancakes yesterday using leftover oatmeal. It sounds like they would be heavy but they turn out light and have more substance than your average pancake. Also, I like to do long hikes in the backcountry and sometimes off trail. Let me know if you need a hiking partner. I am also interested in rock art and canyoneering.

  4. R Ayers says:

    I’ll see if we can come up with a gluten-free version of this !

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