The 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!
And 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 dog—a sure sign of tasty fulfilling food—I 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.