With the collaboration between Mountain Standard and Backpacker’s Pantry a new line of “just add water” meals was born. The marriage of the brands has been solidified in Boulder, Colorado with domestic locally-sourced organic ingredients that feel good to eat physically and ethically.
Easy meals are often hard to come by for an avid outdoor woman that is gluten-free and mostly vegan (I still eat fish). Breakfast is the most challenging meal, followed closely by snacks for backpacking food. I can only eat so much oatmeal and trail mix.
Mountain Standard has heard my cry – as well as those of the plethora of people worldwide with dietary restrictions.
They have created Carrot Cake Pancakes (GF / DF – $8.90) and Black Bean Salsa (GF / V – $5.90).
Carrot Cake Pancakes:
The Carrot Cake Pancakes are everything I want and more in a breakfast. Easy, tasty, and energy packed. The mix contains a perfectly blended mix of raisins, pineapple, coconut milk, and carrot. So I feel like I’m getting my needed serving of fruits and fiber. The “base” is cage-free eggs, hemp and quinoa to supply that long-lasting fuel for endurance days. I had a lot of fun adding 1 cup of water, mixing, cooking on a wood stove at a hut, and starting my day with the best breakfast I can think of.
The mix made eight pancakes. They took about 3 minutes per side and were cooked to perfection. They were incredibly fluffy, even at 12,000 feet. I am also a big texture person, and these did not taste grainy like a lot of gluten-free baked goods.
Each serving size was perfect. I ate four on day one, and the other four on day two. Since the mix comes in a nice re-sealable bag, the leftovers were kept fresh without using another baggie. Additionally, I was rushed for breakfast day two and actually just poured extra nuts, cinnamon & maple syrup into the bag so I didn’t have to clean a dish. Breakfast doesn’t really get easier than that.
A few additions I like to make are adding cinnamon and walnuts for more spice and protein. Also, when available I cook in and top with coconut oil for added healthy fat. The only changes I would make would be to put extra walnuts and raisins into the mix, and top with fresh pineapple. But, this is more of a personal preference than product critique.
Oh, did I mention carrot cake is my favorite dessert? If there had been any leftovers, I’d add honey or caramel for an after-dinner treat.
Black Bean Salsa:
How can you go wrong with a black bean salsa appetizer after a long day of hiking, or at a dinner party? The Black Bean Salsa is a well rounded and filling snack made from black beans, corn, mango, hemp and chia seeds. Add a cup of cold or warm water to the container, plus olive oil packet, wait 10 minutes, and presto! Delicious fresh salsa is born.
I used boiling water and it seemed that the salsa was a bit watery. I’m not sure if it was the water temperature or the nature of the salsa mix, but it was certainly a bit more liquid than I was expecting. However, it did work perfectly as a topping for my salmon dinner.
The salsa comes in a container with a lid to easily steep. If I were going to bring this into the backcountry I would put the mix into a baggie to reduce bulk. But, for any other use the cup is perfect. Using chips or corn tortillas I’ve found this dish to be an instant crowd pleaser. The original salsa options are Red Mountain and Green Chili.
I would use the pancakes primarily for backpacking. The salsa would be more car camping or at work for the fast-paced life day-to-day hunger pains. Both have an exceptional flavor for “just add water”’ meals in a bag. These meals are quite different from any other meal in their category.
The Carrot Cake Pancakes and Black Bean Salsa are set to release in May 2018 both online and in select REI stores.
Fuel up, eat clean, be happy!
Big thanks to Mountain Standard for supplying these pre-release samples for testing.