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Healthy Backpacking Recipes: Peshwari Porridge

Bowl of porridge

Two of our favourite things at Cool of the Wild are camping and food. Put them together and we are truly the happiest adventurers around. The two sit together so perfectly for us, that it’s essential we have some healthy backpacking recipes in the back pocket ready for whenever the adventure might find us.

Most ‘at home’ recipes can be adapted to cooking on a campfire or a multi-burner gas stove and with the right camp kitchenware there’s plenty of scope for getting a bit gourmet. But it’s not until you add multi-day hiking into your camping/food paradise mix that things start to become tricky. Meals need to be lightweight, full of energy and cookable on a tiny gas stove in one pan. And if you’re anything like us, taste and nutrition feature pretty highly on that list and are not to be compromised.

Backpacking meals that tick all of those boxes don’t come along every day so we are on a mission to find and create some recipes that are so good you’ll want to start cooking them at home. Like many of you out there who are conscious about keeping their diets as clean as possible, we try to always cook at home with fresh ingredients and avoid processed foods at all costs. Despite our efforts, it’s all too often that we find cheap and easy options creeping onto our lightweight cooking menu. But with a pinch of forethought, a splash of preparation and a spoonful of commitment to seeking out the best ingredients, we’ve found that it is possible to stick with good quality, clean hiking food that is as nutritious as it is delicious.

No more will you be dreading dry flavourless couscous or forcing down stodgy plain oatmeal. Gone are the days of highly processed boil-in-the-bag biryani. Hiking food is entering a new era of full-flavoured fancies and we’d like to share with you the first of our tried and tested favourites.


Peshwari Porridge

This recipe is inspired by a recent acquisition of an excellent Indian cookbook which reminded us how yummy Peshwari naans are and… how simple they are to make. So with a little adaptation and some sideways thinking, Peshwari Porridge was born!

Bowl of peshwari porridge on moss

Serves 4

Porridge ingredients

  • 2 cups of oats
  • ⅓ cup of desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsp ground almonds
  • ⅓ cup of dates – chopped
  • 4 cups of water

Topping ingredients

  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup of almonds – roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

At home prep

Packets of peshwari porridge
  1. Place all the dry porridge ingredients into a ziplock bag.
  2. Lightly toast the almonds in a small saucepan on a medium heat.
  3. Add the spices and sugar and stir continuously to coat the almonds.
  4. Add a dash of water to prevent burning if needed and continue to stir for another minute or two.
  5. Once cooled, wrap in a parcel of foil.

Backcountry cooking

Cooking porridge
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to the boil.
  2. Stir in the bag of pre-mixed porridge ingredients and cook for a couple of minutes or until the oats are soft and creamy.
  3. Top with a spoonful of spiced almonds and serve with a hot mug of fresh coffee!

Joey Holmes

Joey Holmes
Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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