When planning a backpacking trip, food is one of the most crucial aspects that should never be overlooked. And for people with gluten and dairy intolerances, this can be even more challenging. However, with some careful planning and preparation, it’s still possible to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while exploring the great outdoors.
A gluten-free diet involves avoiding foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This dietary restriction is typically followed by people with celiac disease, a condition that damages the small intestine and affects nutrient absorption.
Dairy-free, on the other hand, means avoiding all dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. This dietary restriction is usually followed by people with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.
With that in mind, in this article, we’ll introduce you to the 20 best gluten-free and dairy-free backpacking meals that are not only easy to make but also taste amazing. Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or just starting, these meals will help you stay fueled and satisfied throughout your trip.
So, let’s dive into the world of gluten-free and dairy-free backpacking meals and discover some mouthwatering recipes that you can prepare and enjoy on your next outdoor adventure!
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking Breakfast Ideas
Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast is crucial, especially when you’re backpacking. It gives you the energy you need to tackle the day’s adventures and keep you going until lunchtime.
For those with gluten and dairy intolerances, breakfast can be a bit challenging, but fear not, we’ve got some delicious and easy-to-make recipes that will satisfy your hunger and taste buds.
1. Oatmeal with nuts and dried fruits
Oatmeal is a classic breakfast staple that’s easy to make and customizable to your liking. For a gluten-free and dairy-free version, use certified gluten-free oats and replace milk with almond or coconut milk. Add your favorite nuts and dried fruits like almonds, walnuts, raisins, and cranberries for extra flavor and texture.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber, protein, and essential minerals like iron and magnesium, making it a perfect breakfast for backpackers.
2. Gluten-free granola with almond milk
Granola is another breakfast classic that’s easy to make gluten-free and dairy-free. Mix gluten-free oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits with honey and coconut oil and bake in the oven until golden brown. Serve with almond milk or your preferred non-dairy milk.
This recipe is high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein, making it a great breakfast for sustained energy while backpacking.
3. Quinoa breakfast bowl
Quinoa is a versatile and nutritious grain that can be used in many dishes, including breakfast bowls. Cook quinoa in water or non-dairy milk and top it with your favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds. You can also add some cinnamon or honey for extra sweetness.
Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, making it a perfect breakfast option for active individuals.
The great thing about all these Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking breakfast options is that they’re easy to prepare, and you can customize them to your liking. You can also pack them in zip-lock bags or airtight containers for easy storage and transport during your backpacking trip.
In addition to their delicious taste, these breakfast options provide essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. They also provide sustained energy that will keep you going all morning long.
So, fuel up with these gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast options, and you’ll be ready to tackle whatever adventure comes your way!
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking Lunch Ideas
After a morning of hiking and exploring, it’s time to refuel with a nutritious and filling lunch. When you’re backpacking, it’s essential to pack meals that are easy to prepare, portable, and satisfying. If you’re gluten and dairy intolerant, you may be wondering what options are available.
Well, worry no more, because we’ve got you covered with these delicious gluten-free and dairy-free lunch ideas.
1. Rice and bean burrito
Rice and bean burritos are a filling and satisfying meal that’s easy to make and pack for your backpacking trip. Use gluten-free tortillas and fill them with cooked rice, black or kidney beans, salsa, and avocado. You can also add some cooked chicken or tofu for extra protein.
Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals, while rice is a great source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for your body.
2. Lentil salad
Lentil salad is a tasty and healthy option for lunch while backpacking. Cook lentils and mix them with diced vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and bell peppers. You can also add some herbs and spices like parsley and cumin for extra flavor.
Lentils are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and iron, while vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Gluten-free pasta with tomato sauce
This hearty and flavorful lunch option is a great choice for anyone looking for a filling and satisfying meal on the trail. To make this dish, you’ll need some gluten-free pasta, a can of tomato sauce, and some optional ingredients like garlic, onion, and herbs.
To start, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. While the pasta is cooking, heat up the tomato sauce in a pot and add in any additional ingredients you like. Garlic and onion are great choices to add some extra flavor to the sauce, and herbs like basil or oregano can give it a delicious Italian-inspired twist.
Once the pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it to the pot with the tomato sauce. Mix everything together well and let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Then, it’s ready to serve!
This meal is a great source of carbohydrates, which are essential for providing energy during long hikes and backpacking trips. The gluten-free pasta is a good choice for anyone with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, and the tomato sauce provides a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
To make this meal even more nutritious, you could add some protein like canned tuna or grilled chicken, or some veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach. It’s a versatile dish that can be customized to your tastes and dietary needs, making it a great option for any outdoor enthusiast.
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking Snacks Ideas
When you’re backpacking, it’s important to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Snacks are an excellent way to do this, but if you’re gluten and dairy intolerant, it can be challenging to find snacks that fit your dietary requirements.
Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious and healthy gluten-free and dairy-free snacks you can pack for your next backpacking trip.
1. Trail mix
Trail mix is a classic snack for a reason – it’s portable, easy to make, and packed with nutrients. You can create your own trail mix by combining gluten-free nuts like almonds and cashews, seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, and dried fruit like raisins and cranberries.
You can also add some dark chocolate chips for a sweet treat. Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, while dried fruit provides carbohydrates and essential vitamins.
2. Veggie sticks with hummus
For a refreshing and crunchy snack, pack some fresh veggies like carrots, cucumber, and celery, and pair them with gluten-free and dairy-free hummus. Hummus is a delicious and creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential minerals, while olive oil provides healthy fats.
3. Energy bars
Energy bars are a convenient and filling snack that’s perfect for a quick energy boost on the trail. Look for gluten-free and dairy-free options made with whole ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Some popular brands include KIND bars and Larabars. These bars are rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, which provide sustained energy for your body.
4. Rice cakes with nut butter
Rice cakes are a light and crispy snack that’s easy to pack and pair with your favorite nut butter. Look for gluten-free rice cakes and pair them with almond or peanut butter. Nut butter is an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, while rice cakes provide carbohydrates for energy.
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking Dinner Ideas
After a long day of hiking and exploring, a hearty and nutritious dinner is essential. But when you have dietary restrictions like gluten and dairy intolerance, it can be challenging to find dinner options that fit your needs.
Here are some delicious and healthy gluten-free and dairy-free dinner ideas that are perfect for backpacking.
1. Quinoa and vegetable stir-fry
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that’s high in protein, fiber, and essential minerals. To make a delicious and filling stir-fry, cook quinoa according to package instructions and stir-fry with your favorite veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. Season with gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos for added flavor.
2. Lentil soup
Lentil soup is a warm and comforting dinner that’s perfect for cool evenings on the trail. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, and they’re easy to cook in a pot over a campfire.
To make lentil soup, combine cooked lentils with chopped veggies like onion, celery, and carrot, and season with herbs and spices like cumin, turmeric, and paprika.
3. Gluten-free pasta with marinara sauce
Pasta may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of gluten-free meals, but there are plenty of gluten-free pasta options available. Look for pasta made from rice, corn, or quinoa, and pair it with a simple marinara sauce made from crushed tomatoes and herbs like basil and oregano.
You can also add some veggies like zucchini and eggplant for extra nutrition.
4. Chickpea and vegetable curry
Chickpeas are a versatile and filling ingredient that’s perfect for backpacking dinners. To make a delicious and spicy chickpea curry, cook chickpeas with your favorite veggies like spinach, cauliflower, and potato, and season with curry powder, cumin, and coriander. Serve over rice or quinoa for a complete meal.
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking Desserts Ideas
No backpacking trip is complete without a sweet treat to satisfy your cravings. Luckily, there are plenty of gluten-free and dairy-free dessert options that are perfect for enjoying around the campfire.
Here are some delicious and easy-to-make ideas for your next adventure.
1. Grilled fruit
Grilling fruit is a simple and delicious way to enjoy a sweet treat while also getting some nutrients. Cut up some of your favorite fruits like peaches, pineapple, or bananas, and grill them on a skewer over the campfire. You can also sprinkle some cinnamon or honey for added flavor.
2. Trail mix
Trail mix is a classic backpacking snack that’s easy to customize to your liking. Combine nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in a bag or container, and add in some gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate chips for a sweet touch. You can also add some coconut flakes or granola for extra texture.
3. Chocolate peanut butter energy balls
Energy balls are a great on-the-go snack that’s packed with protein and healthy fats. To make a gluten-free and dairy-free version, combine dates, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and chia seeds in a food processor, and roll into balls. These energy balls are perfect for a quick and satisfying dessert or snack.
S’mores are a classic camping dessert that’s easily made gluten-free and dairy-free. Swap out the graham crackers for gluten-free crackers, and use dairy-free chocolate and marshmallows for a tasty and indulgent treat. Roast the marshmallows over the campfire and assemble the s’mores for a delicious and nostalgic dessert.
Related: Gluten-Free Camping Desserts
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Backpacking Beverages Ideas
When it comes to staying hydrated on the trail, water is always the top priority. But sometimes, you want something a little more flavorful or with an extra boost of energy. That’s where these gluten-free and dairy-free beverage options come in handy!
Whether you’re looking for a hot drink to warm up on a chilly night or a refreshing cold beverage to cool down during a midday break, we’ve got you covered.
1. Hot Cocoa
Who doesn’t love a warm cup of cocoa on a cold night? This recipe is made with dairy-free milk and dairy-free chocolate chips, making it a perfect gluten-free and dairy-free option for the trail. Simply mix the chocolate chips with the milk of your choice, heat it up on your camping stove or fire, and enjoy a comforting, delicious drink.
2. Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is a great option for those who want something warm and comforting without the caffeine of traditional tea. There are plenty of gluten-free and dairy-free options available, such as peppermint, chamomile, and ginger.
Just bring your favorite tea bags along on your backpacking trip, and steep them in hot water for a soothing and refreshing beverage.
3. Coconut Water
Coconut water is a great source of hydration, as it contains electrolytes that help replenish fluids lost through sweating. It’s also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free! Simply bring along a can or bottle of coconut water on your trip, and enjoy a refreshing and healthy beverage that will keep you feeling energized and hydrated.
4. Homemade Electrolyte Drink
If you’re looking for a homemade alternative to sports drinks, this electrolyte drink recipe is perfect. It’s made with simple ingredients like coconut water, orange juice, and sea salt, and can be customized to your liking. It’s a great way to replenish your electrolytes after a long day of hiking or any other outdoor activities.