As an outdoor enthusiast, you know the importance of fueling your body with nutritious food that can keep up with your active lifestyle. However, for those who follow a vegan and gluten-free diet, finding backpacking food that meets these requirements can be challenging.
Not only do you need to make sure your meals provide enough energy and protein to sustain you on the trail, but you also have to ensure they are free from animal products and gluten-containing ingredients. But don’t let this discourage you from embarking on your next backpacking adventure!
There are plenty of trail-tested vegan and gluten-free backpacking food ideas that can meet your dietary needs and satisfy your taste buds. In this article, we’ve gathered 20+ delicious and nutritious backpacking food ideas that are vegan, gluten-free, and perfect for your next outdoor adventure.
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or desserts, we’ve got you covered with creative and easy-to-prepare recipes that will keep you fueled and happy on the trail.
So, let’s dive in and discover some mouth-watering vegan and gluten-free backpacking food ideas that will elevate your outdoor experience!
Vegan & Gluten-Free Backpacking Breakfast Ideas
Start your day off right with a hearty and nutritious breakfast that will give you the energy you need to tackle the trail. And if you’re looking for vegan and gluten-free backpacking breakfast ideas, we’ve got you covered!
From overnight oats to pancakes, here are some mouth-watering breakfast ideas that will keep you fueled and satisfied on your next outdoor adventure.
1. Nuts and Dried Fruits
First up, we have overnight oats with nuts and dried fruits. This meal is perfect for those who want a quick and easy breakfast that doesn’t require any cooking on the trail. Simply mix rolled oats with almond milk or any other plant-based milk, and add your favorite nuts and dried fruits such as almonds, walnuts, raisins, and cranberries.
Let it sit in your backpack overnight, and you’ll wake up to a delicious and creamy bowl of oats that’s packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. The nuts and dried fruits provide essential nutrients and minerals that your body needs, and the oats will keep you full and energized for hours.
2. Chia Seed Pudding + Fresh Berries
Next on our list is chia seed pudding with fresh berries. Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber, making them a perfect addition to your backpacking breakfast. To make chia seed pudding, mix chia seeds with almond milk or any other plant-based milk, and let it sit in your backpack overnight.
In the morning, add fresh berries such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries for a burst of antioxidants and flavor. This breakfast is not only delicious but also highly nutritious, providing your body with essential nutrients and minerals that will help you power through your hike.
3. Vegan and Gluten-Free Pancakes with Fruit Toppings
Last but not least, we have vegan and gluten-free pancakes with fruit toppings. Who said you can’t have pancakes on the trail? With this recipe, you can! Simply mix gluten-free flour, almond milk or any other plant-based milk, and a vegan egg substitute such as flax eggs, and cook them on a portable stove or campfire.
Top them with fresh fruit such as bananas, berries, or peaches, and drizzle some maple syrup or honey for a sweet and satisfying breakfast that will keep you going all morning. The fruit provides essential vitamins and minerals, while the pancakes and syrup give you the carbohydrates and energy you need to tackle the trail.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Backpacking Lunch Ideas
Lunchtime is an essential part of any outdoor adventure, and it’s important to have a meal that will provide you with the nutrients and energy you need to keep going. If you’re vegan and gluten-free, finding the right backpacking lunch can be a challenge.
But fear not, because we’ve compiled a list of delicious and nutritious lunch ideas that are perfect for the trail.
1. Quinoa Salad + Roasted Vegetables
First on our list is a quinoa salad with roasted vegetables. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber, and it’s easy to cook on the trail. Simply boil some water, add the quinoa, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, roast some vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant on a portable stove or campfire.
Once the quinoa and vegetables are ready, mix them together with some olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs of your choice for a flavorful and filling salad that’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Vegan and Gluten-Free Wrap With Hummus and Veggies
Next up, we have a vegan and gluten-free wrap with hummus and veggies. Wraps are a great option for backpacking lunches because they’re easy to pack and don’t require any cooking. Simply spread some hummus on a gluten-free wrap, add your favorite veggies such as spinach, avocado, cucumber, and tomato, and roll it up.
This meal is packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and the hummus provides essential nutrients like iron and calcium.
3. Lentil Soup + Crusty Bread
Last but not least, we have a lentil soup with crusty bread. Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber, and they’re easy to cook on the trail. Simply boil some water, add the lentils, and let them simmer for 20-30 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, toast some gluten-free bread on a portable stove or campfire.
Once the lentils are ready, mix them together with some vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onion for a hearty and nutritious soup that will keep you full and satisfied. Dip the crusty bread into the soup for a delicious and comforting meal that’s perfect for a chilly day on the trail.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Backpacking Snack Ideas
When you’re out on the trail, snacks are an essential part of your backpacking experience. They keep you fueled up, provide a quick energy boost, and keep hunger at bay between meals. However, finding vegan and gluten-free snacks that are easy to pack and carry can be a challenge.
But worry not, because we’ve got you covered with some delicious and nutritious snack ideas that will keep you going on your outdoor adventure.
1. Trail Mix
First on our list is a trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. This classic backpacking snack is perfect because it’s easy to pack, doesn’t require any cooking, and provides a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
You can customize your trail mix by adding your favorite nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts, some seeds like pumpkin or sunflower, and dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, or cranberries. Mix them all together, and you have a tasty and satisfying snack that will give you an energy boost when you need it most.
2. Rice Cakes + Almond Butter and Banana Slices
Next up, we have rice cakes with almond butter and banana slices. Rice cakes are a great option for backpacking because they’re lightweight, easy to pack, and provide a crunchy texture.
Spread some almond butter on top of the rice cake and add some banana slices for a delicious and nutritious snack that’s packed with protein, healthy fats, and potassium. This snack will keep you going on the trail and is perfect for when you need a quick and easy pick-me-up.
3. Roasted Chickpeas
Last but not least, we have roasted chickpeas. Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and fiber, and they’re easy to roast on the trail. Simply drain a can of chickpeas and dry them off with a paper towel. Then, toss them in some olive oil, sprinkle with some spices such as cumin, garlic powder, or paprika, and roast them on a portable stove or campfire until they’re crispy.
These roasted chickpeas are a tasty and healthy snack that’s perfect for when you need a quick burst of energy.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Backpacking Dinner Ideas
After a long day of hiking, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a warm and hearty meal to refuel your body. But when you’re backpacking and need vegan and gluten-free options, it can be challenging to find easy and satisfying dinner ideas.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of delicious dinner options that are sure to satisfy your hunger and keep you going on the trail.
1. Vegan Quinoa and Vegetable Stir-Fry
First on our list is a vegan quinoa and vegetable stir-fry. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber, and it’s easy to cook on a portable stove. Simply sauté some chopped veggies such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions, and add cooked quinoa for a nutritious and satisfying meal.
You can also add some tamari sauce or other seasonings to add some extra flavor. This dinner option is perfect for those who want a light and healthy meal after a long day on the trail.
2. Gluten-Free Pasta + Sauce and Veggies
Next up, we have a gluten-free pasta with marinara sauce and veggies. Pasta is a great option for backpacking because it’s lightweight, easy to cook, and provides a hearty meal.
Cook some gluten-free pasta, sauté some veggies such as zucchini, squash, and eggplant, and add some marinara sauce for a delicious and filling dinner option. You can also add some nutritional yeast for some extra flavor and protein.
3. Vegan Chili
Last but not least, we have a vegan chili. Chili is a perfect dinner option for backpacking because it’s easy to make in large batches, can be prepared ahead of time, and provides a warm and comforting meal on the trail.
Simply cook some canned beans, add some veggies such as diced tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers, and season with chili powder, cumin, and other spices. This meal is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients that will keep you fueled up all night long.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Backpacking Dessert Ideas
After a long day of hiking, there’s nothing like a sweet treat to satisfy your cravings and help you wind down. And just because you’re on a vegan and gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you have to miss out on dessert!
Here are some delicious and easy-to-make dessert ideas that are perfect for backpacking trips.
1. Banana S’mores
Cut a banana lengthwise and stuff it with vegan chocolate chips and mini vegan marshmallows. Wrap it in foil and place it on the campfire or stove for a few minutes until the chocolate and marshmallows melt. Enjoy with a spoon!
2. Chocolate Chia Pudding
Mix 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in a jar. Shake well and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight) until the chia seeds absorb the liquid and turn into pudding. Top with fresh berries or nuts for extra flavor.
3. Trail Mix Bars
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats, 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of dried fruit, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil. Press the mixture firmly into a baking dish and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool before cutting it into bars.
4. Apple Crisp
Chop 2 apples and toss them with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Top with a mixture of 1/4 cup of gluten-free rolled oats, 1/4 cup of almond flour, 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts, and 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
5. No-Bake Energy Bites
In a food processor, pulse together 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats, 1/2 cup of almond butter, 1/3 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract until the mixture comes together. Roll the mixture into balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Hydration and Nutrition Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Staying hydrated and nourished is essential for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re hiking through the mountains or camping by the lake, your body needs the right fuel to keep going. In this section, we’ll discuss some hydration and nutrition tips to help you make the most of your outdoor adventures.
Firstly, it’s important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, and even heat stroke, which can be dangerous in remote outdoor locations. To prevent this, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather.
You can also supplement your water intake with natural sports drinks like coconut water or electrolyte tablets that dissolve in your water bottle.
Secondly, proper nutrition is crucial for outdoor enthusiasts. When you’re burning lots of calories, it’s important to replenish them with nutrient-rich foods. As we discussed earlier in this post, vegan and gluten-free meals can be a great option for outdoor adventures. They are packed with protein, fiber, and other nutrients to keep you feeling full and energized.
In addition, it’s important to bring snacks that are high in protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied between meals. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are all great options. Finally, don’t forget to pack a multivitamin to ensure you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs.