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#175623 - 03/06/13 03:26 PM Sprouts on the trail
SamanthaR Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Juneau, AK
In "Simple Foods for the Pack," Claudia Axcell suggests (p. 93) growing sprouts in your pack (well, in a bottle in your pack!) to have fresh greens on the trail. Seems to me this would be a great way to perk up the menu on longer trips, but I wonder if there are any issues of practicality.

Has anyone here tried this, and how did it work for you?

-- Sam

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#175636 - 03/07/13 11:49 AM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1378
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Sorry, I've never tried it. Do sprouts need sunlight? If so, having them in a bottle inside your pack might be a practical problem?

(I'm not at all knowledgeable about this - I just didn't want you to think your post was being ignored.)

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#175638 - 03/07/13 12:24 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: Glenn Roberts]
SamanthaR Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Juneau, AK
Thanks for commenting, Glenn. It seemed like such an inventive idea when I saw it in the book that I suspected few would have tried it.

re: sunlight, actually, that is what makes this idea feasible... seeds normally sprout underground (i.e., in darkness) so putting the bottle in your pack is great.

There are two practical problems I think of. First, the seeds/sprouts must be kept moist and ventilated, so you have a container of moist stuff in your pack with mesh or porous fabric over the top. I've grown sprouts before but it was a long time ago and I cannot recall how "wet" they need to be, so I am not sure whether this might be a spillage issue or not. Second, I am sure this would work in warm/hot seasons, but wonder what happens when the temps get cooler/colder.

Oh, and while this set-up does not need to be very heavy, it is bulky for its weight (like a 1 qt peanut butter jar with several oz of sprouts in it), so that factors into pack size.

Guess I will need to do more research and some experimentation!

-- Sam

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#175641 - 03/07/13 12:37 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Sam-

Consider reading up at this group:

< http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lighttrailfood/ >.

You probably have to join, but it is free.

Searching "sprouts" brought up a thread. "Sprouting" may yield another. I think I read someone punched holes in one disposable plastic container (Zip/Glad/whatever) and put it inside of another to sprout on the trail.

Good luck!

CM

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#175645 - 03/07/13 12:52 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: CamperMom]
SamanthaR Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Juneau, AK
Thanks for the lead to that group!

-- Sam

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#175648 - 03/07/13 01:19 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
wink

Sam-

I hiked a section of the AT some years ago with a woman who lives north of Columbus. If you are looking for a trail buddy, I can write to her to ask if she has gotten back into 'packing.

PM me if you wish.

CM

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#175672 - 03/08/13 11:02 AM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I sometimes have a green slimy substance growing in my pack....Is this the same thing?

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#175674 - 03/08/13 12:06 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 862
Loc: Michigan
I would think that for the benefit it would be a lot of work and take up too much space. Lugging a jar full of seeds around for several days to get a couple of oz of greens seems like too much hassle. It would make more sense to just learn to identify a few local eatable plants.

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#175675 - 03/08/13 01:22 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: oldranger]
SamanthaR Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Juneau, AK
LOL... ewwwwww!

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#175676 - 03/08/13 01:36 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: GrumpyGord]
SamanthaR Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Juneau, AK
I doubt the amount of work involved would be an issue, Gord, but you may very well be right about the space and hassle vs. foraging.

OTOH, sourdough has a long history of being carried and used by outdoorspeople, and it is IMHO at least as much hassle as sprouting seeds (and a good deal heavier). I am not sure I would carry either on a long hike, but want to understand the issues before I make those decisions.

-- Sam

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#175737 - 03/13/13 04:40 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I think that the people who grow sprouts as they backpack desire the health benefits of very fresh vegetables, such as vitamins and enzymes that are at least reduced if not destroyed in storage and cooking. For weekend trail warriors, these may not be a problem. Long distance hikers might benefit more, and that is when I'd be more interested. A pair of Gladware containers layered and the inner one perforated, might be worth playing with at home, then deciding about carrying the set up.

Foraging is ilegal in some places, should you get caught. Pine needle or rose hip tea is supposed to provide Vit. C, as are sorrel leaves. Those, at least, even I can identify, along with raspberries, apples, and blueberries...

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#176602 - 04/19/13 08:23 AM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: SamanthaR]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
I've found that alfalfa and broccoli sprouts dehydrate quickly in a kitchen food dehydrator, and rehydrate in cold drinking water into a product that actually tastes like the genuine article.

Mixing a good tablespoon of these mummified sprouts into a couple ounces of dry hummus powder has yielded a pretty tasty trail snack on a few occasions.

They're probably not as healthy as eating the freshest ones, but they're a nice way to get some greens in on a long journey without undue weight or bulk.
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#176617 - 04/19/13 06:03 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: Robotmoose]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I would expect them to dehydrate quickly. If your dehydrator has a temperature control, drying about 80-90 F or so may preserve the enzymes.

CM

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#176631 - 04/21/13 05:31 AM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: CamperMom]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
Definitely, I think 90-ish degrees seems about perfect for raw veggies and greens. I would definitely advise giving them a good dunk in a sink full of cold water with a teaspoon of bleach in it, and a rinse.
Sprouts are a fun risk food for listeria and salmonella, and that's one reason why I'm not comfortable sprouting them myself on the trail - the odds of foodborne illness is very high.
The bleach/rinse dry maneuver seems to cover all the bases for safety.
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#176723 - 04/24/13 12:39 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: Robotmoose]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Doesn't sound like something you would want to do if you were required to bring a bear canister. But, with the mesh on the outside of most packs now you could rig up a system to work I think. You would just have to be a little careful about taking the pack off and putting it back on.

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#176729 - 04/24/13 01:03 PM Re: Sprouts on the trail [Re: skcreidc]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Unless you are just out for a day or two, dehydrated is about the only option with a bear canister. And probably a lot safer!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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