Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Say Nuth Khaw Yum, British Columbia, Canada.
I soak large quantities of steel cut oats in whey and water overnight, before cooking with a bit of celtic sea salt. Then I store it in tupperware. It does not really have to be refrigerated and could be stored for several days like this in a backpack. In the fridge you can easily keep enough for 2 weeks.
Then I cook one meal at a time by frying in a couple of tablespoons of coconut fat, with some frozen berries at home (or dried on the trail), or sometimes with an apple sliced thinly with nutmeg and cinnamon, with a touch of maple syrup. When it is almost cooked I finish it with a couple tablespoons of grass fed butter. Once that melts I serve it with high fat yogurt (or creme fraiche) and nuts on top.
Oatmeal is actually a very poor choice for trail food for a few reasons. It is almost all carbohydrates, and while very light, contains few calories (energy). It is also very high in fibre, which is indigestable carbohyrate and not useable as energy. Nutritionally, if you do not use steel cut oats most of the B vitamins and E vitamins will have oxidised as the rolled and instant forms have exposed too much of these air soluble vitamins. As far as the minerals, they are bound to phytic acid, which oats have one of the highest concentrations of, and not digestable unless they are unlocked by soaking in an acidic medium such as whey, sprouting, or cooking for extremely long periods of time at a low temperature (ie crock pot).
By adding healthy fats you are significantly upping the caloric content, and nutrition. If you don't want to carry the moisture in the oats and are really concerned about the nutrition aspect (the fat vs carb for energy would be more of an immediate concern to your trip) you can soak them, then dry them in an oven at the lowest setting or a dehydrator, then cook them at camp. Although then fuel becomes an issue. Once soaked I find they only take 20-30 minutes tops to cook by boiling. I find the wet oats not too bad if I leave the top of the pot off over night before I close the container, and the fats rehydrate them enough they are not dry.