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Go ahead honey, it’s gluten-free!


Health-promoting homeopath and fetching superhero-ette, Naomi, of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried fame, is the creative spark behind the “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free” recipe event. Every month it’s my intention to participate and every month I pout and stomp my feet (superhero style) when I realize I missed the deadline again. Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily is the event hostess this month and I know if I don’t get with it and participate, she’ll give me all kinds of gluten-free grief.

Plus, Shirley picked something that’s right up my alley (err, I mean trail) — gluten-free camp food. Last summer my son and I backpacked half the Colorado Trail (close to 250 miles) and I pre-made and dehydrated all our dinners, so this assignment is perfect for me. It’s also a great way to use up all my CSA kale and collard greens. I love the stuff, but my gosh, my hair’s turning green.

Unfortunately, most of my recipes are in my head, made up as I go, or scribbled on the back of bank statements. I’m not the most organized cook, that’s why I call half of my recipes “launching pad” creations. The two I’m featuring here are in that category. Adjust and change ingredients to your liking.

Melissa’s mile high trail mix
what you need
dry ingredients
1 box Perky’s Nutty Rice or Nutty Flax crunchy cereal
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

wet ingredients
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash salt
coconut oil for greasing the pan
dried fruit *

* Gently blend in chunks of dried fruit after the mix has been cooked and cooled. I use a combination of unsulphured papaya, pineapple, mango, ginger, cranberries and/or raisins.

what you do
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Use 2 racks placed in the middle of the oven. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently. Combine wet ingredients in a medium sized saucepan over low-medium heat; whisk/stir constantly until well blended and bubbly. Bring to a low boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. It will have a semi set-up texture.

Drizzle blended wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir gently until all of it has been mixed in. Spread out on 2 large, lightly greased cookie sheets and place one on each oven rack – unless you can get both cookie sheets on one rack in the middle of the oven. I just stack the two and use my convection setting, but a regular oven setting works just fine. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes, remove and gently stir (try to keep clustered bunches intact). Return to oven. If you are using two racks, switch the cookie sheets and alternate putting one on the top rack and one on the rack below. Continue baking for another 45 minutes or so; taking time to remove, check, and gently stir every 6 to 8 minutes. Alternate cookie sheet placement each time. Mixture should be a uniform golden brown color. Depending on your oven temperature, this should take a total about 40 to 60 minutes of bake time. Carefully watch how the mixture browns as oven temperatures vary and this stuff can burn quickly. Keep an eye on it. Don’t wander off and forget!


Cool completely. After the mixture has cooled, you can add the dried fruit. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator when not on the trail.

Garlic potato, kale and chicken backpacking soup
what you need
1 bunch kale
instant garlic mashed potatoes
instant chicken base
dried herbs of choice (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mixed Italian herbs)

Wash, chop and dehydrate kale according to your dehydrator directions. Using a medium sized bowl, combine garlic mashed potatoes flakes, chicken base granules and dried kale. Add salt, fresh ground black pepper and dried herbs of choice; blend well and place in ziplock bags. I use one package of Hearthland Foods garlic mashed potatoes (4.5 ounces), 6 to 8 heaping teaspoons of Vogue Cuisine instant chicken broth base, one bunch of dehydrated kale, assorted dried herbs, sea salt and ground pepper to make 2 very large soup dinners for backpacking (or 4 smaller meals). This is a fast and nutritious meal while on the trail as all you need is boiling water. Shake some of the soup mix into your camp mug or bowl, add boiling water and stir gently. Adjust water depending on the consistency you want. I like it very thick and creamy, like a potato bisque. I’ve also dehydrated celery leaves and added those to the mix. Be creative and enjoy!



You might also like the Colorado Trail part 1, part 2 and part 3, or nutrition for the backcountry, or I see no good reason to act my age.

Go forth and be a happy camper!

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21 Responses to “make me a happy camper”

  1. beckyferris says:

    this looks faboo! i need to try the trail mix!

  2. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for the backpacking gf ideas. I am an avid hiker, as I hiked the AT from GA to ME, on a gluten free and vegetarian diet. So glad to see more ideas out there.

  3. Melissa says:


    The trail mix is really good. You can skip some of the dried fruit and just add raisins or dates and it makes wonderful granola.

  4. Melissa says:


    Yeah, good for you! Wow, GA to ME! I love that kind of stuff. I’ve got some good sports nutrition tips on my blog — here’s one of the links.

    Also, check Shirley’s blog (link above in this post) when she completes this “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free” recipe roundup. I’m sure there will be some good ideas since her theme is “make me a happy camper.” Do you have a dehydrator?

  5. Wow, two great recipes, Melissa! That trail mix looks divine … really. The soup looks awesome, too. With garlic mashed potato flakes as one of the ingredients, it hHas to be a winner. Thanks so much for honoring me by participating in GAHIGF this month! (I really would not have bugged you if you’d decided you couldn’t join in. Life happens …)

    Now that I’m back from my motorcycle trip, Ive got to catch up on everything, including all your posts I missed. 🙂


  6. Melissa says:


    I hope you had a wonderful get-a-way! It’s nice to put the computer aside, forget about recipes and ride off into the wild blue yonder once in awhile. Good for you, although I can only imagine what it takes now to put this whole GAHIGF thing together at the last minute. Good luck and thank you for doing it. You’re a gluten-free doll!


  7. Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  8. Melissa says:

    Sergey — thank you and welcome!

  9. […] Melissa of Gluten Free for Good that she didn’t need to hang on to all of her namesake Mile High Trail Mix for her hiking adventures on Old Rag mountain after breakfast. (Heather and family planned to go […]

  10. Jenn says:

    Wow what a great set of recipes, I love how you made your own soup mix! Perfect for backpacking!

  11. Hey, Melissa–Just stopping back to say I hope you check out the roundup to see what happened with your backpacking food on our GAHIGF camping weekend. 😉 And, yeah, it does take a lot of time, but I’m pleased with the results (and thrilled that Naomi has her hosts for the next year LOL, with even a virtual waiting list it seems).


  12. Kelly says:

    I was just looking for some recipes for a bluegrass festival in BV this week. You always have great ideas!

    I don’t have a dehydrator would there be another way to dehydrate the Kale.

  13. Christine says:

    The trail mix looks so good – when not hiking, I would probably eat it for breakfast. Yum!

  14. Angie says:

    Awesome trail mix – I use Perky’s Nutty Rice cereal in my granola as well, it’s a great staple. Good ideas for backpacking – thanks!

  15. Melissa says:


    I was thinking it would be difficult to jump off your motorcycle and dive into putting together this blog post! We all appreciate it though. Good job — as always!

  16. Melissa says:


    I’m behind in my comment responding and now your bluegrass festival is over. Sorry about that. You know, I think the best way of dehydrating kale is in a dehydrator. You don’t want the temperature much higher than about 135 degrees F. It takes a long time to fully dry it. I think that’s probably the best way to go.

    BTW, the Denver Post had an article about that new development in BV that Jed and Katie Selby have created. I love the idea of a bouldering park right in the midst of the houses! And having the Arkansas River right out your door sounds pretty darn nice!

  17. Melissa says:


    Leave out the dried fruit other than raisins and go for it! I make it and travel with it, but find too much dried fruit doesn’t make for the best granola. Trail mix — yes. Granola — no.

  18. Melissa says:


    You’re right, Perky’s Nutty Rice or Nutty Flax works well because it “stands up” to either being stuffed in your backpack or doused in milk!

  19. Kelly says:

    Melissa, the new development is great. There is an awesome brewery there. My partner is from BV so we spend a lot of time up there.

  20. naomi says:

    I only just got round to checking this out and it all looks fantastic. I especially love the idea of taking dried greens up the mountain for soup making – inspired!

    Also loving the superhero references cropping up round here. I’m gonna take that test – but we know the result already no?

    x x x

  21. Jo says:

    nice to see some gf backpacking food! I’ve got a little blog on that very subject that you might want to visit. Through-hiked the John Muir Trail last summer & was astonished at what folks were willing to eat … your pototo/kale soup would have supplied some much-needed veggies to our fellow hikers!

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