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Trail "Pancakes" with Maple Syrup; Wheat-free, Healthy Trail Comfort Food!

Note: This is my first attempt at this yummy trail breakfast.  I have since come up with a much better recipe for real train pancakes (at least IMHO).  This post is still a great way to enjoy dried bread, whether for croutons or a base for other meals (bread pudding, anyone?).

 Good nutrition is so vital to our well being, and nothing starts the day better than a nutritious breakfast. Car campers tend to take breakfast very seriously;  drive through any established campground around breakfast time and your sense of smell will be positive assaulted by the scent of sizzling sausage and bacon and freshly brewed coffee.  Pancakes with syrup and scrambled eggs round out the feast.

On the trail, however, breakfast tends to be Boring with a capital B.  Oatmeal. Oatmeal with blueberries.  Oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins. Cream of wheat.  Blah, blah, blah. And I am sure that backpackers need waaayyy more nutritious calories than the car camping bunch.

Paleo Bread; Wheat free, made with Nut Flour
Hikers with a little more pack space and money may opt for something like freeze-dried Mountain House meals.  I find them delicious (YMMV!) but they are expensive and loaded with sodium and additives. Now that I am older and more frugal, I dry my own concoctions.

One food I am experimenting with is pancakes and syrup.  A very easy way to have pancakes on the trail is to simply dehydrate some cut up homemade pancakes, rehydrate in a zip lock with some boiling water, and add a pouch of syrup.  Yummy and almost like homemade.  But I liken it to junk food. Empty calories with no nutrition.

Since I am swearing off traditional flour-based foods, I had to find another option.  I found this bread recipe from Elana's Pantry and realized it would form the basis for some great healthier trail meals.  I followed the recipe and made the most delicious nut-flour bread ever.

Paleo Bread Crackers
The bread is a little denser than whole grain bread, and the recipe makes a small loaf.  A little small for anything but finger sandwiches, I thought this would be the perfect size for crackers.  Then I started thinking dried bread things with some kind of topping.  That led to the idea of a pancake-y trail food.  So I sliced up the bread extra thin and dried it on my fabulous Excalibur Dehydrator.  A few hours later I had nice, crunchy, yummy flour-free crackers.

The rest is easy!  Just toss some crackers in a quart-sized freezer zip lock bag and add a Tablespoon or two of real maple sugar.  When in camp, add a very scant amount of boiling water to the bag and cozy.  Within a few minutes you can enjoy something that is very similar to SAD dried pancakes, but without the guilt!

Happy Hiking!


  1. What a great idea! Sometimes I'll dehydrate angel food cake, then take a container full with frozen strawberries on top. During the day, the strawberries thaw out and the juice soaks into the cake, and by dinner time you've got a real treat.

  2. Ted, that sounds like a great idea! Very yummy :-)

  3. I am a little stumped...Wheat free bread is Paleo? Wheat is 8000 BC and a part of almost every diet on the planet. I like your idea and will throw some in my dehydrator....

    1. According to the "Paleo Diet" Book written by Dr Loren Cordain, and other books addressing a wheat-free lifestyle, the basis for omitting grains and dairy from our diet, is that our digestive systems still function like a caveman. While our paleolithic ancestors had access to grains in small quantities, they didn't eat nearly as many as modern man. The theory is that many modern maladies, such as leaky gut syndrome, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, etc. are exacerbated by gluten in the wheat and other grains. The wheat free bread recipe here is not really "bread", but a nut-based substitute without any gluten or grains... Enjoy!