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Test Kitchen: Nuts

Protein-packed and calorie-dense, nuts are a classic backpackers' superfood. We taste-tested 96 spreads, mixes, and bars to bring you the healthiest (and tastiest) options for the trail.
BP0813_AssortedNuts_445x260.jpgTest Kitchen: Nuts (Photo by Ben Fullerton)

U-Pick Nuts
In fall, wild nuts ripen from the Southwest to the Northeast. Mike Masek, director and primary instructor of The Forager’s Path School of Botanical Studies in Flagstaff, Arizona, offers you a ticket to the free buffet.

Acorns
“Throw them in stew, roast on a campfire, or grind into powder for cakes. The white oak is best: You can even eat these raw.”

Pine nuts
“Pick nuts out of pine cones from the pinyon pine tree and shell them, sunflower seed-style.”

Walnuts “Black walnuts are edible in a pinch, but they’re hard-shelled and bitter. Toast them in butter to improve flavor.”

DIY trail mix butter
Start with a bag of your favorite trail mix. Separate the nuts from the rest of the mix and grind them in a food processor until they become creamy. Add the chocolate and dried fruit and blend another minute.

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