For this week’s Test Trek, I brought along some of MOMA Food’s Porridge Sachets and Pots. Will they provide me with all the energy I need for the day’s trek? Find out below.
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Often when I’m out on the trails, I’m up at the break of dawn. Why? The scenery for starters. There’s also the still of the forest before it has fully awoken. It’s my favourite time to be out in the wild. Despite all of this, the real reason that I’m up and about in the morning is that I’ve got hiking to do! Hiking is great exercise. I burn way more calories out on a hike than I do at the gym.
Because of this, I need to start my day right. That starts with breakfast. My early morning coffee gives we what I think is a kick of energy but it’s not actually real calories. It isn’t going to help me halfway up a hill.
In the past, I’d opted for the classic fried breakfast. I’d lug along my ‘portable’ stove, pots and pans and create a greasy breakfast for myself. Recently, I’ve realised that this isn’t the way forward, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I need long lasting energy. My bacon and eggs may keep me going for a while, but it won’t hold out until lunch. Secondly, I can’t afford to be weighed down. A fried breakfast may have a high calorie count but it leaves me feeling slow and weary when I should be springing up the trails!
So what should I be eating before starting my trek?
From my many years of rising early, having breakfast and then setting out for a day full of hiking and climbing, I can let you into my not-very-secret secret. It’s all about the oats.
Oats release energy slowly. Really slowly. It’s not an instant kick that will drag you into the office, it’s a slow burner that will keep your body fuelled all the way until lunch.
Oats come in many forms. Cereal or energy bars can be a great source of oats and I will often have these in my bag ready for a mid-afternoon snack to boost my energy levels for the next big climb. For breakfast though, especially in the colder seasons, I want something warm. Porridge has been my breakfast choice for the last few years.
If you’re currently having a painful flashback to grey porridge from your childhood, think again. Porridge has changed. Not only are a range of flavours available, the process of making porridge has become much quicker and easier. The Porridge sachets and pots from MOMA Foods are a great example of a breakfast food to get you through your morning hike.
Let’s cover taste first. As much as I want to ramble on about the benefits for your energy levels and the convenience of these great little sachets and pots, if the taste isn’t there, then there wouldn’t be any point taking them on your next hiking trip.
MOMA porridge comes in an exciting range of flavours. There’s Apple & Cinnamon, Coconut & Chia, Cranberry & Raisin, Golden Syrup, Super Seeds, Almond Butter & Salted Caramel and of course the classic, Plain.
Over the course of my test trek, I manage to eat one of each. It was a close thing, these porridges are filling!
The good news is, these porridges are delicious! My favourite is Golden Syrup, but Almond Butter & Salted Caramel is a close runner up and I would definitely take all of them back out on a trek with me.
MOMA Foods use a blend of both fine and large oats which creates the best texture I’ve ever had in a bowl of porridge.
Mornings have never been my forte. Up above, I wrote about my love of mornings in the wild. That’s all true, but the first five minutes after I wake aren’t my finest moments. I’m sure you’ve all been there. The point is, I’m not going to whip up a 3 course breakfast every day I’m on a test trek.
This is one of my favourite features of MOMA porridge. All you need is hot water. I have my handy wood burning stove and café from nCamp. I’m already boiling water for morning coffee, I just need to add a little to my MOMA porridge and that’s breakfast sorted! Super convenient.
The MOMA porridge pots are even more convenient than the sachets. I don’t even need a cup or a bowl. One spoon is all I need to enjoy my nutritious breakfast.
Prep time is really important to me on my treks. Each morning I want to have broken camp as soon as I can to start my day. I can’t be hanging around waiting for my breakfast to cook.
Instead of waiting around all morning for a fried breakfast. I just need to boil some water on my firebox stove, add it to my MOMA porridge and wait five minutes. This gives me a short time to enjoy my morning coffee before my breakfast is ready.
Another time saver is the lack of washing up. If I’m eating from the MOMA porridge pot, there’s no pans or bowls to clean. I give my spoon a quick rinse and I’m done. On the test trek, I managed to be all packed up in 20 minutes and that included eating a great breakfast! I definitely need to pick up some more of these porridges.
Porridge for All
These days, there are more and more people realising they have food allergies. Sadly for those affected, it really narrows down your food choices. Hiking food is already a pretty narrow selection so this just makes everything more complicated! Luckily, MOMA porridge is labelled as gluten and dairy free! The packaging even says no added sugar, so if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, that’s another plus for the MOMA porridge.
Pot or Sachet?
MOMA porridge comes in either a pot or a sachet. I’ve used both on this test trek and I’ve drawn a few conclusions:
Pot: Eating from the pot reduces my washing up – no bowl! The down side of this is that I now have a semi-rigid plastic tub that I have to keep with me for the rest of the trip.
Sachet: The sachets are easier to store in my backpack. They slip into tiny little gaps that the pot would have no chance to get in to. Plus when I’m finished with the packet, it can be scrunched down into a tiny ball which can sit in the bottom of my bag until the trip is done. The only downside is that I needed to take a bowl to put the porridge in.
You’re going to ask which is best. It’s a tough one. I think I’d go with the sachets. For a long trip, one bowl and 20 sachets have a much smaller packing size than 20 porridge pots. Whereas on a short trip, I’d say take the pots. That was almost a decision, right?
Calories for Hiking
Even with all the great features that I’ve described so far, it’s all worthless if the porridge can’t sustain me for my hike.
On this test trek, I hiked for around 2 hours per day, with a good 4 hours of climbing interspersed within that. That’s a lot of calories burnt.
As I’ve always found with porridge, I didn’t feel weighed down with my breakfast in the early morning and the slow-release oats meant that I felt that I had plenty of energy all the way up until my lunch in the early afternoon.
If your morning hikes are a little more relaxed, then you’ll definitely be covered by the MOMA porridge. If you think you’ll be even more active, who says you can’t have two packs of porridge!
A good breakfast is invaluable when it comes to exploring in the outdoors. Sometimes you get lost, sometimes trails take longer than you expect. Everything seems much easier when your energy levels aren’t depleted.
On this trek, I was safe in the knowledge that my calorific needs were taken care of. These little pots and sachets are great value for the amount of energy they give you on the trails.
Plus the sachets even come in a multipack, making that value even better.
I’m switching over. No more lumpy porridge for me that takes forever to cook. With MOMA’s porridge, I have a range of flavours to keep me interested even on a multi-day trip and I have the energy I need each day to enjoy my treks.
I’d throughly recommend picking up some MOMA porridge for your next camping trip. You can find out more at MOMA Foods.