Updated May 20, 2022
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If your backpacking dessert experience stops at freeze-dried ice cream, prepare to be pleasantly surprised! Backcountry Foodie’s instant pudding recipes are just about as easy as opening that pouch of ice cream and (if you ask us) much more satisfying. This backpacking instant pudding recipe contains just four simple ingredients that will generally be available at any grocery store. Also, it is several dollars cheaper than commercial freeze-dried ice cream pouches and packs almost 300 more calories per serving.
You might be wondering why a dietitian is trying to convince you to eat backpacking desserts. Isn’t there something wrong with that??
The answer is no – in fact, dessert can be a great way to get in the additional nutrition necessary to recover after a hard hike and prepare your body for the next day. Long-distance hikers especially are more likely to undereat, increasing their risk of injury. Tempting backpacking recipes like this one can help to fill the gaps. So, don’t hesitate to add a daily dessert to your meal plan. It’ll be well worth the extra few ounces!
If you’re concerned about including added sugar in your hiking diet, you might enjoy this post where we take a deep dive into the science behind added sugar and hiking performance.
If you find that you enjoy our pudding recipe, consider giving our Trailside Tiramisu backpacking dessert recipe a try as well!
White Chocolate Coconut Pudding
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NUTRITION (per serving)
- 1 box instant pudding, sugar-free white chocolate (substitution), reduced-sugar option
- ⅔ cup milk powder, non-fat (substitution), reduced-calorie option
- 20 each vanilla wafers, gluten-free (substitution), gluten-free option
INSTRUCTIONS (per serving)
- Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. See meal prep tip below.
- Stir to mix well.
- Divide into four equal 3 oz (84 g) portions and put into bags or containers to be used in the backcountry.
- Add 4 oz (120 mL) very cold water to the bag or container.
- Shake vigorously for approximately 6 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency.
- If possible, put the bag or container in cold water or snow to encourage the pudding to thicken further.
- Stir to mix well and enjoy!
MEAL PREP TIPS
- If preparing the meal for long-term storage, consider adding the vanilla wafers shortly before departing for the trip to ensure freshness.
- If a smooth pudding texture is preferred, consider powdering the shredded coconut in a food processor or spice grinder first.
- Total sugar (per serving): 36 g, including 26 g added sugar
- Total reduce added sugar by 19 g, replace instant pudding with sugar-free instant pudding.
- To reduce calories by 67, replace whole milk powder with non-fat milk powder.
READY TO SEE MORE ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING RECIPES LIKE THIS ONE?
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Check out this video to see where all the magic happens.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD, is a registered dietitian and ultralight long-distance backpacker with over 20 years of nutrition and backpacking experience. She’s also the founder and owner of Backcountry Foodie, an online ultralight recipes and meal planning platform for backpackers. She also enjoys teaching hikers about backpacking nutrition via virtual masterclasses, YouTube videos, and podcast episodes. You can follow Aaron’s adventures in the kitchen and the backcountry via Instagram and Facebook.