Easy Pack Food for a Great Hike — Pitas and Hummus

Dreaming and wishing we could have been here today instead of stuck in haze, inversion and cold:

Since I’m not hiking, guess I’ll keep planning ahead for the springtime.  Thought I’d share with you some of the ways we prepare for a hike.

Our family has some requirements for hiking food:

1)      It has to be tasty.

2)      It has to be easy.

3)      It can’t be too messy!

This recipe for homemade pitas with white bean hummus fulfills all of these requirements.  Anyone who makes bread can make pitas.  The dough is forgiving, and the key is cook them HOT!  Just don’t expect pockets.  We use these more like tortillas or taco shells, wrapping our hummus and spinach in them.  You can substitute store bought pitas or tortillas in a pinch in this recipe, but homemade is best.

Here’s the recipe:

Pita Bread

Makes 6

1 cup warm water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons yeast

3 or more cups flour (I like at least half whole wheat)


Put the water in the mixer bowl with the olive oil and yeast.  Allow the yeast to dissolve for a few minutes, and then add flour and salt.  Add enough flour to make a soft dough, then leave the dough to rise for about 30 minutes.  After the dough is risen, turn it out onto the counter and divide it into 6 pieces.  Roll each piece between your palms into a soft ball, and let these balls rest on the floured counter for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Put a cookie sheet in the oven to preheat with the oven.

When the oven is hot, flatten the dough balls two at a time on a well-floured counter.  Using a rolling pin, make 6 to 8 inch circles.  Put the circles on the cookie sheet and allow to cook for 3 minutes.  Be careful taking these out of the oven – 500 degrees is HOT!  Remove to a cooling rack, and cook the rest of the pitas in batches.

White Bean Hummus

1 can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic

¼ jar green olives

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

Enough juice from olive jar to allow the beans to mix in the food processor.

Put all ingredients in the food processor.  As you begin processing, add juice in a thin stream to allow it to stir without becoming too thin.

Pitas can be packed in a plastic bag in your backpack, and hummus should be put inside a plastic container inside a ziplog bag (for extra security).  I usually pack the hummus in my backpack because if the plastic container is against your back it’s not that comfortable, and I would rather that was in my pack than in a complaining kid’s pack.  Also, be sure to bring a spoon or a spork to spread the hummus, although in a pinch (pun intended) you can grab some up with the pitas and your fingers.

Another good hummus can be made by replacing the green olives with a roasted red bell pepper.

This is a good hiking snack because it gives you protein and carbs, with some salts to replace your electrolyte levels.  Add some apples and some Pringles, some candy or cookies for motivation,  and you are set to go for a great hike.

Hope you get a great hike soon!

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