Menu Planning

5 Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

cooking breakfast on a kayaking trip

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On my first paddling and camping trips, I often overlooked making a good breakfast in favor of eating a few quick snacks, like Pop Tarts, and as I paddled I noticed my strength fading quickly. It took me a few trips to figure out my breakfast wasn’t working for me. Although breakfast snacks like instant pastries have over 400 calories per package, they lack any significant fat or protein. Essentially, they’re just empty carbs and eating them in the morning creates high blood-sugar levels, which will eventually crash throwing the body into a battle that’ll will last all day. That’s no way to start a hard day of paddling.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a staple of five quick and healthy breakfast meals for camping trips.

Bagel and Peanut Butter

1 Bagel
2 tbsp peanut butter

Calories: 538
Fat: 18g
Carbs: 76g
Protein: 21g

This is the simplest meal I carry. Bagels hold up well in the pack and bagels taste good. If I’m carrying Parkey squeeze butter and I feel like cooking, I’ll coat the bagel in butter and fry it for a toasted like texture. Parkey adds 70 calories and 8g of fat.

Super Charged Couscous

1/3 cup dry couscous
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp almonds, sliced
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/6 cup dry milk
Honey to taste

Calories: 340
Fat: 5 g
Carbs: 64g
Protein: 14g

Instant couscous cooks in five minutes, and when augmented with tasty ingredients, it makes a great breakfast. Mix everything, except the optional honey at home. Boil water in camp and add the mix. Remove it from the heat and in five minutes, breakfast is ready.

Oatmeal Plus

1 cup oatmeal
1 3/4 cups water
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp almonds, sliced
Brown sugar

Calories: 247
Fat: 10g
Carbs: 35g
Protein: 8g

I love oatmeal. On many trips, I just bring a bunch of oatmeal and enjoy a warm breakfast each day. Quick oats cook in five minutes.

Kashi Golean Crunch Honey Almond Flax

1 1/2 cups Kashi cereal
1/3 cup dry milk
1 cup water

Calories: 380
Fat: 6g
Carbs: 66g
Protein: 22g

I love this cereal. It’s healthy, it’s tasty, and it’s so easy when premixed with dry milk—just add water to the bag and shake.

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1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp powdered milk
bring a cup of oil or Parkey squeeze butter

Calories: 490
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 96g
Protein: 19g

Making frybread is more difficult than the other recipes, but because it tastes so good on a cold rainy morning or on a wind day, I always carry one batch with me. Mix all the dry ingredients together at home. In camp, mix in enough water enough water to make dough the same consistency as pancake mix. Then fry in oil or hot butter.


Carrying coffee making gear adds weight to the pack, and creates the hassle of having to carry out wet coffee grounds. I just don’t do it anymore. Instead, I use Java Juice. Java Juice is a coffee extract that comes in single serving packages. Add it to hot water and you get a great tasting cup of coffee. Try it and you won’t regret it.


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