Trail Cooking

Backpackers Pantry: Making Cream Cheese On The Trail

Back in the dark ages (you know….10 years ago and back) if you wanted cream cheese on the trail it was a first to second day treat, or you had to find (the elusive) shelf stable versions. But what if you could make fresh cream cheese on the trail, for backpacking meals? And have it easy to do? If you love cream cheese, this will make your bagels and tortillas feel so loved.

And more so…it is customizable so you can dream up so many flavors, from savory to sweet.

So what do you need? Hoosier Farms Cream Cheese Powder.

To make 3 ounces fresh cream cheese, pack 10 Tablespoons dry cream cheese powder in a snack size ziptop bag (or a sandwich bag). Mark “Add 3 Tablespoons cold water”.

To prepare, open up the bag and add the cold water. Let rest for a few minutes to rehydrate a bit, then start stirring to mix it up. It will take a minute or two for it to start mixing, then it comes together. Mix until very smooth.

At this point it is ready to use. Seal tightly till needed. It is a smooth soft cream cheese in this state. Which, if you are making beef stroganoff for dinner? This is perfect for that.

Now then, for better taste, if you have a cold stream handily nearby, making sure it is tightly sealed, tether it in the stream (you can do this for so many foods!) and let it get good and chilled. Usually we put the bag we want chilled inside a larger zip top bag, and either use paracord threaded through a hole in the top, or weight it down on the edge with rocks. You can also use a snow bank to chill in, but make sure the bag isn’t visible to birds, who will happily enjoy your treat…..

On to flavors: To make strawberry cream cheese or other berries, crush up freeze dried berries and stir in. Add in a packet of honey or two to sweeten. Cream cheese? Take a packet of smoked salmon, mash up, and stir in. Add in a bit of granulated garlic, onion and a packet of True Lemon (or a packet of lemon juice).


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