ORIGINAL RECIPE: You really don’t need a recipe for this
TIMING: 5 minutes
DIFFICULTY: This is the easiest thing I can think of to make. At all. Ever
TOOLS: Just something to store it in, like a giant zipper-top bag or a sealable container
COOK TYPE: No cooking involved
HEALTH: This is a great snack to have around. It has a down side if you make it with M&Ms, but you could avoid that by using conscientious baking chips or natural chocolate drop candies. However, if you plan on being somewhere hot when you need this (like on a summer hike), you will want to stick with some sort of candy-coated chocolate so that you don’t end up starving with a melty mess. As always, the quality of your ingredients is going to affect the healthiness of your product.
Note that Gorp serves an important function for blood sugar levels. The sweets give a burst of energy up front, while the protein gives a more sustained energy. Besides hiking, this is a handy thing to have in your desk at work or in your purse for a light snack.
It’s better for you if your fruit has no added sugars and your nuts are raw.
EXPERIENCE: It was the annual trip to the in-laws, which always includes a couple days up in the Adirondacks with no electricity, no running water, etc. I was in charge of planning the menu and doing the grocery shopping with my sister-in-law, and we were looking for easy, quick, and camping-spectacular ideas. Gorp has to be the most obvious of all camping “recipes,” after s’mores. You take three (or more) ingredients, pour them from their bags into your container, shake, and that is it.
Yes, it hardly qualifies as a recipe. But one of the goals for this blog is to provide a repository for all the Flaherty family recipes, so that I can search it almost like a database. No Flaherty recipe database would be complete without such standards as Tossed Salad (coming in two days) and Gorp, partly because I will see it and go, “Aha! That’s what I need to make today!”
I believe Gorp stands for “Good old raisins and peanuts,” which almost makes sense, because the three most basic ingredients for Gorp are raisins, peanuts, and chocolate bits. You can also call it trail mix, but I think of “trail mix” as a more general term which can include granola, Chex mix, etc.
NOTES: There are several variants, or your could come up with your own. As long as you have fruit, nut, and chocolate, you are in Gorp territory. I recently made a version with peanut butter cereal, peanuts, coconut flake, and chocolate chips. Yum! And we also do a s’mores version, with mini grahams, mini marshmallows, and chocolate (and raisins or coconut flake, even though they don’t exactly fit the theme).
Change the fruit or include more than one:
- Golden raisins
- Coconut flake
- Dehydrated Cherries
- Dehydrated blueberries
- Freeze-dried strawberries or other berries
- Chopped prunes or dates
Change the nuts or include more than one:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds/Pepitas
Try different chocolates:
- morsels (including chocolate, yes, but also white chocolate, butterscotch, mint, etc.)
- chopped bits of your favorite chocolate bar
- chopped bits of your favorite candy bar
- small chocolate candies, like Junior Mints
- Mini marshmallows
- Cereal bits, like peanut butter balls or mini grahams
My daughter’s Girl Scout troop goes crazy, throwing in everything from mini crackers to gummi worms, but in that case I believe the result is more aptly called “trail mix,” partly because Gorp is the sort of thing you can fish out of the bag with one hand and eat everything together in one harmonious bite. Mini crackers and gummi worms do not work like this. So think thematically when you whip up your Gorp.
- In a sealable container (from a zipper bag to a Mason jar), dump roughly equal parts peanuts, raisins, and chocolate candies.
- Close container. Shake. And keep cool anywhere it might be handy to have it.
Serve with an adventure in the great outdoors.