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Old 08-10-2010, 21:16   #1
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Vegan Provisioning

Any other cruisers out there live on a Vegan diet? I am hoping to start some long term cruising someday soon and am just starting to realize how much I am gong to have to change what I eat. I am used to subsiding almost totally on food stuffs that go bad in a matter of days.

The thing I am having the most trouble planning for is iron intake. As it stands, most of mine comes from fresh green leafy vegetables; pretty much out of the question in the middle of the pacific. Everything else I think I could get from a combination of canned/dehydrated goods, but I am at a loss as to how to make said food taste good...

I am messing around with a aeroponic system for growing fresh food which could be set up in a small space bellow decks and fed by a solar collector topside. The amount of produce that such a system could provide would be a bit limited however and would serve as more of a temporary break in monotony.

I guess what I am asking is, does anyone have any good recipes for all vegetable (or fruit) dishes that work well in a cruising environment.

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Old 08-10-2010, 21:29   #2
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Use quinoa ("keenwah") in place of rice or couscous: Quinoa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's cheap, insanely healthy, and tastes great.

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Old 08-10-2010, 22:09   #3
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well i'm planning to be the first snow cone vendor in antarctica, stop by sometime
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Old 08-10-2010, 23:24   #4
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Just how long are you planning to be out in the middle of the Pacific? The longest crossing out there is only 3-4 weeks for most cruisers. Many green things will last half that. Green beans. All the cabbage friends. Potatoes, carrots, apples and onions of all kinds. After a couple of weeks you'll have to switch to cans or dried foods...or just are unlikely get malnourished in just two weeks. Iron depletion in the body is more like a month-long timescale, no? Scurvy (C) can hit in a couple of weeks, I understand.

Change your route to make shorter legs?

When you arrive, the natives will have food.

If you land here in Malaysia you will be amazed at the fresh farmers markets in every town. The most perfect fresh produce you could want, every day, for pennies. Some of it not identifiable, however.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:05   #5
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daddle is right. Not too often that you won't be in reach reach of fresh produce of some kind.

I'm also vegan-ish, and we grow sprouts. There is a big variety of seeds to sprout, they take no space at all, keep forever, and with a couple of jars and a bit of water you'll never run out of fresh healthy greens.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Neumeyer's book, Sailing the Farm, do so, but there are heaps of books on growing sprouts.

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Old 09-10-2010, 03:22   #6
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Most of the bean family is iron rich as are dried dates and fig. Blackstrap mollasses should keep well and if you are overly concerned you could take an iron supplement.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:11   #7
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Sprouts are a great idea. Sprouts on top of canned boredom would be a real treat. I'll ask the gals at the market, the one selling sprouts here in Malaysia, to bring me the seeds. Same as I do with the baker. Buy some bread, but get real flour at the same time. It's not on display....but you know it is there....

Growing actual plants on a moving boat is a problem.. I suppose it can be done. But the sea gods are against it. I see it often at anchor...after the crossings. Especially hard to find things, like fresh basil.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:42   #8
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Thanks for the sprouts idea. I love them, but for some reason didn't think about growing them on the boat.

I guess I am used to thinking about nutrition on a day to day time frame. You guys are right though, a couple of weeks of a less than optimal diet would not do much harm. Especially if you eat well before and after.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:46   #9
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There are plenty of grains that will last a long time, enough to give you plenty of variety.

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:03   #10
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Try The Coolest Sprouting Seeds on our Planet! as a source for seeds and equipment in the US. I don't use the fancy sprouters, just Ball jars and the various sized stainless steel strainers on top. Inexpensive, easily replaced if needed although I've never broken a Ball jar on the boat.

I usually start a batch of sprouts my first day out so they are ready as greens start to fail. As soon as I harvest I start another batch of a different kind. I rotate through mung, radish, alfalfa, and broccoli.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:35   #11
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For iron, what about red beets?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:04   #12
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Sprouts work but the quanity required doesnt. We do them occasionally for fun but really just give 2 meals a slight glimmer of salad.

Mushroom farms are a great idea but the yeild is very low.

Herbs will last a few weeks growing in a protected anchorage but at sea die from the salt.

Many islands in the Pacific have quite limited (and expensive) veges... tonga is the classic example.

I think people with 'special' diets are few and far between because it is a bit more difficult - an added difficulty cruisers just don't prioritise. That doesn't mean you can't do yours, but you may need to be flexable.

Reid Stowe did it for 1,000+ days on his schooner, perhaps have a look at his website for some advice - Home

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:39   #13
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I usually like to have plenty of sauerkraut which is great for combating scurvy and was extensively used by Cooke and Bligh. For iron supplements, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pinon nuts, dried apricots and figs, navy beans, chickpeas, black eye beans, pinto beans, and oatmeal are all good sources of iron and will keep for extended voyages. Tinned tomato juice and sweet potato are good as well. With tomato paste or whole tinned tomatoes, vegan spaghetti is great for iron.

Another good source are sea vegetables:

Sea veggies have between 18 and 46mg of iron per half cup serving--making them easily the highest iron content foods you can find.

One thing to remember is avoid excessive consumption of coffee and tea as the caffeine in part blocks the absorption of iron. It is also a good idea on a vegan diet to combine your iron rich sources of food with foods high in vitamin C, as the Vitamin C helps improve absorption of iron. Iron from strictly veggi sources is not absorbed as well as iron from meat (about 50% less as a matter of fact), so keeping up on the vitamin C rich foods (such as raisins and sauerkraut) will help keep your iron levels good.
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Old 09-10-2010, 13:22   #14
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Vegan provisioning is a piece of cake, pardon the pun, if you (1) Choose wisely when provisioning with canned, dehydrated and freeze-dry foods (2) explore the whole realm of sprouts. There's a bazillion of 'em, not just alfalfa or wheat. (3) Explore the entire world of grains and cereals. Again, there is huge variety in nutritive value, color and texture, ways of preparation, and different grinds, e.g. flour, meal, steel cut, flakes, parboil as in couscous, ad inf. Pastas, of course, some in many shapes and colors, many incorporating a vegetable such as spinach or carrot in the pasta itself. I could go on and on...

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