Meatless Monday – Canada 150: Pemmican principles

I remember learning about pemmican in grade school. It’s what I can only describe as a cross between beef jerky and an energy bar. Naturally I had to investigate a meat-free version to share for Meatless Monday.

Photo by Kimberley (c)2017

Pemmican is a portable and concentrated form of food energy created and used by Indigenous people in North America. Post-European contact saw voyageurs in the fur trade partaking in this food item. Pemmican was designed to last a long time and a valuable source of the macronutrient trinity (protein, carbs, fat) and sustained energy when resources were scarce.

So what is pemmican anyway? It is ground animal meat, often bison, mixed with local berries and animal fat.

I used the idea behind pemmican to create the first iteration of a vegan version.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil ( and 1 teaspoon of coconut butter if you have some)
  • ¼cup dried cranberries (and/or wild blueberries if you have them)
  • ¼cup of walnut halves
  • 1 teaspoon each maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds; I had some made with wild blueberry powder so I used that
  • dash of salt

Grind walnuts until pebble size. Chop dried cranberries and add to mix along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine, then refrigerate. The coconut oil should solidify when cold and mixture pliable enough to form into little balls. Alternatively, you can use the vegan pemmican in any of the following ways:

  • as a topping for cooked oatmeal
  • mixed with yoghurt
  • folded into muffin or pancake batter and baked accordingly
  • bunch up mixture and insert into doughnut hole (you may need a bit of glaze to adhere mixture to your doughnut)

*Please note that this recipe is still in the testing stages. Revised version may follow…




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