Every individual has different requirements as to their nutrition needs when it comes to outdoor adventure.
Some can go for hours without refueling. For me, when I’m active even for a short time, I get what I call “hiker’s belly”. You can hear my stomach growling from 50 metres away, I’m sure of it. During high-intensity activities especially, I crave foods containing mostly fats and proteins. When prepping for heading into the wild, I draw upon my education as a holistic nutritionist to choose snacks from high quality sources of these macronutrients. These are some of my favourite foodstuffs and go-to recipes that do well to quell my hunger pangs.
What makes adventure snacks desirable is that they are:
• Packable: They don’t take up too much space and won’t be harmed by getting “squished” in your pack or dry bag.
• Portable: They can be eaten by hand.
• Resistant to the elements: They won’t degrade too quickly in blazing heat or are still edible even if they get a little wet.
• Nutrient-dense: To maintain your energy levels.
• Satiating: They are filling and/or refreshing. This is an important aspect to maintain a positive mental state.
Classic on-the-go snacks
These provisions don’t take much time to prepare or can be found easily at your local natural foods store:
• Nuts (adventurers love nuts!)
• Dried fruits (some of my faves are dates or mango slices)
• Roasted seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin
• Chocolate (go for quality)
• Personal trail mix (combine your unique preference of the above four ingredients)
• Olives (to satisfy those sodium cravings that arise from exertion)
• Chunks of cheese (aged cheeses tend to fare best in the elements)
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Oven-dried tomatoes
• Fresh fruit such as apple or orange slices (skip the banana, they don’t survive packing or extreme temperatures very well)
• Avocado (whole, sliced, or mushed are all good)
• Natural peanut butter or pumpkin seed butter spread on whole grain bread or tortilla wraps
• Bean dip or hummus with veggie sticks (think carrot, cucumber, red pepper, radish, cherry tomatoes)
A bit fancier
These eats require a little more pre-planning and effort, but when you are hours into a mountain hike or ocean paddle, you will truly appreciate it. My adventure buddy is big on eating healthy foods, not as enamoured with actual cooking. When I bring the snacks for our escapades, she comments that she eats better than most other times in her life. These are some of the recipes I enjoy making for the road:
• Slightly spicy roasted pepitas
• Roasted veggie and bean burritos (add avocado and skip the cheese for vegan friends)
• Peanut butter energy bites
• Chocolate banana bread
• Homemade beef jerky
• Beet hummus with za’atar pita chips
• Pumpkin millet muffins
• Glowing spiced lentil soup (bring a thermos-full on your cold weather adventures)
• Black bean and yellow rice salad (remember to take your spork!)
I love trying new recipes. Let us know what are some of your favourite adventure snacks.
Kiley believes adventure brings out the best in her and it has the capacity to do the same for others.