Hiking food: Simple snacks to keep you energized on hikes and overnights this summer | SummitDaily.com

Hiking food: Simple snacks to keep you energized on hikes and overnights this summer

Food and snack ideas when you find yourself wondering what to bring hiking on your favorite trail

Special to the Daily
Special to the Free Press |

Make-your-own granola

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup of sesame oil

1/4 cup flaked almonds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1 to 2 mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix ingredients together, and spread out on a large baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy as a snack dry or with milk or yogurt and fruit. Makes 5 to 7 servings.

On-the-trail snacks for your backpack

Trail mix

2 cups Golden Temple strawberry vanilla hemp granola

1 cup raw macadamia nuts or cashews

1 serving sliced dried mangos or diced dried papaya

1 cup cacao nibs

Homemade energy sandwich

Dave’s Killer Bread, Powerseed organic bread

365 Everyday Value Pollinator Friendly Almond Butter

Homemade jelly

Probar: vegan, organic and non-GMO energy “meal replacement” bars

Honey Stingers: organic energy chews and organic waffles

Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale

When it comes to hiking food, long gone are the days of Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, or “GORP” — the name generations of hikers have known as the traditional — on-the-trail snack. Trail mix is still an outdoorsy go-to, but, over many years and even more miles, it’s gotten a lot more gourmet.

The food you choose while hiking and backpacking in Colorado needs to keep you fueled while you move, especially if you plan to keep going and going and going.

“I look for high nutritional value mixed with low sugar content,” said Tylor Berreth, grocery team member at Whole Foods Market in Frisco. “I also look for a lot of protein, especially for long hikes, because that always helps to keep me sustained throughout the day.”

There’s a reason why GORP was so popular for so long: The combination of fat (from peanuts) and sugar and carbs (from the raisins) are a match made in hiking food heaven for keeping the body’s blood sugar even, while providing handfuls of calories through the continuous movement of your favorite Colorado hikes, stride after stride, from each water break to the next.

Berreth’s more modern version of trail mix is inspired from the bulk section of Whole Foods, where a little grain (granola), some nuts and dried fruit are topped off with a touch of sweet.

“Something that I like to do is go to the bulk section,” Berreth said. “That’s where there is a wide variety of mixes and additions for trail mix.”

Find a base granola that you like, or make your own, and create your own gourmet grab bag from there.

Unwrap a fast meal

Energy bars and simple sandwiches can be great for fueling amidst the mileage. Try Probars, which hold a meal-amount of nutrition in just one package.

Honey Stinger makes organic energy chews to help you when hiking upward, and they make organic packaged waffles that taste more like a cookie than most energy-filled options.

“Another snack I like to bring are dehydrated kale chips,” Berreth said. “I love to have those for a salty and crunchy snack while I am hiking.”

When it comes to hiking food, snacks are great, but larger portions like sandwiches are vital for all-day energy. Try a rendition of the traditional peanut butter and jelly (which actually creates a complete protein), with hearty seeded bread, a peanut or almond butter and some honey or jelly. Add sliced banana for that extra bit of yum.

Originally published in the July 2, 2015 issue of the Summit Daily and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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