Summer’s here and whether you’re about to knock out a sweet 25-miler on your bike, have just finished a quad-busting hike with your friends, or plan to bust out some water-skiing, you need to provide the proper fuel for your body. Lucky for you, and those around your “hangry” self, we’ve got your munchies covered with 7 of the very best, new snacks you need to stock your cooler and fuel your adventures this summer (bonus: they’re a tad off the beaten path...so to speak).
- Before you start out: quality, complex carbs are your friend. We love the idea of making up a big batch of whole-grain waffles or pancakes, with oats and chopped fruit added in. Slap some peanut butter between a couple of them, and you’ve got a balanced breakfast or snack that’s car-driver-friendly and will keep you going ‘til your exhausted trail mates are begging you to stop for lunch. Find a great recipe here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/04/whole-wheat-oatmeal-pancakes/
- Another portable energy dynamo: quesadillas, revamped. Okay, you lovers of cold, leftover pizza – this snack’s for you. The night before your big outing, cook yourself a quesadilla with cheese, turkey, a few tomato slices and spinach leaves, some basil or oregano, or whatever other toppings you like (use a whole wheat tortilla for extra points), pop it in the fridge, and the next day enjoy for breakfast or lunch straight out of the cooler. The beauty of these protein-packed tasties is that you don’t run the risk of having your filling plop on your hiking shorts - the cheese acts as a tasty glue to hold everything in place as you nosh.
- Move over, beef, there’s a new jerky in town. Well, several, actually. For nearly every kind of meat you can imagine, there’s a jerky to be found. The truly ambitious among us can create this delicious, salty treat from scratch, but an ample supply can be found on the shelves of most health-food stores. Try various flavors of jerky made from buffalo, turkey, chicken, or even salmon. Hello, protein!
- Need a pick-me-up mid-trek? We think these little granola-bars-meet-vanilla-latte snacks are a great idea, and are packed with energy-boosting fruit, protein, and carbs, plus a little caffeine to boot (link here: http://awhiskandtwowands.com/espresso-mocha-protein-power-balls/?hc_location=ufi). Sure, it requires some preparation, but no baking required.
- Okay, this one does require baking, but it’s easy. Have you tried crispy roasted chickpeas? A refreshing step away from the tried-and-true handful o’ nuts, these pack protein, healthy carbs, and are downright tasty. Find a simple recipe here http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/spicy-oven-roasted-chickpeas-30368 and then customize to meet your own taste. Like things spicy? Salty? You can even jazz them with curry seasoning if so inclined.
- Pumpkin seeds are chock-full of zinc, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Try roasting them with a little oil and some seasoning (we’re big fans of ranch or barbecue). Find a recipe idea here: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/crunchy-roasted-pepitas.aspx After they’re roasted, put ‘em in a munch-worthy mix with sesame sticks, almonds, and golden raisins.
- One idea for the water bottle: treat yourself mid-day with some iced herbal tea, sweetened with a touch of honey or stevia. Try oolong, green, or fruity herbal varieties. Our favorite for sun-scorched days is peppermint with a couple of orange slices added.
There’s no doubt about it – your summer escapades need food. Our ideas help you to jazz it up a little, while still keeping proper nutrition as a priority. Happy trails, hungry trekker.