When I'm planning on hiking my way through the weekend, I've got one thing on my mind - SNACKS. Sure, I've packed up all my gear, but I know that if I'm going to make it out on the trails, I'm going to need some darn good food. Here's my go-to list:
Granola is truly the hidden gem of all snacks. There are so many mixture options that it never gets boring. I've always got some granola on me, because 1) it's DELICIOUS and 2) it's a pretty good source of protein, fiber and iron. You can go the store-bought route or make it yourself. Personally, it just depends on what mood I'm in, but I do love this recipe, because it tells you how to make it clumpy or not-so-clumpy, depending on what you like (I'm a clump gal, myself).
Banana & Peanut Butter
I'm a firm believer that adding peanut butter to anything makes it 100x more scrumptious, so it's just an added bonus that it's a great source of protein. I usually pack one banana, a whole (mini) jar of peanut butter, and a reusable spoon. Bite by bite, I put a little spoonful of PB on my banana (high in potassium = great for sore muscles), and when I'm done, I eat a couple extra spoonfuls of PB for good measure.
Can we all just agree that warm, mushy grapes are the absolute worst? I love grapes, but when I'm hiking, by the time I'm ready to eat them, they are way, way above ideal temperature. So, I started freezing them the night before. Now, when I'm ready to eat them, they're just the right about of thawed out and still pack a great crunch.
I'm assuming trail mix got its name because it's the perfect hiking snack. Like granola, there are so many different mixtures that you really can't go wrong. And just like granola, you can buy some or make it yourself. I love this trail mix, because, of course, it tastes good, but it also taught me how to pop quinoa (less cool than popcorn but more cool than literally anything else).
Red bell peppers are one of my favorite snacks in the whole wide world. Slice a couple of these bad boys up and bring them along for a delicious and hydrating (but most importantly, delicious) snack. Bonus: if you're planning on eating them pretty early in the day, bring along some hummus to give you a little extra protein too.
Lots of people say that salty snacks like this aren't good for hiking because they'll dehydrate you. But my dietitian friend says that salt actually helps replenish your electrolytes, so having a few pretzels while hiking is actually good for you. And I definitely believe her - she has a master's. Of course, eating a bunch will dehydrate you in the long run because, well, salt. But you should be eating some to retain those good nutrients.
To be completely transparent, I can't stand eggs, so this is a suggestion from someone else. Apparently, pre-peeled, hard-boiled eggs make a great hiking snack. They are high in protein and the good fats, so it does make sense that they'd be the go-to when you want a super light snack to keep you going.
No nutritional value here. Sometimes you just need a little sugar, and fruit snacks are my favorite way to get some.
Those are my picks! But, like I said, snacks are very important to me, so drop your suggestions. I'm always down to try something new.