Text by: Agata Ryszkowska
Most of us probably have already figured out the most favourite snacks to munch on while we’re deep in nature. But… are they healthy? Do they really give us energy? Or maybe they just fill up our stomaches without nutrition our bodies? There’s nothing bad in crisps and chocolate if you have a balanced diet. But when you’re far away from your couch and Netflix, it’s much smarter to think through your menu. Our bodies burn a lot more energy when we’re out hiking but it doesn’t mean we should shove empty calories in our mouth. I’m sharing with you some of my go-to meals and snacks that have never failed me when I’m on adventure. Let’s treat ourselves with love and fuel our bodies so we can rock those mountains!
- Energy bars – These are available basically at any store. Not all of them are healthy, so always remember to check if they have any added sugar or excess oil. Most of them usually contain dried dates, nuts, protein and so-called ‘superfoods’, for example chia seeds or goji berries. They’re perfect while you’re going up that hill and you need extra hit of energy! Make sure though that the protein is veggie obtained.
- Trail mix – A mix that consists of various kinds of nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. You know it’s good for you! Nuts are full of good fats, dried fruit contain natural sugars and chocolate… well, I don’t have to persuade anyone that chocolate is good for you, right? 😉
- Dried fruit – Mango. Banana. Papaya. Just keep them in your jacket pocket so they’re always ready to munch on! *whispers* The won’t last long though…
- Fresh fruit – Just any fruit that you like. It could be a banana, it could be strawberries. For extra energy just smear peanut butter on them and you’re good to go. It’s great to snack on things that are full of energy and protein but don’t forget to go easy with your stomach and eat something lighter.
- Hummus and veggies – I LOVE this snack. If you don’t like some veggies, just dip them in hummus and you’ll like them right away. For me it’s carrot! And again, this snack balances out your whole hiking menu with vitamins, fiber and protein. It’s always best to make your own hummus but store-bought will do well, as long as its ingredients are natural and good for your body. It works with crackes perfectly as well!
- Banana bread with PB&J – this snack is on the less healthy side but it’s heavenly. There’s nothing better than homemade banana bread with peanut butter and jam on top. Just try it and thank me later.
- Overnight oats – It’s so easy and needs almost 0% effort. Just mix oats with a vegan youghurt or milk, leave it overnight and you’re all set in the morning. It usually comes out quite thick so don’t hesitate to add more liquid in the morning. Top it with fresh fruit, peanut butter and thank yourself later!
- Chia pudding – It’s an alternative for the oats. Do the same with chia seeds, it’s going to soak up all the fluid and create a pudding texture! It goes really well with some sort of forest fruit jam, just make sure it doesn’t contain gelatin.
- Carbs – Just like many would say, carbs are life. Well, they are, as long as they’re whole grain. I’d suggest eating them for lunch/dinner or even breakfast, if you don’t like it sweet.
- Lyophilized food – Dry food? You mean like instant soups or other meals? Not exactly. Lyophilized food is made thanks to a technique called freeze-drying. It basically consists of freezing the product, then lowering the pressure and finally removing the ice by sublimation. Thanks to that the original texture is maintained as well as the quality. It’s very light so it’s commonly used by astronauts, military personnel and hikers. And you can be one of them! You can easily have a meal ready withing a couple of minutes, all you have to do is to boil it with fresh water. You can do it either on a camping stove or bring it on a hike in food thermos. It works perfectly when you’re going on a longer hike, where access to fresh food is limited and you still need that fuel. Finding vegan option can be tricky, but I recently found a wonderful Canadian company that provides fully plant-based meals that is nutritious and is made with care towards the environment. What else could you ask for? 🙂
Preparing food for a road trip or hike is depends on personal preferences and the kind of hike itself. These are my favourite options of snacks and meals and you should treat them just as ideas – don’t hesitate to modify them for you own liking. It proves though that eating vegan while being in the nature is not that hard after all and there’s barely any excuse to do different. Just remember to check the ingredients, as milk powders or other animal products like to sneak in. Enjoy your hike!