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5 Easy Trail Snack Recipes

When exploring our local trails in the Northern Nevada area, its easy to burn through your natural fuel and you may feel your tummy begin to rumble. What better way to end that hunger than an easy homemade snack? In this blog I will be sharing recipes that are simple, cost efficient, and customizable.


Hikers need to eat around twice as many calories than normal. Physical activity has the power to drain people's energy levels. Taking high protein snacks, carbohydrates, and vitamins is crucial for maintaining enough energy to continue staying on the trails. I’m sure you are bound to like one of these 5 recipes. Here they are:


1. Coffee Lovers Here: Expresso Date Balls


Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, almonds, or nut of choice (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter

  • 2 tsp. espresso powder

  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup


Preparation: 

Add all ingredients except cacao nibs and maple syrup to a food processor. Blend on high for 1 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Once the mixture is starting to look like fine crumbs, add cacao nibs and maple syrup. Blend for another minute, until the whole mixture starts to feel cohesive. You can keep blending if you prefer your energy balls with a smoother consistency, or stop here if you like them a little crunchier. Roll the dough into 1 to 2 Tbsp.-size balls and place on a plate or baking sheet so that none are touching. Put energy balls in the freezer for at least an hour, then remove them from the baking sheet and store in a sealed container in the freezer. Pluck them out as needed and pack them in a sealed bag for the trail.


2. Sweet & Spicy, We Got It! Chipotle Lime Banana Chips


Ingredients: 

  • 2 bananas, ripe but still firm

  • 1 lime

  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder

  • 1 tsp. Salt


Preparation: 

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Slice bananas into /-inch-thick rounds and toss with juice from the lime. Arrange on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet (do not use foil, bananas will stick). Combine chili powder and salt in a small bowl, then sprinkle over bananas (you might not use all of the mixture). Bake for one hour (or dehydrate at 135° for 8 to 10 hours), then flip the banana slices. Bake for at least another 30 to 45 minutes for a softer texture, or up to 1 hour for crispier chips. The banana slices will be pliable right out of the oven but will harden as they cool. Store in a zip-top bag.


3. Want to Eat Your Veggies? Crunchy Edamame


Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame

  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce

  • ½ tsp. salt


Preparation: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss frozen edamame (no need to thaw) with soy sauce and salt in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 60 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Let cool and store in a zip-top bag.


4. Let’s Get Nutty With Homemade Granola Bars


Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 3/4 c. pecan halves, chopped

  • 1/2 c. raw pepitas

  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 c. honey

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 large egg white

  • 1/2 c. dried apricots, chopped into small pieces

  • 1/2 c. freeze-dried strawberries, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 c. craisins


Preparation: 

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and grease parchment. 

Step 2

Combine oats, pecans, pepitas, and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread into an evenly layer and bake until lightly toasted, stirring halfway through, about 15 minutes. 

Step 3:

Reduce the oven to 300°. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and brown sugar, until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Add honey, vanilla, and salt and whisk until well combined and brown sugar is dissolved. Add egg white and stir vigorously until fully combined. 

Step 4:

Scrape the toasted oat mixture into a bowl with melted butter mixture. Fold in apricot, strawberries, and craisins. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking pan. Using a spoon, press the top of granola bars to a slightly compact mixture and create a more even top. 

Step 5:

Bake until light golden, 27 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely. 

Step 6:

Remove cooled granola bars from the pan using the parchment overhang, then slice into bars.


5. Do you ever miss your childhood snacks? Try an easy to make trail mix.


Ingredients:

(All optional):

  • Seeds - Chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.

  • Dried fruit - Cranberries, raisins, apricots, banana chips, apples, guava, mango, or ginger.

  • Cereal - Choose a crunchy cereal that fits your dietary needs. 

  • Pretzels - Use mini, regular, or sticks. Gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free crackers work here too.

  • Chocolate - You can choose from semi-sweet, dark, or white chocolate chips. Gems, chunks, or even mini chips!


Preparation: 

  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Gently stir it with a wooden spoon.

  2. Transfer homemade trail mix to an airtight container or ziplock bag. Best eaten within one week.


The fun thing about cooking in the kitchen is you have the ability to add or take out whatever you want. Do something spontaneous with the recipes above. Exchange ingredients for your favorites or take something out that you do not enjoy eating. The decision is all yours. 


These are a few of the many few snacks that can keep you fueled all day on the trails. Making sure to be appropriately fueled is an essential part of all physical activities. Maybe one of these snacks is not of interest to you but has sparked you to start the search for a recipe that has one of your favorite snacks incorporated in. Enjoy!


Now that you've got some trail snack ideas, how about joining a guided challenge to help you get out on the trails this summer and meet a community of local hikers? Click here for more information on the Truckee Meadows Trails Challenge!

 

About the Author


Nyaabila is a Youth Recreation Leader for the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. Working with kids has always been a passion. He is excited to serve for TMPF through AmeriCorps. For around 10 years he has been coaching and refereeing youth basketball. In the Spring he will graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno with a double major in Sociology and Psychology. Nyaabila is Battle Born. Throughout his life, he’s lived in Nevada, Canada, Washington, California, and two years overseas. He highly enjoys traveling, the outdoors, flying drones, and playing basketball in his spare time.

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