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Healthy hiking food

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Healthy eats on the trail

Though hiking all day up mountains and through brush is a hardcore calorie-shredding adventure, many summer hikes are far less strenuous and don’t require calorie-dense sustenance to fuel your trek. If you eat trail mix by the giant handful or stop for a nutrition bar break frequently along the way, there is a great chance you’ll consume most of your day’s calories before you even get back down the hill. The following healthy, lower-calorie nibbles are your best bet to take on the trail.

Couple hiking and eating

Healthy hiking recipes

Wild Berry and Nut Butter Sandwich

Serves 2

The delicious beauty of hiking is finding bushes burgeoning with wild raspberries, huckleberries, blackberries and other juicy little gems. Layer them in a sandwich with your favorite nut butter and you've got the best rendition of PB&J ever made!

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 individual-sized packets of almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 handfuls of wild berries

Directions:

  1. Spread 2 slices of bread with almond butter.
  2. Arrange wild berries on almond butter and smash with a fork or your fingers. Top with remaining slices of bread and enjoy.

Wild Dandelion Greens and Egg Salad Wrap

Serves 2

Wild dandelion greens are readily available along most trails, offering a low-calorie, nutrient-rich nibble. Hard-cooked eggs pack easy and are an excellent source of quality protein. Pick up a few extra mayonnaise and mustard packets at your local deli and keep them in your fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, chopped
  • 2 bunches of dandelion greens, chopped
  • 1 mayonnaise packet
  • 1 mustard packet
  • Salt and pepper, if available
  • 2 small whole grain tortillas

Directions:

  1. In a zip-close plastic bag, combine eggs, greens, mayonnaise and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, if using
  2. Divide mixture between tortillas and wrap up burrito style to serve

Lower-calorie Trail Mix

Makes 3 cups

Trail mix is a perfect snack. It's a tasty balance of carbs, protein and fat, and it's easy to transport and tasty to eat. To lighten your trail mix calorie load, make your own lower-calorie combination of whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup puffed brown rice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, pistachios or other nut of your choice
  • 3/4 cup dried blueberries, currants, acai berries or other fruit of your choice
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (omit if hiking on a hot day; they melt)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a zip-close plastic bag.

Fruits and vegetables

The ultimate low-calorie hiking fare is fresh fruits and vegetables. Nutrient-packed and filling, they are a refreshing change from processed ingredients condensed into an often-unpalatable nutrition bar. Fresh produce offers variety of tastes and textures that can keep you healthfully fueled no matter the distance of your trek. Pack a small container of low-fat dressing or yogurt for delicious dipping.

Vegetables: Baby carrots, celery sticks, slices of jicama, radishes, cucumber slices and lightly steamed broccoli or cauliflower will satisfy your craving for a crunch.

Fruits: Grapes, cherries, bananas, apples, clementines, apricots, plums and other stone fruit offer a burst of natural sweetness that beats candy bar sugar any day. If you're lucky, you can also nosh on wild berries along the way.

 

More hiking and camping recipes

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