Recipe Round-Up: Top 5 Hiking Snacks
Pack your bags and hit the trail!
We asked the wisest foodies in our Merrell ‘Pack’ to share their yummiest hiking-snack secrets, because they always carry a fully-stocked pack when out on the trail. So, pick your favourite bar (or two!) and get baking. Then pack your bags and hit that trail!
From Rebecca Dent, a high-performance dietitian.
1. DARK CHOCOLATE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH BROWNIES
Recipe from Rebecca Dent, a high-performance dietitian and nutritionist who has worked closely with elite and Olympic-level athletes.
These brownies are made with natural ingredients and provide a fuel source from carbohydrate and fats. This makes the brownie an ideal snack for during long days out walking/trekking.
Makes 8 large brownies.
• 400g Butternut squash
• 100g Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa
• 4 Medium eggs
• 40g honey
• 100g good quality cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons of coconut flour
• 2tsp of baking powder
1) Pre heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm square brownie tin with baking powder. Put the butternut squash into a small heatproof bowl and splash over a little water.
2) Cover in cling film and microwave on high for 8-10minutes. If you do not have a microwave, boil the butternut squash until soft and mashable with a fork. The squash should be soft and cut like butter.
3) Drain away any excess water, then add the chopped chocolate to the bowl and stir to combine. The residual heat of the squash will melt the chocolate. Using a hand held blender, whizz the mixture to a puree and set aside.
4) Crack the eggs into a large bowl and using an electric hand mixer whisk, fold through the cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Then fold in the honey.
5) Fold in the chocolate squash puree, then transfer to the tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the brownies have set. Remove and allow to cool in the tin for at least half an hour.
2. SEED TRAIL BARS
Recipe from Hannah Richards, a nutrition & lifestyle coach plus a director of a Holistic Health Clinic.
This recipe was made after some trials and tribulations in the kitchen and lots of tasting before perfection was born! What I love about this trail bar is that it satisfies you so you get your energy hit and you’re done! This seed filled recipe makes loads so you can freeze them or give them to friends.
Makes about 16 bars
• 1 cup pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup dried desiccated coconut
• 1/2 cup sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
• 4 tbs chia seeds
• 2 tbsp bee pollen (optional)
• 20 fresh medjool dates, pitted
• 6 tbsp coconut oil, room temperature
• 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
• 1 whole vanilla bean, cut into pieces (including the pod) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 6 tbsp gluten free oats
• 2 tbsp poppy seeds
1) Pulse all the dry ingredients together in a food blender. Keep the consistency a little crunchy so you don’t over process. Once whizzed up pour into a bowl and set aside.
2) Add half of the dates and the rest of the wet ingredients to the blender. Blend for approximately 30 seconds. As the machine is still blending add the rest of the dates one by one into the mix. Things may get a little stuck so switch off occasionally and stir the ingredients around with a wooden spoon. If it looks too dry add some filtered water – just a splash.
3) Next add the gluten free oats and the poppy seeds to the dry mix and the wet mix and start mixing everything together with your hands. Press the mixture into a 11 x 7 inch baking dish and put in the fridge for 30 mins. Make sure all the edges are filled and it is tightly compact.
4) Pull out of the fridge and cut into bars. You can wrap them in baking paper and store them in a container in the pantry / fridge. They will keep for longer in the fridge up to 5-6 days.
3. CHEWY CHOCOLATE FRUIT BARS
Recipe from Jennifer Mackenzie, a food writer, recipe developer and culinary consultant who co-authored “The Complete Trail Food Cookbook”.
When working on recipes for “The Complete Trail Food Cookbook”, I was determined to create a chocolaty treat that didn’t require refrigeration. These are more like a candy, and you only need a small piece to get that sweet chocolate and carbohydrate kick.
Makes 24 bars
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup instant skim milk powder
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 tbsp water
• 1/4 cup corn syrup or agave syrup
• 1/4 cup butter, cut into cubes
• 1 cup chopped dried fruit
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1) Line an 8-inch square metal cake pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang
2) In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, milk powder and cocoa powder. Whisk in water, syrup and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat.
3) Stir in fruit and vanilla until evenly coated. Stir in graham crumbs and pour into prepared pan. Using a greased heatproof spatula, press firmly into pan. Let cool in pan on a wire rack until firm.
4) Using paper overhang as handles, remove from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars, dipping knife in hot water and wiping dry between cuts as necessary. Store in an airtight container or wrapped individually at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
– For some variation, add 1/2 cup finely chopped or ground peanuts with the graham crumbs.
4. DATE & COCONUT NO-COOK ENERGY BALLS
Recipe from Kate Percy, an athlete, cook and author of various healthy-eating cookbooks including “Go Faster Food”, “FuelSmart for Race Day” and “Go Faster Food for Kids”.
Packed with natural sugar, dates are a great source of vitamin B6, fibre, and important minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium and manganese, which, combined with sustaining oats and coconut, will strengthen the immune system and help replace depleted glycogen and electrolyte stores to boost and maintain energy levels during prolonged periods of activity. Perfect for a day on the trail!
Makes about 20 balls
• 80g jumbo mixed raisins
• 20g desiccated coconut plus 2 tbsp to coat
• 120g dates
• 20g porridge oats
• A few drops coconut oil
1) Place the dates and raisins in a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to stick together. Add the coconut, oats and coconut oil and give the mix a quick blast to combine.
2)Take small handfuls of mixture, about 12g each, and roll into balls in the palm of your hands.
3) Spoon 2 tbsp desiccated coconut into a bowl and then toss the balls in the mix to cover completely.
4) These will keep for a couple of weeks, stored in a plastic bag or airtight container.
5. HOMEMADE ENERGY BARS
Recipe from Jessica Scott, a nutritional therapist, chef and founder of TheNutritionKitchen.co.uk, a site specialising in healthy recipes and nutritional tips.
Looking for the perfect high-endurance energy bar recipe? Something that’s easy to make and free from sugar & glucose syrup? The combination of the slow release oats, protein from the nuts, seeds and Medjool dates in these chewy peanut and chia seed bars gives you a strong boost of energy while balancing blood sugars. This means you avoid the post-snack sugar crash.
Makes 12-14 bars
• 2 cups Oats (Gluten free if needed)
• 1 cup plain peanuts roughly chopped (not salted or roasted)
• 1 cup Seeds (pumpkin & sunflower)
• 1/2 cup Coconut flakes
• 2 Tbsp Chia seeds
• 1/2 cup water
• 10 medjool dates (chopped)
• 1/4 cup Coconut oil
• 1/3 cup Maple syrup or (rice syrup/ honey)
• 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
• 2 Ripe bananas
1) Preheat oven to 356 degrees Fahrenheit
2) Spread oats, seeds and coconut on a baking tray
3) Place in oven for 15 minutes to lightly brown, stirring regularly. Be careful not to let the coconut burn. When ready, place in large bowl and add chopped peanuts.
4) Meanwhile put the Chia seeds and 1/4 cup water in a bowl and set aside.
5) Place the chopped dates, coconut oil, 1/4 cup water and the maple syrup in a saucepan.
6) Gently heat until the oil is melted and the dates have softened. Then, add to the bowl with the chia seeds.
7) Place the bananas and almond butter in blender until smooth, feel free to add a little of the date liquid if you need to.
8) When smooth, add the banana mixture to the chia seed and date bowl and mix together with 1/2 tsp sea salt.
9) Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
10) Pour the mixture into a lined baking tin and spread with the back of a spoon until it is evenly dispersed and compacted.
11) Turn down the oven to 338 degrees and cook in the center of oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on top.
12) Allow to cool, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes before cutting. This will make them hold better.
13) Cut into rectangular bars or squares depending on preference and they are ready to eat.
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