I’m so happy to be here blog-sitting for Stephinie today, though I am a bit envious of her being in
I am so honored to have a lovely group of friends house-sitting the blog while I am away. Each of them has chosen something summer-ish to share here with you. Do take a moment to say hello to them~
Today I welcome KC of Olive & Owl with a delicious post about trail food!
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Alaska; what an amazing place to be. I’m here today to give you a few tips about snack foods for hiking.
Our family loves to get outside, and living in Southern Arizona we can hike all year round. We are experts at snacks on the go. There’s nothing like making it to the top of a saddle (hiker code for the dip in a mountain pass; looks much like a horse saddle), taking your backpack off, and having something really yummy to snack on and bring up your energy. Now that summer is almost here I imagine many of you in colder climates are finally getting out to explore in nature. If this is your first—or hundredth—time taking your little ones out on a hike I’ve got a few great tips for food to bring, and yummy easy recipe too.
In order to have a successful trip with little ones (or big ones) you want to have lots of water and really good snacks. Here in the desert we often don’t have water sources around when hiking and if we do they are often contaminated with giardia or other not so tummy friendly bugs, so we bring big bottle of water. In the warmer months we’ll freeze a bottle or two so that on the trip back to the car we’ll have cool water to drink instead of insipid broth. We also bring a bottle to leave in the car in case we happen to run out of water on the return trip. Water, water water, I can’t stress the importance of water enough with little ones. Their bodies can get easily dehydrated in hot weather so remind them to drink regularly and stock up! Next are those yummy snacks. The nutritional profile of your snacks is pretty important. I like to stick to something salty, something naturally sweet, and protein: this combination is made portable in the classic “trail mix”. I like to soak and dehydrate our nuts, as it takes away the phytic acid in the nuts and makes them more digestible and easier to chew.
Here’s our families favorite trail mix:
- crispy almonds
- crispy pecans
- dried apricots
- dried cranberries
- dried blueberries
To find your favorite mix, you can buy small amounts of various store mixes (often available in the bulk section), and see what works best. With little ones the balance of deliciousness is important as they lack the capacity to not pick out their favorite item all at once and ignore the rest. To make crispy nuts, simply take a cup of your chosen nut and soak it overnight in water with a teaspoon of salt. The next day in an oven on the lowest setting or in a dehydrator dehydrate the nuts until crispy. If using an oven you might want to crack the door open a bit. As for time, it take s between 8-12 hours depending on how hot your oven is and how humid the air is. It’s not an exact science, and you can skip this step if you are in a hurry. Mix the dried nuts with the fruit in a bowl and transfer to a jar. If you like chocolate but don’t like getting melted chocolate all over you, try adding raw sweetened cocoa nibs: they are really yummy and full of nutrition. Transfer to a mason jar or other sealable container.
Here are a few other things we like to bring along:
- hard-boiled eggs
- date-nut balls
- cut up carrot sticks
- apples, oranges or bananas (something that won’t bruise easily)
- homemade granola bars
A little time in kitchen before a hike will keep all your little adventurers happy when it comes time for munching on the trail. Make sure to bring a bit more than you think you’ll need as little hunger is unpredictable and so you can have some too!
KC shares bits of motherhood, urban homesteading, and creativity at her blog Olive & Owl. She also has some of the cutest kitchen accessories out there in her handmade etsy shop. Swing by and say hello to her…..