One point you’ll see me repeat in my posts is how important it is to stay properly fueled and hydrated before, during, and after an adventure outing. Keeping your body fueled before it runs out of energy makes all the difference on how you’ll perform and feel during and after your outing, whatever it may be.
Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and requires different types and amounts of food for optimal energy. The Plant-Based Cyclist is a great reference if you want to read in depth about how much fat, protein, and carbs our bodies typically require and how they are stored.
Over the years I’ve done a lot of experimenting with store-bought and homemade snacks for mountain adventures and have found a good formula that works for me. First off, I’ve cut out foods that irritate my stomach - dairy, sugar, and heavily processed foods. Why? The digestive system is directly linked to the mind. The foods we eat not only affect our physical health but influence our energy levels as well as mental and emotional health - all areas we want to be at their best for an outing. Check out Emeran Mayer’s The Mind-Gut Connection for more on that topic - one of my favorite reads of the year! Second, I look to reduce waste through packaging by buying snacks with eco-friendlier packaging and trying out homemade snacks.
Here are some of my go-to recipes for mountain adventure snacks that keep me feeling great and energized while out and exploring!
Olive Oil, Maple, Pecan Granola
Adapted slightly from A Sweet Spoonful
This is that kind of life-changing granola that you will want to share with the world. It's the kind you'll want your home to smell like hours after baking and the kind you'll fall into a snacking spiral with. It's great on porridge, a smoothie, or in handfuls while adventuring (or while waiting for it to cool).
- 3 cups (240 grams) oats
- 1 cup (125 grams) raw pecan halves
- 3/4 cup (52 grams) sliced, raw almonds
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup (35 grams) unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup (35 grams) sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup (100 grams) dried unsweetened cherries
- 3/4 cup (255 grams) maple syrup
- 1/2 (65 grams) cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Mix everything, except for the cherries, together in a bowl and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake at 300 F (148 C) in a standard oven or 275 F (135 C) in a convection oven for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when the granola is golden brown and your kitchen smells ridiculously delicious. Stir in the cherries and let cool - though I can never wait that long before sneaking a few - let's be real, a lot of - bites!
Adapted slightly from Gimme Some Oven
Energy balls are all the rage these days. I found this recipe a couple years back and have been hooked ever since! Feel free to play around with different nut and dried fruit combinations to make it your own.
- 1 cup (80 grams) oats
- 2/3 cup (66 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) unsweetened pure nut butter (I like to use peanut or almond)
- 1/2 cup (75 grams) ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup (85 grams) chocolate chips of choice (I chop up bits of a 100% chocolate bar)
- 1/3 cup (112 grams) honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Mix everything together in a big bowl. Once you’ve got a homogenous mixture, scoop with a spoon and form into balls with your hands. I make mine bigger than bite sized but just go with what works for you. Store in the fridge in a container with a lid until ready to eat / between bites...
I love taking these along when I go climbing for in between routes or while hiking. They also just make a really yummy snack at home!
Rice Cake & Nut Butter Sandwich
Take two rice cakes and spread nut butter between like a sandwich. Then wrap in a reusable wrapper. This is a great light-weight power snack for cycling or hiking!