On any adventure trip, you can be sure of one thing - you're going to need some extra snacks to compensate for all that energy you're putting out. There is now a huge market for high energy bars - Power Bars, Clif Bars, Luna Bars etc. But not only are they expensive, if you read the ingredients for most of them, you might reach the conclusion they are candy bars with extra vitamins and sometimes protein. So here are three lower cost healthier alternatives.
1. Trail mix. Don't buy already made trail mix as you just end up paying a lot for peantuts and raisins. Instad, make your own. My favorite place is Trader Joe's, where I buy bags of dried fruits (mixed fruit, cherries, cranberries, raisins) and nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts). A sure-fired treat are their honey sesame coated cashews and cinnamon almonds. Then I add a bag of M&Ms. If there isn't a Trader Joe's, I use the same approach in a grocery store. Yum!
2. Homemade Power Balls
1 cup peanut butter
.75 - 1 cup honey
3 cups old fashioned oats (but not steel cut)
.5 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup combination of nuts and soft dried fruit (I like .5 cup chopped walnuts and peanuts and then .25 dried cranberries and raisins)
Mix together peanut butter and honey until smooth. Gradually add in the oats and flaxseed. Add the chocolate chips, nuts and dried fruit and mix together in a mixer or mash them all together by hand. Roll into Ping-Pong-size balls. You can eat them right away, but they'll be less sticky after a night in the fridge. If you've made them for an extended trip, pack them in a plastic sandwich box to keep them from getting smashed.
3. Bagels and peanut butter
When your time to shop and/or prepare is limited, bagels and peanut butter are an easy alternative. Both are durable in your daypack and don't go bad. Together they supply protein, fats and carbs; and you just tear off what you want.
But this post would not be complete without one of my favorites - bite size Snickers bars! They are my favorite way to celebrate getting to the top of something tall, and just knowing that I'll have one keeps me going. Yum!!