Get the proper and natural fuel you need to go the extra distance by mixing up your own trail mix. GORP (good ol’raisins and peanuts) has been a staple of backcountry gourmet for years, but lets face it—it’s boring. Raisins and peanuts are great power foods that provide protein for energy and vitamins to keep you going, however, there are plenty of other nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, you can add to the mix giving your trail fuel an extra kick of flavor and nutrients.
Unfortunately, many premixed and packaged trail mixes are either high in sugar or high in salt negating their intended nutritional value. Luckily, more and more grocers are making individual bulk nuts and dried fruits available with varying degrees of flavor additives so that you can choose between candied or raw nuts and fruits, which may be in bins right next to one another. By mixing your own the amount of each you select is completely up to you and cost efficient too.
Some salt and sugar isn’t all bad, they’re actually essential electrolytes, some backcountry athletes just prefer more or less than others, and you should be able to fix your mix to your preference and taste. Dark chocolate is a great antioxidant and carob is a sweet alternative that adds zest without all the extras.
Most of all, we want a lightweight supplement with the highest effect. Here’s a mix I enjoy that’s not only flavorful but pack with protein and nutrients that will keep your engine roaring to go the distance.
These little pods of essential vitamins and minerals are known to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Almonds have the ability to raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol making them a great heart healthy snack. They’re also packed with the protein you need to create energy for that long trek ahead.
Cashews are another commonly found nut packed with nutrients needed during high endurance activities. And like Almonds, they’re rich in protein that will add a boost with extra flavor.
Peanuts like many nuts are high in protein and fat, but good fat, which the body uses to transfer into go power. They’re also a great antioxidant and full of vitamins.
These flavorful nuts add a great taste that will keep you digging into your mix while also acting as an antioxidant and raising HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol. Much like the other nuts in this power mix they are also high in protein.
Sunflower seeds, though small, have the ability to regulate metabolism, which means more burning power and energy release to the body. They also contribute an additional savory flavor to enjoy as you take in the scenery.
Dried Blueberries/ Raisins:
Dried berries like raisins and blueberries add a natural sweet antioxidant kick to contrast the savory flavors of this nutty mix. You can even take the sweetness to the next level by adding dark chocolate cover blueberries or raisins for an extra punch of native sugars. After all we go into the wilderness to enjoy, why not enjoy the foods we eat too?
Mix all of these to your liking in a zip bag and keep it somewhere easily accessible to enjoy along the trail. I like to keep smaller bags in the pouch on the waist belt of my pack so I can enjoy these power foods even as I trek along the trail.
Eat Well, Feel Great, and Enjoy the Adventure!