4 Nutrient-Rich Recipes for Trail Blazers: Essential Summer Hiking Nutrition Guide
There’s something magical about hiking in the summer: the sun-kissed trails, beautiful landscapes, and the fresh air. As you get ready to lace up your boots and hit the outdoors, don’t forget an essential ingredient for a successful hike: proper nutrition.
Your body needs fuel to get going, reduce fatigue, and make the journey enjoyable. If you are wondering what to eat and drink while hiking in summer, this article is for you. Read on to learn summer hiking nutrition tips, healthy recipes and the best hiking foods or snacks to give you energy and aid in post hiking recovery.
Summer Hiking Nutrition Tips
As you prepare to enjoy the adventure and make memories that last a lifetime, you should ensure your body is ready for adventure. Here are essential summer hiking nutrition tips.
Your body needs sufficient water to replenish what you have lost due to sweating, particularly in the summer heat. Proper hydration also boosts your performance and endurance on the trail. Start by increasing your water intake in the days leading into the hike. Then, drink sufficient water to kick start the day of the hike, carry more in a reusable bottle and drink regularly during the hike to prevent dehydration.
Hiking in the summer can also interfere with your electrolyte balance.1 You lose key electrolytes like sodium and potassium due to excessive sweating. Add electrolyte tablets or powders to your water or carry drinks rich in electrolytes, such as coconut water or sports drinks.
Eat healthy meals
Hiking is an endurance sport, and you need plenty of energy to complete the trail. Healthy meals enhance your endurance and overall performance during the hike and minimize sore muscles. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast that contains whole grains (carbohydrates), lean proteins and healthy fats to give you sustained energy as you start the hike.
Prioritize nutrient dense foods during the hike to give you energy and aid in post hiking recovery. The best foods to eat while hiking include protein rich meals, such as: chicken, fish, and beans (after the hike to boost muscle recovery). Healthy carbs include sweet potatoes, quinoa, or whole grain bread. Add healthy fats from avocado and nuts to your breakfast to promote satiety and in your post hike meals to reduce inflammation.
Here are some healthy freeze dried foods and instant beans that you can eat from the pack:
- Dehydrated garbanzo beans
- Dehydrated kidney beans
- Organic dried sweet potatoes
- Freeze dried broccoli
Carry healthy snacks
As you move along the trails, snacks will come in handy as they boost energy and keep hunger at bay. So what snacks are good for hiking? Choose lightweight snacks that can fit in your pack.. Ensure they contain a good balance of carbs, proteins, and fats: such as freeze dried fruits, energy bars, nuts, and seeds. Snacks made of complex carbs (whole grain crackers) give you sustained energy because they release energy slowly. Include protein rich snacks (yogurt or protein bars) to boost your protein intake and muscle recovery. Avoid sugary snacks because they will lead to an energy crash during the hike.
Here are some freeze dried fruits that you can carry with you:
- Freeze dried banana
- Freeze dried peach dices
- Freeze dried apples
- Freeze dried mangos
- Freeze dried strawberries
Get adequate rest
Aside from nutrition, sleep is also essential for pre-hike performance and post workout recovery. Getting sufficient rest helps muscle recovery, optimal performance, and healing after hiking.
Summer Hiking Nutrition: 4 Healthy Recipes You Should Try
Now, let's get to the best part - the healthy recipes. Here are 4 healthy recipes to consider when choosing the best foods to eat while hiking.
Chocolate Granola with a Touch of Raspberry2
Granola is one of the best foods for hiking in the heat. Carry it with you for a quick boost of energy on the trail.Ingredients
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped nuts
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- A pinch of salt to taste
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 4 tablespoons milk powder
- 1 cup organic crunchy raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine the rolled oats, nuts, cocoa powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt in a large mixing bowl until everything is evenly coated.
- Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the coconut, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
- Take the granola out of the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Divide the granola among four ziploc bags. Add 1 tablespoon of powdered milk and freeze dried raspberries to each bag.
- While on the trail, add ½ cup of hot or cold water to 1 bag. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Balls3
These no-bake homemade peanut butter balls are delicious and healthy and need 5 ingredients.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup unsalted peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup freeze dried cranberries
- A pinch of salt
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients until well combined. Then, chill for about 15 minutes to make it easier to roll into balls.
- Using a spatula, scoop a small amount of the mixture at a time and roll it into balls. If the mixture becomes too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. If it is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of oats at a time until it is easy to roll.
- You can prepare in advance and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Healthy Banana Oat Muffins4
These sugar-free muffins are nutritious and filling. They are rich in protein and have a crunchy taste and fruity flavor. They are easy to prepare in advance and pack for the hiking adventure.Ingredients:
- 2 cups freeze dried cauliflower pearls
- 1 cup freeze dried banana
- 1 cup freeze dried blueberries
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed powder
- 1/3 cup almond butter (smooth)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- ¼ tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups and set aside.
- Transfer the cauliflower pearls to the food processor and blend until you get a rice-like texture. Mix the cauliflower rice with water in a microwave safe bowl. Warm in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until tender and slightly translucent.
- Mash the riced cauliflower and bananas together in a large mixing bowl until the banana is smooth and the cauliflower has been broken into even smaller pieces.
- Mix the almond butter, milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup in a mixing bowl. Stir in the oats, walnuts, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Gently fold in the blueberries until evenly distributed. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 35 minutes, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin.
High Protein Brownies5
Chocolate brownies are a big hit, particularly this one, because they are nutritious and high in protein which is good for muscle recovery. So what's the secret ingredient? Kidney beans! Don't worry, nobody will notice.Ingredients
- 2 cups dehydrated kidney beans
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2.5 ounces butter, cut into cubes
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly grease a square baking pan with baking paper.
- Rehydrate the kidney beans and drain the excess water. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until ground to a fine crumbly paste.
- Meanwhile, mix 2/3 of the chocolate with the butter in a mixing bowl and set over a pot with simmering water without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Stir until the chocolate and butter melt.
- Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the food processor and add the eggs. Blend until the mixture is a smooth puree.
- Then, mix in the sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking and level with a table knife. Sprinkle the hazelnuts and the remaining chopped chocolate.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is set and the brownie starts to slowly pull away from the edge of the pan. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking tin. Then remove and cut into squares.
Proper nutrition helps to maintain your energy levels, prevents dehydration, and aids in muscle recovery. Ensure to plan the right hiking foods and snacks in advance. Get the chance to connect with nature this summer and enjoy the breathtaking views and fresh air. These summer hiking nutrition tips will come in handy for you. Grab your hiking boots and enjoy the trails this summer. Click here to explore our freeze dried products you can carry with you on your hiking experience.
- Branden Evans