As an athlete, sometimes I get tired of the same old trail recipes. You know the ones: hummus, GORP (granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts), granola bars. … And although I love energy gels, and use then quite often, sometimes I need a little bit more substance in my snack. Here are a few ideas I put together to keep it easy, fresh, and wholesome for exercising on the go.
Black Bean Dip
This is a great substitute for hummus and it is packed with protein. The taco seasoning gives it just a subtle flavor without being spicy or hot. The recipe calls for the juice of half a lemon; I like to add the remaining half and a few cucumber slices to some water to infuse in the fridge while I am gone. It makes tasty water to help rehydrate when I get home. You can also use the dip to spread on a wrap with veggies or grilled chicken. It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
1 can black beans (about 15.5 ounces), drained
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
½ teaspoon kosher salt
juice of ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
fresh veggies or wholegrain crackers to eat with the dip
Place all ingredients (except fresh veggies or crackers) in a food processor and blend well (or smash them all together with a potato masher in a bowl by hand). Pack up a serving in a small mason jar or travel dish to take along with you. Makes about 2 cups.
Thai Venison Jerky
My husband is a hunter. We have venison year-round and this is a fun way to use it. If you are not able to get venison on your own, befriend the nearest deer hunter or substitute beef. The meat is easiest to slice thin if it is slightly frozen. If you don’t have a dehydrator there are lots of sites online that tell you how to construct one, or you could just borrow one from a friend (double the recipe and give them some as a thank you). Keep the jerky in an airtight container in a cool dry spot when it is done drying; lasts about 2 months.
1 pound of venison or beef (flank steak), sliced very thin (no thicker than the fattest part of a book of matches)
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
¼ cup Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce*
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)
1 thumb of ginger, peeled (optional)
Whisk together the tamari, Mae Ploy, sesame oil, salt, and maple syrup. If using them, crush the garlic and ginger lightly but keep them whole and add them to the marinade (you’ll need to remove it later before the dehydration process). Add the sliced meat and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator over night, stir it every couple of hours or so if you can (this will help to marinate every piece). Load the racks of a dehydrator and follow the manufactures instructions on drying meat.
*I sometimes find Mae Ploy in the international section of megamarts and always at my local natural foods coop.
Salty Peanut Coconut Chocolate No Bake Cookies
These cookies are reminiscent of GORP, and they’re my favorite childhood cookie. I used a butter substitute and chocolate almond milk because my son does not eat dairy, but butter or regular milk could easily be used. I trimmed out some of the sugar and added in a few whole ingredients to make these trail friendly.
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter/butter substitute
¾ cup chocolate almond milk (or milk/other milk substitute)
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups whole oats
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup whole salted and roasted peanuts
Line two cookie sheets with waxed paper. Mix oats, coconut, and peanuts in a large bowl. Put brown sugar, sugar, cocoa, butter substitute and almond milk in a saucepan, heat to melt. Once melted, boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add peanut butter and vanilla into boiling chocolate, stir to melt. Pour chocolate peanut butter mixture into oat bowl and mix to coat everything. Drop into blobs about 2–3 inches across on waxed paper. Makes about 20 cookies.