Great Snack Ideas For Your Walks

 

Are you one of the many people that resorts to a chocolate bar when your energy starts to wane on a long walk? I have to admit that I used to rely on them (before I found some of the great tasting, and much more interesting, alternatives below). The problem is that chocolate gives you a great energy burst, which is good, but that's followed by a "sugar low",which is bad, and leaves you feeling worse than ever. So, sadly, chocolate is one of the worst things, unless you combine it with something else – sorry to be the bringer of such bad news! Once you’ve tried out some of the recipes though, I think you’ll forgive me.

 

What you're looking for is sustained energy throughout your walk, and the best way to do that is to snack on foods that release their energy slowly - and that particularly means slow release carbs such as whole grains, or protein rich foods like nuts, seeds, or meat. Combining these with some "fast energy" foods such as sugar, dried fruit, or yes, even chocolate, will give you that burst you need to get you over an energy dip, but also a continuous flow of energy without that sugar low we mentioned! That's why combinations such as trail mix and GORP (good old peanuts and raisins) are so effective.

The recipes below combine these ingredients to give you snacks that will keep you going, and are a great change from the cereal-based bars you tend to be able to buy, and much better for you than the chocolate bar. If you don't like sweet stuff, there's a couple of savory choices too. And none of them require fantastic cooking skills!

No Bake Nutty Apple Fingers

Recipes

 

 

1 1/2 cups chopped dried apple

1 cup chopped dried dates

½ tbsp honey

1 tsp mixed spices

¼ cup toasted pecan nuts

¼ cup dried coconut

 

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Divide onto portion sized pieces and roll each portion into a "sausage" shape, then roll in coconut. Individually wrap in cling film (seran wrap) and store in a cool place.

Crunchy Curried Chickpeas

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

 

Preheat oven to 180 C (375 F, has mark 4). Place all ingredients in a bowl together and toss until all chickpeas are well coated. Place the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the chickpeas are crisp (about 1/2 hour).

 

Sesame Nut Bars

8oz/ 200g honey

6oz/150g sesame seeds

1oz/25g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

1oz/25g sunflower seeds

1/4 tsp salt

Tbsp vegetable oil

 

 

Grease and line a 10"x6" (25cmx15cm) baking pan, and set aside. Grease a large skillet with vegetable oil. Add seeds and chopped nuts and cook until toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Heat honey gently in a pan until melted, then pour over the seeds and nuts. Place pan back on moderate heat and cook (without stirring)until honey changes colour to a dark golden brown. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and leave to cool. Once cooled, cut into bars and store in an airtight tin (if stacking them, place grease proof paper between them to prevent sticking).

Beef Jerky

8oz beef steak (sirloin or similar)

 

For the Marinade

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp chilli powder

Ground black pepper

 

Slice meat thinly into long slices (it will be much easier to slice if you part-freeze it first, until ice crystals start to form in it).

Mix all marinade ingredients together, and place meat into marinade, ensuring all pieces are well covered. Leave overnight.

 

Wipe of most of marinade and arrange slices on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Place in a warm oven for 2-3 hours, or until meat has dried out. Allow to cool and store in an airtight jar. It will last for weeks!

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