Picnic Foods for a Day Hike
Just because you’re going on a picnic does not mean you’ll be sitting down to eat immediately. We understand the desire to enjoy a long hike before you eat. After all, a delicious lunch tastes even better when you’re at the top of a mountain hike soaking up the amazing views. Concerned about what food will stay edible after miles of hiking? Don’t worry! Just lace up your hiking shoes and fill your picnic backpack with some of these easy, sure-not-to-spoil foods!
A cold grain salad
Skip over the typical greens and make a salad with a bit more punch. Because they are packed with protein and will give you a great energy boost, couscous and quinoa are both excellent options. Both grains cook by boiling in salted water. When cooked through, spread the grain out flat on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. During that time, prepare the rest of the salad. Try chopping a bell pepper and rinsing canned black beans – easy additions to the salad that add lots of vitamins and protein! Mix some lime or lemon juice with olive oil and you have the perfect dressing – and this salad won’t wilt so you can mix the dressing in at home! Prepare the dish the night before and store it in a lightweight plastic container.
A sandwich is a pretty boring picnic food, but make it a Panini with jazzed up ingredients and you’ll be looking forward to lunch throughout your hike. Substitute deli meat for a Portobello mushroom. Portobellos have a high amount of protein – again, great for reenergizing! – and, unlike with deli meat, you don’t have to worry about them spoiling on your hike. Grill the Portobello before putting it on your sandwich. Opt for Parmesan or Swiss cheese, since hard cheeses do not have to be refrigerated. Put a cheese slice on each piece of bread; as the cheese melts in the Panini, it will act as “glue” so your sandwich won’t fall apart while you are hiking. Wrap the sandwich in foil and pack it to go!
Grapes are a great treat for after lunch. They don’t require refrigeration, and there’s no peel or core to worry about after you eat. Plus, they are mostly water, so you’ll be rehydrating yourself by snacking.
If you make your own trail mix, you can throw in any of your favorite treats. Sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, almonds, and pecans are all typical stables of trail mix. Think about adding dried versions of some of your favorites fruits, like banana chips, dried cranberries, or sweetened dried blueberries. If you know a sugar craving could hit you on the trail, add M&M’s rather than chocolate pieces, which are more likely to melt.