Per­fect lunch­box

De­li­cious, nu­tri­tious fuel for walk­ers to keep your en­ergy levels high on the trail

Countryfile Magazine - - Hiking Food - Pho­to­graphs: Ja­son In­gram Words: Genevieve Tay­lor

IA f you love walk­ing in the countryside as much as I do, there is lit­tle bet­ter than pack­ing up a ruck­sack and head­ing out for a day in the hills.

full day’s hike is hugely im­proved with a de­cent pic­nic, and you need food that both fu­els you and de­liv­ers on the flavour front.

The key to a good walk­ing pic­nic is to take fare that tastes as good, if not bet­ter, eaten at room tem­per­a­ture rather than hot or chilled. It also needs to travel well, rather than get squished or be­come soggy. I like to take a lunch­box with com­part­ments for sep­a­rat­ing savoury from sweet, and also a cou­ple of nu­tri­tious snacks that I can keep in bags in my coat pocket to com­bat hunger pangs. Turn the page for five recipes that would make up my per­fect lunch­box.

HIKING FOOD

As a gen­eral rule, the longer your walk the more thought you should put into your walk­ing fuel. After all, the en­ergy to power us for­wards (and up­wards) de­rives only from the food we put into our mouths. With that in mind, here are a few tips when think­ing about what to put in your lunch­box.

• You are after food that fu­els, so high-en­ergy car­bo­hy­drate foods are best for long hikes. Try to en­sure you con­sume plenty of slow-re­lease car­bo­hy­drates in the form of whole grains, pulses or nat­u­ral sug­ars.

• Com­bin­ing a lean pro­tein, such as chicken, with a slow-re­lease car­bo­hy­drate such as whole­grain pasta means the en­ergy is re­leased even more steadily, so you don’t get highs and lows in your en­ergy levels.

• Don’t binge eat. Snack­ing as you go helps keep en­ergy levels on an even keel, so it’s great to have one or two healthy high-en­ergy treats tucked into your pock­ets for easy ac­cess.

• Hy­dra­tion is vi­tal, so take plenty of flu­ids. Plain and sim­ple water quenches thirst much more ef­fec­tively than fizzy drinks that are loaded with sugar.

• Fi­nally, make sure your food is gen­uinely tasty. Sea­son it prop­erly, just as you would if you were at home. That way you are much more likely to ac­tu­ally fin­ish it.

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