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