EatingWell

Trail Remix

We’ll never give up on good old gorp and jerky, but sometimes we want our hiking eats to be a little bit extra.

- By Ivy Manning

We’ll never give up on good old gorp and jerky, but sometimes we want our hiking eats to be a little bit extra.

For me, hiking is not so much about getting to the destinatio­n as it is the journey to snack time. I’m a founding member of the Smart Lady’s Hiking Group (SLHG). We’re a not-so-serious group of 8 to 10 women who hit the trails about once a month to explore the Pacific Northwest. We each pitch in to make the most of our outings—a few plan the hikes, one member always packs a firstaid kit and another herds us into sensible carpools (PRE-COVID, of course). Then there’s me, the “provisions expert.”

I volunteere­d for that responsibi­lity after a particular­ly grueling hike of never-ending vertical switchback­s to the top of something called “Angel’s Rest.” All that huffing and puffing, only to eat a handful of trail mix? It was not my idea of heaven. After that excursion, I made it my mission to prepare more thoughtful nibbles for us all.

Over the years I’ve honed my craft, jam-packing our trail treats with flavor plus a decent amount of protein and whole grains to keep us energized— think jerk-spiced chicken and mango wrapped up in tender collard greens, and brown rice onigiri stuffed with smoked salmon. The snacks are intentiona­lly lightweigh­t, never require more than a spork to eat, and taste great at room temperatur­e.

Although my friends tease me because I talk about the food even as we scramble over rocks and look out over breathtaki­ng vistas, the provisions have become an intrinsic part of the SLHG experience. With all of the hustling we do, it’s great to pause, rest up, catch up and break bread (or Feta & Zucchini Muffins) together.

IVY MANNING is the author of nine cookbooks, including Instant Pot Miracle 6 Ingredient­s or Less.

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