Camp Kitchen Snack Recipes: Eat for Energy
When you’re planning to do some all-day activity, it’s smart to plan some all-day snacking, too. And if you make them yourself, you can control what goes into the snacks. “When you make snacks at home you get pure goodness,” says Jennifer Iserloh, author of “Secrets of a Skinny Chef” (Rodale 2010), pointing out that many packaged and processed snacks like granola bars contain excess sugar, trans fats and harmful additives like artificial colorings and high-fructose corn syrup.
A combination of three energy sources — carbohydrates, fat and protein — makes the ideal energy snack. With that in mind, Iserloh offers some quick and easy snacks you can hit the trails with.
“This is a great whole-grain alternative for salty snack fans,” Iserloh says. “The added fiber and protein from the chickpeas make this snack fit for the trail.” Make it for a barbecue or to munch on around the campfire. Then set some aside for your next day’s adventure.
Makes 8 cups
Nonstick cooking spray
1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup trans-fat-free margarine, melted
2 tablespoons worcestshire sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic or seasoned salt
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons wheat germ or ground flaxseed
3 cups whole-wheat or bran cereal, such as Chex
2 cups whole-grain oat cereal, such as Cheerios
1 cup whole-wheat pretzel rods
1/2 cup whole almonds or pecans
1/2 cup dry roasted peas or soybeans
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the sides of two baking trays with foil. Turn the chickpeas out onto a dishtowel to dry. Transfer chickpeas to one baking tray and coat with a thin layer of cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until beans are firm and dry.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl; mix well to coat. Transfer the mix to the second baking tray and bake 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once, until the cereal is crispy and spices become fragrant.
Cool the beans and cereal mix completely on the trays. Then combine and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Per ½ cup serving: 167 calories, 6 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates,
7 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 318 mg sodium
“Cornbread lovers get a dose of protein from chunks of turkey dogs baked in the center of these mini muffins,” Iserloh says. “They fit the carb-to-fat-to-protein ratio perfectly. And they are delish at room temp.”
Makes two dozen corn dog bites
1 8-ounce box cornbread mix
3 egg whites
1/3 cup 1% fat buttermilk
Nonstick cooking spray
4 nitrate-free turkey dogs, cut into 24 even pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the cornbread mix in a large bowl.
Add the egg whites and buttermilk.
Stir until just combined, about 10 turns with a wooden spoon — the batter will be lumpy. Coat a 12-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill each muffin tin cup three-fourths of the way full. Press a piece of hot dog into the center of each and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the muffins are puffed and cooked through. Serve immediately or keep chilled for a few days and serve at room temperature.
Per corn-dog bite: 62 calories, 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat (0.6 grams saturated), 7 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber,
175 mg sodium
Chocolate Peanut Butter Dips
“Peanut butter is high in the good type of fat, which will satisfy hunger right way,” Iserloh says. “With a touch of chocolate, these lightly sweetened treats keep you from feeling the energy zap.”
Makes 12 sandwich cookies
24 reduced-fat butter crackers, such as Ritz
6 teaspoons reduced-fat peanut butter
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons skim milk
Spread 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter onto half the crackers. Top with another cracker to form a sandwich and place on a sheet of wax paper. Place the chocolate and milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Warm for about one minute, stirring continuously until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Dip the cracker sandwiches into the chocolate and transfer to the wax paper. Enjoy warm, or cool on the wax paper four to five minutes until the chocolate has hardened. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
Per sandwich: 68 calories, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (1g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 85 mg sodium d
More Tips for Healthier Energy Boosts
I choose snacks that are low in saturated fat and that have a protein source, which helps you feel full longer,” Iserloh explains. “That is important when you’re hiking and on the go.” Her recipes included here are about 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat (the healthy kind), and 30 percent protein, a good ratio to shoot for.
If you don’t have time to prepare anything, at least look for all-natural products and read the label to choose packaged snacks low in saturated fat, trans fat and sugar, and high in fiber.
For a no-prep version of the chocolate peanut butter dips, pack crackers, peanut butter, some chocolate chips and a knife. Then assemble mini-sandwiches with about four chips each wherever you end up.