Hiking is a great way to exercise while taking the time to breathe and enjoy time with family and friends.
It is also the perfect excuse to shop for energizing snacks that taste great on or off the trail. When it’s time to load up the old backpack, fill it with these healthful vegan and gluten-free hiking snacks.
- Tosi Cashew SuperBites are unique, addictive and unlike your typical nut-based bar. They contain only six ingredients: chia, flax, sesame seeds, cashews, cane sugar and sea salt. That’s it. They are clean, simple, healthful and crunch like nut brittle. And they are free of unnecessary additives and low in sugar. Tosi launched convenient single-serve packaging earlier this year.
- Kombucha isn’t for everyone, so a big thank-you to Vegan Rob’s for bringing its probiotic goodness to a shelf-stable bar. Providing 13 percent of the recommended daily fiber and 6 percent of daily B12 intake, Kombuchabars contain a dialed-back dose of kombucha that doesn’t overwhelm. Its base is a mix of quinoa, cashews and almonds in four flavors: banana, blueberry, cranberry and dark cacao.
- With 4 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar, Puffworks’ line of peanut butter puffs takes peanut butter to a new crunchy level. Made with whole-grain cornmeal and organic dry roasted peanuts, these puffs are light, airy and just crunchy enough. All three flavors—original, honey and dark chocolate—provide a deliciously satisfying snack.
- Crunchmaster’s new innovative Protein Brownie Thins is a better-for-you indulgent snack available in three yummy flavors: Homestyle Milk Chocolate, dark chocokate and Chocolate Hint of Cherry. These guilt-free, delicious crunchy thins combine the taste of decadent baked brownies with the protein and great nutrition of wholesome ingredients. Protein Brownie Thins contain 8 grams of plant-based protein per serving and are made with real ingredients like cocoa. In addition to being gluten free, they are non-GMO, free from artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and cholesterol, and are Kosher. And when you’re in the mood for something a little more exotic, grab Crunchmaster’s new Toasted Coconut Protein Snack Crackers, made with real coconut and 5 grams of plant-based protein per serving. Light, crunchy, low in sugar, and full of serious nutrition, they are perfect for taking along on a hike. The Protein Snack Crackers are also available in roasted garlic, sea salt and barbeque.
- If you’re missing the crunch of regular potato chips but not all the carbs, then say hello to JicaChips. With only 100 calories per bag, JicaChips are made from baked jicama (a root vegetable) and lightly seasoned for a crunchy and fiberful snack. The chili lime and smoked BBQ are personal favs.
- Power up with N.B.T.F. Fruit Jerky. With the rip and chew of traditional jerky, this sweet, spicy or tangy fruity snack is full of plant-based protein and superfoods but no added sugar. Toss in 12 grams of plant-based protein and a dash of exotic flavor for an unexpected treat.
- By choosing a great-tasting and texture-pleasing replacement for meat, Pan’s Mushroom Jerky uses a natural source of protein, fiber and antioxidants to create meat-free jerky. Made with shiitake mushrooms and a short list of ingredients, it is sweetened with coconut sugar and available in zesty Thai, Applewood BBQ, original, and sea salt and pepper.
- It’s hard to believe there are only 3 grams of sugar in Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter because it basically tastes like candy. Each squeeze pack is loaded with enough protein to keep you energized for hours.
- Justin’s just added a new nut to its portfolio—cashew. Available in original and maple, both are made from four or fewer high-quality ingredients, with the maple variety deriving its sweetness from pure maple sugar. Go ahead, squeeze away and marvel at the lip-smacking mix of sweet maple and savory cashews.
- The fruit rolls from Bear Yoyos are made from a combo of fruits, vegetables and nothing else. There is no added sugar or artificial colors/flavors. With two rolls in each pack and a collectible card with historical facts for kids (or adults), they are just fun to eat. Trust me, you will quickly become addicted.
- Hail Merry’s new Bar Bites are designed to deliver sustained energy—what a perfect hiking snack, right? Made with sunflower seed protein powder, they have 25 percent more protein than chia in every chewy and satisfying bite. Available in salted brownie and cranberry almond, they register a whopping 10 grams of protein per pack (three bites per pack).
- Rule Breaker’s new birthday cake blondie is topped with white chocolate and sprinkles on a cookie made with chickpeas as the main ingredient. Beans…really? Yes, these bean-based cookies are sinfully delicious and loaded with enough fiber and protein to get you up this hill and the next.
Packing something to drink that will replenish your electrolytes and quench your thirst is paramount. WTRMLN WTR’s refreshing watermelon drinks contain more electrolytes, antioxidants and L-citrulline than your typical sports drink, plus they have no added sugar or water. Maybe one of Zola’s organic sparkling energy waters is more your speed? With no added sugar and only 10 calories per can, its plant-powered caffeine comes from green coffee, green tea and yerba mate extracts. Coconut water is always my choice for hydration, and Taste Nirvana’s line comes the closest to drinking it straight from the coconut. Plain, flavored, with or without pulp, its coconuts are minimally processed and bottled within hours of harvest.
Now, dust off your hiking boots and get outside!
News Editor Jennifer Harris is a gluten-free consultant and blogs at gfgotoguide.com.