I love hiking mountains. I love living in Colorado. There’s so much wonderful playground.
Hiking with dietary restrictions and standards is challenging. I don’t eat sandwiches, which seem to be the general standard to pack to the summit for lunch. Every time I go out, I struggle in this area. I have taken protein bars (gluten, dairy, corn free), nuts, dried fruit. But it’s still tough. How many protein bars can you eat before you’re REALLY sick of eating them? Doesn’t take me too long.
Back at my house, I’m getting ready for our mountain adventure, and the thought came to me: salad. Why not? It’s not going to take up much room and I have a big pack, so there’s always some extra room for winter hiking, more layers. The salad isn’t going to weigh much more than a bunch of protein bars. And unlike running, I don’t have to worry about eating as I’m moving. We usually take a nice break when we summit, to chow down, recover some, and take several million pictures.
Hence, the Summit Salad was born! I have made it for two big (and very long) hikes now. Beth even took the hint (guilt? envy?) and made one for the pictured hike of Belford & Oxford mountains. It was fantastic. Refreshing, delicious, colorful, and perfectly filling. There was no ‘gut brick’ feeling, which can follow dense protein bars. Why didn’t I think of this before? Real food. On the trail, with real food. Perfect! So what was in my delicious, awesome salad? Here’s a picture of mine (loaded with nutrients, naturally, and good portions of protein, fat, carbohydrates), but you can put anything that tickles your fancy in yours.
- 1/2-1c roasted sweet potato, cubed
- 1/4-1/2c black beans
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- sesame seeds
- mixed greens
- sprouts (any kind!)
I used a little plastic to-go dressing holder for my dressing, so the lettuce didn’t get soaked. Put all the ingredients in a tupperware container. Toss in pack. Hit the trail. Smile. Take lots of pictures.
What are your favorite real food trail treats?