Easy, Delicious Snacks for the Slopes
On the slopes or on the trails, there’s no surer way to bring a great day to a screeching halt than to let “hanger” get the best of you. Combine humans’ natural drive to eat more in the winter with the calorie-crushing burn of a day spent snowboarding or snowshoeing, and you’ll find yourself gripped by sinking blood sugar, crashing energy levels, and a plummeting mood to boot.
Though your first inclination might be to cram down a couple of energy bars and keep going–or, secondarily, to abandon what you’re doing and head to the nearest brewpub–it’s not hard to stave off that hangry feeling and deal with it when it starts to rear its ugly head.
Try taking a few minutes before your next snow day to plan some healthy snacks for the slopes. You’ll keep your mood and performance at their peak… and, at the end of the day, you’ll feel like you really deserve that apres-ski IPA!
Timing is Everything
Though it’s tempting to wait until you’re practically starving to break for lunch, planning ahead can help keep your energy levels from see-sawing and mean more time on your board, less time feeding your face. Get your morning off to a good start with a small, high-protein breakfast (try two or three eggs scrambled with a handful of fresh spinach and a sprinkling of cheese). Tote easy-to-digest snack for the slopes to nibble on the lift, like this High-Protein Trail Mix (adapted from greatist.com). Try packing it in several single-serving bags or reusable containers to control your portion size. Set a time for a lunch break and stick to it.
Slurping from a Thermos is undeniably quicker than stopping for a knife-and-fork meal. Hearty pureed soups like our Roasted Butternut Bisque are a nutrient-rich and delicious option, but a low-sodium packaged soup (such as Pacific Natural’s Thai Sweet Potato Soup) is a stress-free alternative.
Look out for “healthy” masqueraders such as bottled juices. These products frequently pack a sugary punch while leaving behind the fiber that helps regulate blood sugar spikes. Plus, since liquids don’t trigger your fullness response the way solid foods do, it’s easy to overindulge.
Snacks for the Slopes Recipes
High-Protein Trail Mix
This super-flexible snack adapts easily to ingredients you have on hand.
1 part nuts (almonds, walnut pieces, shelled pistachios, cashews)
1 part dried fruit (apricots, cherries, dates, raisins, mango–look for unsulfured, unsweetened options)
1 part sweet OR savory (dark chocolate chips, wasabi peas, whole-grain Chex or other cereal)
1/2 part seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax)
Serving size: 1/4 cup
Roasted Butternut Bisque
1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder OR 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
8 ounces silken tofu (optional)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk, cream, or coconut milk
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut sides down, and roast at 375 degrees until very tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then scoop out flesh and discard rind.
Heat butter or coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and curry powder (if using) and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add squash, tofu (if using), broth, and milk. Bring to a simmer; simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender for a smooth soup or mash squash and tofu with a potato masher for a chunkier result. Stir in thyme (if using). Season with salt and pepper.
Pack It Up!
It doesn’t matter how tasty or convenient your on-the-go meal is if it ends up spilling all over your hands, your clothes, or the inside of your daypack. Check out these options for keeping your food and drink contained (and at a perfect serving temperature).
Pack a four-course meal with no soggy crackers or sloppy soup. This insulated stainless-steel jar holds four separate containers to keep foods separate and maintain an appetizing serving temperature. $40
Whether you’re craving a creamy smoothie or a hearty beef stew, the Rambler’s double-walled construction serves up frosty (or piping-hot) liquids under the most extreme conditions. Its wide mouth makes both filling and pouring a mess-free endeavor. $30
Short on space? Clip a lunch or snack to your handlebars or backpack with this colorful insulated bag. Constructed from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic, it’ll boost your environmental friendliness while keeping your munchies secure. When you’re done eating, the bag folds flat or rolls up tight for easy storage. $13