Elevate Your Next Backcountry Trip With These Homemade Snacks

Just because you are far from a kitchen doesn’t mean your lunch should suffer. Photo: Courtesy of Travis Rousseau

It was 4 p.m. and I had to meet pro skier Greg Hill the next day for a ski tour at Rogers Pass.

Hill, who was once a very successful Skimo racer, became more well-known for his endurance skiing.

Because of this, I knew that I would need the fuel to keep up with his guide’s pace – which is far slower than his race pace, but much faster than my normal pace.

Greg Hill trying a Kitchen Sink Power Ball. Photo: Courtesy of Travis Rousseau

Getting enough good calories onboard would make or break my day, and I knew that I function better with whole foods rather than bars or gels.

I also didn’t have much time to grab food, so I decided to make what I could with what I had in my kitchen. Here are three whole-food snacks I made for trip.

Kitchen Sink Power Balls

Kitchen Sink Power Ball. Photo: Courtesy of Travis Rousseau

Full disclosure, if you need your food to look perfect and pretty, these power balls might not be for you. But if you can get past their color, you’ll be rocking after you have a few of these.

– 1/2 small jar of almond butter (creamy is better than the separated kind)
– 1 tablespoon of HANAH ONE
– 1 handful of rolled oats
– 1 tablespoon of matcha powder
– 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
– 1/4 cup of chopped almonds
– 1 shot of maple syrup
– 1 pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together. Add more oats if the mixture is too wet, or add more almond butter if it is too dry. Let sit for 20 minutes. Then, by hand, roll little balls and place on a plate. Put them in the fridge and let them sit overnight.

They might look funny, but they are full of energy to be burned.

Cheesy Polenta Crunch

Polenta and a cast iron skillet make for a clean energy snack. Photo: Kate Erwin

This snack is super easy to make, and if you don’t have exactly the right ingredient list, you can sub almost anything. I used roasted delicata squash and quinoa (for the crunch) because those were the leftovers in my fridge.

– 2 cups of boiling water
– 1 cup of cornmeal or polenta
– 1 tablespoon of cayenne
– 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
– 1/2 cup of roasted delicata squash
– 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

Mix the water and polenta together. In an iron skillet, take the mixture and make a crust. Next, do a layer of cheese, squash and quinoa. Next, cover the fillings with a thin layer of polenta mixture and cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Spice Tea

Make any tea better with a little spice and maple syrup. Photo: Kate Erwin

I always bring a thermos of tea with me. But for this trip, I wanted an extra special tea.

– 1 Bengal Spice tea bag
– 1 shot of maple syrup
– 3 dried anise stars
– 5 cardamom seeds

Simply put all the ingredients in your thermos with boiling water. This might not seem like a recipe, but just adding those aromatic spices really lifted my senses. I highly recommend doing this to your teas whenever you can.

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