Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Top 5 Hiking Snacks

They say that soldiers march on their stomachs, well it's much the same for hikers.  I don't only hike so I can eat piles of cake and other gooey goodies, but it's as good a reason as any.  There are plenty of excellent websites which will guide you through the essential items needed for a hike, but what are the best snacks to pack?  I realise I'm about to open a big can of worms with this blog (definitely NOT on my list of essential food items!) but here are our top 5...

5. Mini Cheddars

I adore crisps but they are really not practical on a hike - they are far too fragile and end up as a disappointing pile of smashed up crispy dust, impossible to eat on a windy hillside.  Cheddars, on the other hand, come in smaller packs, are more robustly constructed and aren't so easily blown out of your hand in a force nine gale.

4. Malt Loaf

I have extolled the virtues of the humble malt loaf many times in the past.  For me it is a near perfect hiking food.  It's solid, doesn't melt, can be shoved in a corner of the rucksack and is crammed full of calories for that much needed boost when you're flagging at the end of the day.  At home we may slice it and serve it in a civilised fashion, on the hillside we simply rip chunks off it and argue over who has the biggest chunk.

3.  Peanut M&Ms

If you're on a health kick you could always swap these for a nice bag of dried fruit and nuts but we found that the bags of fruit and nut returned unharmed from far more hikes than the peanut M&Ms did and often got dangerously near to their expiry date before we ate them.  M&Ms do have their downsides - being chocolate they're not great in the summer but, let's face it, there aren't going to be many days when you're hiking in Cumbria in 30C temperatures.  Nutritionally you get a double benefit from peanut M&Ms - a quick sugar boost from the chocolate and a slower boost from the nuts.  It's tenuous, but it's what I keep telling myself.

Equal first - Tea and Cake

I thought long and hard about this, I even put off writing the blog while I thought about it some more, but these two simply cannot be separated.  There should be no cake without tea and no tea without cake - so joint first was the only option.  We're terribly civilised and find that mid way through the afternoon is the perfect time to pause for tea and cake.  I'll be the first to admit that I drink pretty revolting tea - very weak and milky Redbush - but the cakes are always divine (life is too short for cheap and nasty cakes!)

My absolute favourite cake is a slab of Ginger Bakers Beetroot & Berry Brownie (it's even gluten free for those who require such things) which, if you follow me on social media, you'll have seen be gush about many times in the past, but last time I visited them (they're near to Plumgarths roundabout in Kendal so if you're driving form the M6 to Windermere you'll probably go right past their door) they pointed out that they make lots of other cakes too and gave me a few to sample to prove it - each and every one of them was utterly divine, but the beetroot & berry brownie is still my favourite.  Look - you can even be civilised and eat it at home with a lump of white Stilton on top:

White Stilton on Beetroot & Berry Brownie - don't knock it till you've tried it!
(The blurry cake in the background is their new Westmorland Pepper Fruitcake which is perfect when sliced thickly and spread with butter). 

The best part is that you don't even need to come to Kendal to buy them - they have an online shop right here so you can enjoy them wherever your hike may take you.

So, that's our top 5 - I know there will be others you want to add - but please don't tell me to pack Kendal Mintcake, I know I live in Cumbria but I honestly can't stand it.  Sorry.

If you're putting your feet up with a slice of cake then you'll need a good book to go with it - our 3 fit the bill perfectly and, if you order directly from us, I promise to wipe all the cake crumbs off the cover before I send them. Click the pic to find out more & order yours.  😀

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