|Steve's Original PaleoKrunch Bar in Acadia. NOM.|
I started experimenting with Paleo about a year ago and found that my body responded well to it. It's generally how I eat now, with a few occasional and indulgent "it's totally worth how awful I'm going to feel later" exceptions. It took me a long time to realize there's no reason I should be fueling myself on hikes and backpacking trips any differently that I fuel myself any normal day of the week. I don't need to eat bars I don't really like just because they're supposed to be for outdoorsy people doing outdoorsy things. I don't need to sacrifice flavor and nutrition value for portability.
Primal Pacs: Cleaner, Better Jerky
Imagine: beef jerky that actually tastes good and isn't full of nasty additives and preservatives. I was first exposed to Primal Pacs through the Whole9 blog last winter, and I've placed at least half a dozen orders of 25 "pacs" since then. At $3.50 for 2.3 oz., they're not cheap, but good food usually isn't. The pacs include organic grass fed, and more importantly grass finished, beef jerky along with a mix of macadamia nuts, almonds, cranberries and spices. That's it. I can't remember the last time I went to the store and bought conventional jerky; I'm too spoiled now and know what good jerky tastes like. I carted ten of them on two planes to Acadia with me to make sure I had clean jerky options. Even if you don't eat Paleo, this is the kind of jerky you need.
Steve's Original PaleoKrunch Bar: Grainless Granola Bars
Though the phrase "grainless granola bar" is an oxymoron, who cares? New Jersey-based company Steve's Original makes everything from grass fed jerky to grainless cereal. Given that a percentage of all proceeds to go funding Steve's Club, you can eat their PaleoKrunch bars to your heart's content knowing you've helped keep kids off the streets with every bite. The blend of coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and honey makes the bars a perfect trail snack. But without grains to hold them together, the bars tend to fall apart. Plan to eat them in pieces. Also, if you love bacon, you'll love this seasonal treat. (I also took a closer look at the PaleoKrunch Bars and PaleoKits in a recent review for Trek Tech. Thanks so much for the samples, Steve!)
Eating (mostly) Paleo means leaving grains behind, so options like Clif Bars are out of my backpacks until further notice. Luckily, that leaves plenty of room for the deliciousness that is all Larabar flavors. My absolute favorite is the Cherry Pie bar. There's just something about the sweet, tangy cherries combined with the rich, filling almonds that's unbelievably satisfying. The apple pie bar, pictured left, is also pretty rad. The best part about these perfectly wrapped nuggets is that there's no added sugar or other related nonsense. You won't find me without a Larabar in my gym bag or my lunch box, and if you do, it's because I've eaten it already.
A Healthy Bar (For Real) with Chocolate In It!
Cocoa JOEBAR on a trip to California because hey, I love chocolate, and immediately ordered a box when I got home. The bar is slightly sweet and chocolatey, but mostly nutty and crunchy. With ingredients like organic nuts, organic cocoa powder and organic coconut, you really can't go wrong. I can't wait to try the green and mango JOEBARs.
Have you tried and of these, or found other squeaky clean, preservative and crap-free trail snacks I missed? I'm always looking to add new foods to my meal planning arsenal for trips. Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your ideas!