What are some peanut-free snack options for hiking when you have a peanut allergy?
With a peanut allergy, sometimes it can feel like there is nothing you can eat. This can be particularly challenging while planning snacks for the trail, as so many different pre-packaged hiking snacks like trail mix use peanuts as a base. Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of peanut allergy friendly hiking snacks for your trip out there!
Granola and Seeds Mixes
Pre-packaged granola and granola bars can be a healthy nut-free grab-and-go snack for people with peanut allergies. Just ensure that you read the ingredient list carefully.
Another option is to make your own granola bars at home. One great recipe is to mix puffed rice with sunflower butter, honey, and dried fruit.
You can also enjoy something even simpler like seeds. Sunflower seeds, available at almost any grocery store or gas station, are a popular convenience food that's nut-free and offer both energy and auxiliary nutritional benefits. In particular, sunflower seeds are a good source of folate, vitamin E, selenium, and iron. Always check the packaging, however, to ensure that the sunflower seeds were not processed with equipment that has been exposed to peanuts.
Beef jerky is a classic hiking snack that is peanut-free. It is both extremely delicious and can be kept for months. You can even make your own beef jerky by cutting meat in thin slices, roll them in a marinade and, putting them in the oven at 175 degrees for 3-4 hours.
Cheese and Crackers
Another classic pre-packaged snack for peanut allergies is cheese and crackers. Cheese sticks and cubes are available at many convenience stores, and a growing number of crackers are peanut-free or produced by nut-free companies. Formulations of peanut-free convenience foods can change often, so reading the label each and every time you purchase snack foods is critical.
Fruits and Vegetables
Perhaps an obvious option, but fruit is one of the easiest peanut-free snacks to take with you outdoors, as it is both compact, already “packaged”, and easy to eat mid-hike. You can also make a fruit salad from your favorite fruits, or bring melted chocolate to use it as a dip for apple pieces.
Vegetables are also a great option- a bowl with snack tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, peppers, carrots and celery is always a healthy choice. It is hydrating as well as contains lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber with virtually no calories, fat, or salt. For extra taste you can use a spice mix or some salad dressing.
If snacking on fresh fruit or vegetables isn't a convenient option- for example, for a particularly long hike- veggie chips and dried fruits can be a healthy prepackaged snack for peanut allergies. Kale chips are also increasingly available at most grocery stores and can even be made at home. To make your own kale chips, simply preheat your oven to 275 degrees F, remove the ribs from the kale, cut the kale into 2 inch pieces, toss with olive oil and salt, and bake for 20 minutes, turning the leaves over at the 10 minute mark.
Other types of nut-free veggie chips and straws are also commonly found in the chip aisle. Dried fruit and fruit leathers are another healthy nut-free snack food option.
Overnight oats are a snack that have been particularly trendy lately as a simple snack that can be adjusted completely to preference.
The basic recipe is simple: mix half a cup of organic oatmeal with a tablespoon of chia seeds, and add milk until the mix is completely covered by the liquid. Stir well and put in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, but preferably an entire night.
Personalize your overnight oats with fruit, seeds and or whatever you prefer. Pieces of banana, cinnamon, and sea salt is a particularly tasty combo. Or you can try oats with blueberries, raspberries, grated coconut and honey. The possible combinations are almost infinite!
Hard boiled eggs
It doesn't get any simpler than this: boil a number of eggs and keep them in the fridge for an extremely portable source of extra protein!
Both tasty and healthy, hummus is an ideal peanut-free snack. Even more important: its an easy snack to make yourself! Combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt in the food processor and you will have your own homemade hummus.
Use the homemade hummus as a dip for celery sticks, carrots, cucumber, or pita- or make a hummus sandwich with sourdough bread, lettuce and tomato.
Snack bars are a traditional option for trail snacks. While many of them include peanuts or any other kind of nuts, there are increasingly numerous options available for people with peanut allergies at both your local grocery store and on Amazon. Just make sure to check the packaging first and look particularly for manufacturers that make their products in nut-free facilities.
Nothing is better for morale during a long hike than a premium piece of chocolate.
Don't Sweat your Peanut Allergy!
Trail mix snacks are a must for keeping your energy during a hike. While a peanut allergy can be far from ideal, there are numerous different snacks and foods that someone can enjoy out on the trail. Don’t let a peanut allergy get in the way of getting out and exploring the world!