If your kids are like ours, they are active and need food. . . often. When hiking or busy with camping activities, you will have happier kids with more focused energy if you make sure they have plenty of great healthy snacks. These are some great snacks to make in an oven or dehydrator to take with you. They are healthy for you, taste great and won’t quickly spoil.
- Dehydrated fruit/Fruit roll-ups- Our family favorites are bananas, pineapples and apples. I like to add Apple Pie spice to the apples to give them a great cinnamon smell and taste. The best fruit roll-ups are the simplest ones; puree strawberries or blueberries with a little banana, apple juice and honey. If you don’t like bananas, yogurt is great too. Fruit only takes 5-7 hours of drying at 135 degrees.
- Beef jerky- It’s less expensive than jerky from grocery or convenience stores and really, it’s not that difficult. You can buy seasoning packets for dehydrators or try mixing soy, worcestershire and tomato sauce with a little pepper into some ground hamburger meat or thin steaks. Let marinade for 4-8 hours. Form meat into strips. Then, heat in your oven or dehydrator at 165 for 14 hours. For a higher quality, better tasting jerky use flank steak cut in thin strips by the grocery butcher. These will dry thoroughly in 6 hours. Extra heating may be required if you need it to stay fresh for several weeks.
- Energy/Protein bars- I love to exercise outdoors and love my energy and protein bars- so do my kids! Here is a recipe for Carob Almond Bars. Grind 1/3 carob chips (they are like chocolate), 1 cup slivered almonds, 3 cups of dried apples and golden raisins. Mix with 3/4 cup of unsweetened pineapple juice, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 1/4 cup of honey wheat germ, 1/4 cup of protein powder and 1 cup more of carob chips. If using a dehydrator, spread onto fruit roll sheet over night at 135 degrees- approx. 14 hours. Cut in to bars and have great bars for your daily adventures.
If you are camping, of course, don’t forget the ingredients for an evening of smores. Lots of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate!