Culinary History,  Food History,  Health,  Healthy,  History,  Lunch,  Snacks,  Tourism,  Travel

Granola Bars, Trail Mix and the Great Outdoors

If you have ever been on a hike or spent any kind of time in the great outdoors, I’m sure you brought along a snack! Sometimes one of the best things about a hike are the snacks! Two of the most popular snacks for the great outdoors are granola bars and trail mix. But why do we always reach for these two snacks before heading outside for a day of seeing Mother Nature’s handiwork? Portablity has a lot to do with it, but these snacks also have some interesting history.

It would be easy to argue that granola bars are just granola stuck together, but granola bars acutally have an interesting history of their own. Granola was first made popular and mainstream by the 1960s hippies. When the early companies that made granola realized that people were eating it as a snack and not just for breakfast, they introduced the granola bar in the 1970s. Granola bars became the fast snack for people on the go. Granola bars are a great way to get more fiber, iron, potassium and other important vitamins. Just watch out for lots of extra, added sugar! Granola bars should be mainly fruit, nuts and oats.

Trail mix is another outdoor snack with an interesting history. Also known by the other name of GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts), trail mix has an almost infinite number of styles, mixes and tastes. Native Americans are believed to be the first to enjoy trail mix. But trail mix didn’t become truly popular in America until Horace Kephart recommended it in his popular camping guide in 1910. Having a snack like trail mix helps stabilize blood sugar on busy days. It can be as healthy as you would like it to be. Part of the fun is coming up with your own special recipe!

What is your favorite trail snack? Maybe it’s something else like jerky, fruit or chocolate bars? Eating outdoors just makes everything taste better!

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