And Where Peanut Butter Belongs in the Best Trail Snack?
The National Peanut Board estimates it takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. This pleasing paste is made from crushed peanuts that aren't really nuts! They're technically classified as legumes, like beans, peas, and lentils. You may have thought of Georgia as the peach state, but now you are privileged to the jeopardy trivia that Georgia actually produces more peanuts than any other state, so put the peaches aside. Peanut butter was originally made for people with no teeth.
Now get out the jar and prepare to hit the trail! Is there anything quite like a mid trail snack? If you ask @sandwichandasummit, the votes would probably would say the summit snack is by far superb. But I will always argue for the mid trail snack from my experiences with family in tow.
I am pretty sure you have all experienced some sort of road trip, long or short ,it doesn’t matter, where a passenger, young or old, again it doesn’t matter, where you hear “Are we there yet?” This may be the most annoying and defeating question in any circumstance. Everyone knows the facts before the ride starts, where you are going and approximate time. So please do everyone and favor and find your inner calm and instead comment on the beautiful scenery you pass!
So I preface that as it fits in with the trails too. “Are we there yet?” That question comes up more than I am proud of, from my children’s mouth to my own internal voice and aching legs. Picture this, subject is 6 year old daughter Mack, predicate is trekking up a mountain. Mountains are all GINORMOUS at that age, no matter the elevation changes. GINORMOUS, adjective; an object both gigantic and enormous, reports 5 year old Goose, our walking dictionary. The sun is beating, we have cleared the shade of the trees and the feet begin dragging. A few paces in with feet dragging, the knuckles start to curl and swing. A few more paces in, the back arches and the head hangs. I now have a gorilla tagging along, a uniquely affectionate and compassionate gorilla, but an angry gorilla none the less.
Hanger has kicked in, that monstrous mix of hunger and anger. When your blood sugar falls, the hormones cortisol and epinephrine are released in an attempt to raise it back to normal. But those hormones also happen to lead to irritability. Our body's defense mechanism to get food ASAP is in gear and it tends to trigger our mouths with regrettable words.
So, to prevent this downfall we all experience, back to what you were wondering, what is the best trail snack? IT’S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!
A snack should contain a blend of carbs, proteins and fats. Jelly provides simple sugars and raise serotonin levels to give your blood sugar a quick boost. Whole-grain bread is full of simple and complex carbohydrates and high in fiber. Your body processes these carbs at different rates to keep you going while the fiber keeps your stomach full. Proteins and fats in the peanut butter are digested more slowly to give you staying power and keep you feeling full for longer.
Features of the PB&J are simple but required on the trail. It’s portable, weight and dimensions will not effect your pack. It’s durable and can handle abuse. A squished PB&J is still highly pleasant to taste. A pro snacker tip, a thin layer of peanut butter on each piece of bread with jelly in the middle. It’s customizability, in America, your choices of peanut butters and jelly are endless. Crunchy or creamy? Jelly, Jam, or Preserves? And if you dare, Goober from a single jar. And lastly, it’s handhold allows on the go eats without the failure of a dropped lunch.
So thank you historical grannies for figuring out how to preserve sweet delicious seasonal fruit into a jar to enjoy all year long. Thank you George Washington Carver for your perseverance and passion in plants to provide the south with the knowledge of soil enriching peanuts! And to end my gratitude with a thank you to our young friend, sliced bread.
As always, while indulging on your trail side snacks: Play. Protect. Preserve.
Follow Leave No Trace Principle 1: Plan Ahead and Prepare. Plan ahead for the ravenous pit in your stomach and prepare for the avoidable hangry feeling! Most food can be removed from its commercial packing and placed in sealable bags before packing your backpacks. Sealable bags secure food and reduce bulk and garbage. Empty bags can be placed inside each other and packed out for reuse at home. This method can reduce the amount of garbage your group must pack out at the end of the trip and eliminate the undesirable need of stashing or burying unwanted trash.