One might feel that the changing of the leaves ends all of the outdoor fun for the year but I found out recently that it's actually one of the best times to get outside and enjoy nature. I headed out with a group to Moraine Lake near Lake Louise and hiked up the Larch Valley trail. The Larch Valley really comes alive this time of year because Larch trees have needles that turn beautiful, bright yellow in the fall so as you climb you pass through tunnels of yellow trees and at the top, an amazing outlook over a valley and mountains draped in yellow Larch trees. What a great reward for all your hard work!
So I know you are all thinking, these guys normally talk about sitting around drinking wine and eating baked goods, what's all of this outdoors business? What does this have to do with chocolate?
Well it turns out that chocolate can travel almost anywhere with you, including to the top of a mountain. I wanted to bring yummy snacks to fuel my hike and what better way to do that but incorporate chocolate. One thing I brought along was our dark chocolate Nut Nibbles. This solid dark chocolate pieces with almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. This is a great choice because the dark chocolate is relatively low in sugar but just enough to give you a little energy boost and the nuts give you much needed protein.
I also whipped up a little trail mix out of milk chocolate pieces, dried cranberries, popcorn (made with coconut oil), and maple almonds. It was super yummy and was a perfect little snack to pull out at the top of the trail. The great thing about trail mix is the options are almost endless. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, pretzels (maybe even chocolate covered pretzels!), popcorn, chocolate pieces, cocoa nibs, and crunchy cereals, all make great additions to a home made trail mix. You can also season your trail mix with different spices. Why not try a pumpkin spice mix featuring pumpkin seeds and those warm fall spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, plus whatever other mixings your little heart might desire.
P.S. Thank you to my wonderful husband for some of these photos from our hike which are beautiful. He was very patient and didn't roll his eyes at all when I asked him to take a picture of me eating chocolate bark in the middle of our hike.