Inexpensive Mountain Bike Trail Snacks You Can Make In Minutes

A recipe for delicious, nutritious trail snacks to make and take along on your next mountain bike ride.
The base ingredients for this batch are whole oats, peanut butter, coconut flakes, pecans, honey, and a few chia seeds.

Whenever possible I like to collect a group of friends and ride trails from sunup to sundown. Some days I am fortunate enough to take a book to the top of a mountain, read for a while on a warm patch of dirt, and then continue along the trail. Rarely the fastest human on a bike, my endowment is daylong endurance.

So it occurred to me that epic days are better with a few bits of non-bike accouterment. Today those added elements include a proper digital camera, a slingshot, and some homemade snacks.

Delicious ride snacks with a high calorie-to-weight ratio can be easy to make, and I want to share a favorite recipe. I call these “peanut-nugs,” but you can name yours as you like. Let’s get mixing.

Ingredients and variations

  • 1 cup of whole oats
  • 2/3 cup of toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite peanut butter, or other nut butter. I like nut butter that has just one ingredient: nuts.
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave. I use an acacia honey.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • Chocolate chips, or more nuts. I use pecans instead of chocolate to keep the calories up without worrying about anything melting in my pocket.
  • Sea salt, to taste (optional)
  • Some additional options: Raisins, cranberries, figs, dates, or any other dried fruit you enjoy.
  • Further variants: I have tried adding hemp protein and flax to these with mixed results. Fresh ground coffee adds a rich flavor, but be sure to add it sparingly as it can quickly become the only thing you can taste.    
It’s helpful to mix the dry ingredients first, then add the sticky stuff and mix it all together, unlike what I show in this photo.

1. Toss all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.

2. Drop the glob of peanut butter and other wet ingredients in the bowl and mix with a spoon, or your hand if you prefer.

3. Check the overall taste and texture to determine if you need more of something. Experiment. Taste again. Then try to make a ball to see if you need more peanut butter to keep things collected. Depending on your alternate ingredients, the mix may require additional nut butter.

4. Put the mixed ingredients into a refrigerator for about 20 minutes. This will make it easier to form them into nugs.

5. Roll out nugs in whatever sizes you prefer. I try to keep mine bite-size so I can choose how much I want to eat at any point in a given ride.

This recipe yields roughly 20 peanut nugs.

6. Find something to wrap them in. I like to save chocolate bar wrappers for just this occasion. Aluminum foil can be washed and reused multiple times before recycling, making a perfect wrapper for peanut nugs. A little chocolate residue won’t hurt.

Finally, wrap 1-3 peanut nugs together by joining the corners of the foil or chocolate wrapper.

The recipe above has a calorie count of approximately 2,618, according to the calorie calculator on, giving each of the 20 nuggets +/- 130 healthy, ride-fueling calories. You can augment or shrink those numbers by adjusting the amount of nuts and honey or agave you mix in.

The ingredients cost roughly €10 total and will be used to make multiple batches.

Your friends will be stoked when you share the goodness!

Your turn: What homemade trail snacks do you like to make?