Healthy Living in the North

Foodie Friday: A hiker’s power food

I admit it: I’m a little sad to see my snow sports and equipment go into an early retirement this year. However, there’s one activity in particular that I’m more than happy to get an early start on this year: hiking! Northern B.C. is known for its stunning wilderness and unparalleled hiking trails. As a Vancouver Island transplant, I have an immense appreciation for the outdoors but have yet to discover the vast network of outdoor trails that northern B.C. has to offer. If you see me daydreaming at work while gazing out of the window, you can bet that’s where my mind is wandering!

Cookies on a plate

Because of their energy boost, fibre content, delicious flavour, and packable qualities, the Power Cookie is a staple of Karli’s hiking meal plan!

One of the most important parts of hiking, as well as any outdoor activity that makes you break a sweat, is getting proper fuel and nutrition to stay energized. Depending on how long and how intense your hike is, you can burn a pretty significant amount of calories each day. On overnight hikes, it’s especially important to plan your meals to make sure you’ve brought enough food to eat while still considering how much weight you’re carrying. Check out Mountain Equipment Co-Op’ websites on backcountry meal planning and backcountry cooking for awesome tips and meal ideas.

One food has remained a staple in my hiking meal plans for as long as I can remember: the Power Cookie. I make a batch of these little energy balls for hiking for a few reasons:

  • Oats, whole wheat flour, and applesauce give your body the carbohydrates it needs to refuel energy stores and fibre to help digestion.
  • Dried fruit, dried coconut flakes, and orange zest give these cookies a sweet and tangy taste.
  • They’re easy to make and pack into the trails!

The Power Cookie

Yields about 20 two-inch cookies.


  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups large-flake oats
  • 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and eggs. Blend well. Stir in the applesauce.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this mixture to the applesauce and mix well. Stir in the almonds, oats, coconut, apricots and cranberries. Ensure the mixture is well-blended. Chill the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into 1″ x 2″ bars or balls and place on a large baking sheet. Press each one down with a fork to flatten slightly.
  5. Bake on the centre oven rack for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden brown. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
Karli Nordman

About Karli Nordman

Karli is a Dietetic Intern completing her internship throughout Northern Health. She has had a growing interest in food and nutrition for as long as she can remember and is a big advocate for a food first approach to overall health and happiness. Her passions are evenly divided between her career path and being outdoors - which makes northern B.C. the perfect place to both learn and explore.



  1. These recipe looks fantastic! I can’t wait to make a batch to take with me on my next hike.

    • Thanks for your comment, Hannah! I hope that you enjoy your hike!

      -Vince (Health Promotions, Northern Health)

    • Karli Nordman says

      Thanks, Hannah! Let me know how the power cookies turn out- and maybe more importantly, how your hike turns out!

      -Karli (Dietetic Intern, Northern Health)

  2. Kerry Fauchon says

    Great article Karli.. and your cookies look yummy. Have it down to make a batch before our next kayak, camping, or hiking adventure. Thanks!! :)

    • Thanks for your comment, Kerry, and for the reminder that Karli’s recipe is a great fit for all sorts of outdoor adventures! From kayaking to geocaching and camping to horseback riding, there’s so much to see and do outdoors in northern B.C. (with Karli’s Power Cookies in your pack!)!

      -Vince (Health Promotions, Northern Health)

    • Karli Nordman says

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Kerry! I’m missing the West Coast at this beautiful time of the year, so you’ll have to let me relive your outdoor adventures!

      -Karli (Dietetic Intern, Northern Health)

  3. Judy Nordman says

    Amazing article Karli, your love for the ourdoors truly inspires me. I too love the outdoors and the feel great when outside. I have received so many good healthy recpies from you and this one looks great. All I have to do is replace the flour with something gluten and I’ll have a good snack. Thankyou for talking me into changing my life to gluten….it has been amazing for me and I feel alot better since doing it.

    • Karli Nordman says

      I’m glad you feel so amazing now that you’ve taken gluten out of your diet! I’m sure this recipe would be just as delicious if you replaced the whole wheat flour 1:1 with a gluten-free mix.. and even more delicious when enjoyed outdoors.

      Let me know how they turn out!

      -Karli (Dietetic Intern, Northern Health)