Archive for the ‘Hiking Food’ Category
For reasons I can only explain as “because I wanted to try it” about four months ago I decided to try consuming the pre-made liquid version of Soylent, called “Soylent 2.0“, on a near 100% consumption level, supplemented with some solid food in the form of Greenbelly Bars, bananas, avocados, artichoke hearts, pickles, and whatever fruit I could get my hands on – pears, peaches, plums.
I had already been consuming the powdered version of Soylent, usually a couple of bags per week, for a few years. When the liquid version of Soylent came out I ordered a single box of it, 12 bottles, to see how I would like it. After throwing it into the fridge overnight, the next day I had some for lunch, and I found it to be totally acceptable in flavor and texture.
As a long time user of the powdered versions of Soylent, the idea of having it pre-made, I have to say, excited me more than it probably should have.
I think we can all admit that the market of drinkable meals is one that is growing in popularity very quickly.
A small company from Finland, Ambronite Oy Ltd., has created one of the many options out there – and most importantly, one of the healthiest ones out there.
Today I want to take a moment to talk about the Greenbelly Meal Bars.
In a market that is already flooded, one really needs to ask the question, “do we really need another bar to pick from?” — and the answer to that is, uhh, yes!!!
It seems as if the meal/bar business is just booming these days. We have companies making bars for crazy niche markets. Buffalo bars, paleo bars, vegan and gluten free bars, protein bars, and the list could go on all day.
I first heard about the Greenbelly Bars from, I think either Chad or BBB. I remember checking them out at the time but I already had a massive supply of the bars I typically eat, and the $50 price tag just to give them a try was a bit more than I wanted to spend. If they had an option to buy a trial option that was just one pack of each, I probably would have, but buying four packages of each flavor, as a ‘trial’ was just beyond what I was willing to try. If they sucked, I’d have a whole bunch of packages left over, eh. Hopefully this is something that Greenbelly can offer in the future. Gratefully they sent me a sample package that was just one package of each flavor, so I have gotten the chance to give them a try. And, if I did not like them, I would not be writing about them!
Jiva Coffee Cubes:
There has been a fair amount of chatter within the hiking community over the last week or two regarding a coffee called “Jiva Cubes” which makes little coffee cubes that you put into hot water and in a few seconds you have yourself a hot cup of coffee.
Jiva Cubes Inc. is a small business that is based out of Miami, Florida USA that got started a few years on kickstarter. Their first attempt did not work out ($3,671 pledged of $15,000 goal) but their second time around did work out for them ($21,173 pledged of $1,000 goal). Their third kickstarter product was a huge success for them ($82,012 pledged of $15,000 goal) and really got their name out there.
Their most recent kickstarter project is setup to develop a new coffee flavor simply called “Black Coffee Cubs” and has already reached it goal of $15,000 USD and I am personally really looking forward to the black cubes, as they offer two or three times the amount of caffeine over their existing cubes. I gladly supported this project.
I LOVE BANANA’S!!!
Ok I just had to get that out of the way… I really do love bananas… I eat two or three a day, usually green ones… I only eat green bananas… bright yellow bananas are just nasty!!
I just got my Excalibur [3926TB] 9-Tray dehydrator back from my father who has had it for awhile and the first thing it is doing is making up some banana purée for me.
Banana purée is, simply put, bananas that have been peeled and puréed – think very thick applesauce, except bananas.
This is a great way to have bananas while out hiking, or even around the house, and I prefer it over dehydrated banana slices because it is more versatile and easier to use – because dehydrated banana slices are usually really really hard to rehydrated and are nasty nasty nasty if you do. With banana purée it is very easy to rehydrate it – it can very easily be rehydrated for use in smoothies (even trail smoothies), and because the bananas are in purée form you can do a lot more too it, such as add vanilla or other fruit purée to give it some different flavors.
Making Dehydrated Bacon For The Trail:
In my ongoing quest to continue to find methods of having low-weight/high-calorie food for the trail I recently decided to try dehydrating bacon – which is really not as easy as it sounds and really is as tedious as others have written about it being. I thought I would share my own little adventure giving this a try.
My local store had a buy-one-get-one-free special so I bought two packets of bacon, each one pound. I got home and started cooking them up. Temptation got the best of me and I ate one piece. The rest spend about 20 minutes drying out on paper towels to help rid them of as much grease as possible, and to give my dehydrator time to build up some heat.
After cooking them all and trying to get as much grease off of them as possible I put the two pounds of bacon into the dehydrator, which took up three trays.
I set the timer on my Excalibur dehydrator at 16 hours. Every two or three hours I would pull out a tray and grab some paper towels and try to dry them off as much as possible. This is the “tedious” part of dehydrating bacon. I went to bed after about 12 hours into the cycle and when I woke up the next morning, I took out a tray and they were coated with yet another layer of grease, so I dried them all off again and threw them back into the dehydrator for another 12 hours, again drying them off every few hours.
When the timer finally went off and the dehydrator shut off I let them sit for another hour or two. I just got a chance to pull them out and a few of the pieces had another coating of grease, but for the most part the bacon had finally dried out. Twenty eight (28) hours is the longest I have ever had anything in my dehydrator. I suspect the pieces with a bit of grease on them would probably need another 6-8 hours, and at this point I just decided to call it good and see what happens. Read the rest of this entry »
The other day I got some PROBAR Fuel Bars and I pretty much instantly fell in love with them!
A little over a month ago I wrote about my thoughts regarding the PROBAR Core Protein bars and while I found them to be good, they just did not really match up to the awesomeness of the PROBAR Meal bars that I have loved and used for a year or so – it is not that they were no good, they were just not my style of a bar, I like soft and gooey type of bars! If you are looking for a way to supplement some protein into your hikes, the Core bars are totally worth taking along and I intend to take them along on my future hikes, but they are just not going to replace the Meal bars for me.
I had this to say regarding the Meal Bars in my article on the Core Bars:
The texture, flavor, and size of the PROBAR Meals are something I simply cannot see myself letting go of.
Amazingly, I think the time has come for me to recant that statement!
Because I got some of these “Fuel Bars” and it was just one of those magical “omg – this is awesome!!” moments.
To keep this simple, here are the reasons I have fallen in love with these Fuel bars:
- Soft & Gooey!
- Half the size of a Meal bar – which makes eating them easier while hiking
- Less large nuts inside of them (it seems a lot of the Meal bars have one large almond in them, and I do not like almonds – or walnuts – so I am always biting into a Meal bar, finding it, and spitting out the almond – regardless of how good they are for hikers)
To address the second issue of them being half the size. One of the things I have always done with the Meal Bars was to open a package and break off a third to half of them and leave the rest in the package for thirty or sixty minutes down the trail. Sometimes I forgot about them and they got kinda hard – all too common late at night on the trail. By going with a bar that is half the size, they just seem to be the perfect size to consume all at once. Granted this might result in a micro-amount of additional weight and waste due to the extra package material, but micro is really the right term here, when compared to the size of the larger Meal bar packages. Nit-picky issue and one that does not even warrant my scale being used and my time being wasted testing such matters. All in all, I am just finding that when I am hiking down the trail, I am reaching for the Fuel bar because it is a more manageable size and amount of food I want to consume at any given time.
On both a calorie and protein basis, I will have to consume two of the Fuel Bars to get about the same amount as I do from a single Meal bar, so given that I typically break my Meal Bars into two pieces, that is pretty much the same thing.
Economically they also seem to be about the same. A 12 pack of the Meal bars go for $35.48 on their website. Two packs of 12 of the Fuel Bars go for $35.20 on their website. Pretty much an even issue there too. Amazon.Com offers them as a “subscribe and save” for $16.99 per 12 pack, making two 12 packs of them $33.98, so that is what I plan on doing to save a couple of bucks.
From a flavors perspective, there are a lot more options for the Meal Bars, as there are only four (4) flavors of the Fuel Bars: Blueberry, Cherry, Cran-Raspberry, and Strawberry. The blueberry is by far my favorite, with Charry in second place. I pretty much hate watermelon and strawberries, so the strawberry got the down-vote from me, with the Cran-Raspberry taking third in my preference. Here is the thing though, regarding flavors: As Brian Green has said regarding the PROBAR Meal ‘Oatmeal Raisin‘ bars, “Can you say breakfast? This is the perfect morning snack bar. Like having a bowl of delicious oatmeal in a bar” – yeah, he is dead on right about them! I eat one of the Oatmeal Raisin Meal Bars every morning and have zero intention of stopping. He also said good things about the Superfruit Slam, which is probably my favorite PROBAR Meal.
While a bit off-topic, a couple weeks ago I was down at my local hiking store and they had some of the PROBAR Bolt bags, which are kind of like gummy bears, only packed with a lot of stuff that is suppose to be way better for you than gummy bears – giggle. Usually I like orange flavored stuff (it reminds me of the orange and vanilla ice cream bars I use to eat when I was little) so I bought a bag of the PROBAR Bolt Orange and they were pretty neat. I did not get any bolt of energy from them, but they made for a nice distraction while hiking on down the trail. For some of you they might be totally worth buying – if for nothing else than the flavor change-up in your mouth from the other PROBAR bars, they have a bit too much sugar for my likes. The PROBAR Halo bars are something I will likely never take with me either – for as Scott Williamson has said for a rather long time, “I avoid sugar on the trail because sugar highs and crashes affect my hiking“.
So I think my plan going out on my next hike is to take my usual Oatmeal Raisin bars for breakfast per day, one Superfruit Slam per day, and for the rest of each day I will be taking with me the Blueberry and Cherry Fuel Bars, probably three packages of each, to offset the PROBAR Meal bars that I would normally consume throughout the day. Anyway, that is the plan and I will update everybody later this year if this idea works out.
If you get a chance to try out some of these PROBAR Fuel Bars give them a try and let me know what you think! If you have already given them a try, likewise, let me know what you think of them!
In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that the products mentioned within the content of this article were not supplied to me in exchange for services.
As of April 2013 I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell America, Gossamer Gear, Black Rock Gear, Suluk46.