There’s nothing like a cold, plasticky energy bar to bum you out on even the most epic day of touring. Sometimes I swear I’d rather bonk than eat another mealy, chocolate-esque conglomeration that’s more pretending to be food than actually being it. Well, enough is enough. (You don’t have to throw out your old energy bars, just leave them in your pack. You know, for emergencies.) We can eat better in the backcountry, and it starts here and now.
Never heard of a French toast PB&J before? That’s because it didn’t exist until just now. And while it’s exactly as easy as it sounds, there’s no denying the sheer glory that is this sandwich. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Use a savory herb bread, leave out the cinnamon and vanilla, and fill with ham and cheese for a killer Croque Monsieur.
Photo Credit: Andrew Scarcella
1 large egg
¼ cup milk
Dash of cinnamon
⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
2 slices of your favorite bread (brioche, right?)
Recipe courtesy of The Cake Pedaler
There’s not much else to say other than these are the best “energy bars” I’ve ever eaten.
Cake Pedaler’s Note: I don’t measure when I make these, so I apologize for not listing measurements. These are so forgiving that you can add as much or as little as you want of just about anything. Also, it depends on how many you want to make. Just make sure your base ingredients (oats, rice puffs, or cereal/granola) make up the majority of the recipe.
Photo Credit: The Cake Pedaler
Rolled oats (not instant)
Dark chocolate chips
Almond or peanut butter
Agave or honey
1 tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white
Easy to whip up the night before, it’s the bacon that makes this odd take on a breakfast sandwich sizzle. No surprise there. Light and fluffy, egg salad is a welcome change from hot bagel sandwiches that invariably end up cold anyway.
6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp mayonnaise
4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
1 green onion, sliced thin
Dash of paprika
Similar to the cider of the same name, mulled wine brings a whole new dimension to backcountry beverages. With a thermos of this concoction in your pack, you’ll stay toasty and warm on even the stormiest of storm days.
1 bottle of red wine (merlot or cabernet sauvignon, nothing fancy)
1 cinnamon stick
1in fresh ginger, sliced
4 whole allspice
Peel of 1 orange, cut into strips
Packed with good fats, protein, and quick-digesting carbs, these glorious tidbits are what energy bars want to be when they grow up.
Photo Credit: Andrew Scarcella
10 pitted Deglet Noor dates
½ cup roasted almonds, unsalted
½ cup cashews, unsalted
½ cup protein powder, chocolate or vanilla
Big squeeze of honey or agave
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup water
This is another incredibly versatile recipe that is more of a blank canvas than a masterpiece. Try sausage instead of bacon, asparagus instead of sausage, and whatever kind of cheese you’re into these days. You never have to make the same kind twice (though cheddar and bacon will never let you down). Best when hot, they’re still damn delicious when cold.
⅓ cup milk
Bacon, cooked and chopped
Shredded cheese (your choice)
Hash browned potatoes (frozen works great)