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Hip Pack Happy Hour

Riding into the backcountry no longer precludes you from a gourmet experience.

Lentine Alexis is a retired professional athlete turned chef who uses her experiences to help people fuel their mind, body, spirit, and soul. Read on to see how she uses only two liters of storage space to turn an ordinary ride into a culinary experience.

Trail Pack Picnic

The only thing standing between you and a little picnic of epic proportions is a bit of planning and a pack to carry your supplies! The Backcountry Mid Mountain 2L Hip Pack has enough space and craft pockets to carry your picnic basics—plus a few tasty provisions—to a spot on your favorite trail with the best view. 

The best trail snacks are those that are ready-to-eat, create minimal waste, and don’t need to be fresh from the fridge to taste good. Raid your pantry and see what you’ve got, then pack it into containers and get going!

Remember: pack out any trash and enjoy your hard-earned treats responsibly!

Inside Lentine’s Metaphorical Basket

Equipment

  • 1 small folding cutting board OR a piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil
  • 1 small folding pocket knife
  • 1 bandana to use as a napkin, trash container, or handwashing cloth

Provisions

  • A small piece of salami or other charcuterie
  • A small piece of hard cheese
  • Olives
  • Cocktail nuts or trail mix
  • Small container of hummus 
  • Cut vegetables and fruits
  • Homemade quesadillas
  • Small container of salsa
  • Nut butter and jam sandwiches
  • Crackers

How About Dessert?

Bike adventures in the dirt call for big, sturdy snacks that will hang on for the ride. This slice-and-pack skillet cookie is stout enough to endure hip pack storage, satisfying enough to keep you stoked during a big day in the mountains, and just gooey-chewy enough to sate your soul after heart-pumping climbs and ripping descents—not to mention extremely customizable! 

The recipe below calls for chopped chocolate bars, but you could substitute chocolate chips. Dislike peanut butter? Use almond or another nut butter instead. For an added protein boost, swap the coconut out for your favorite nut.  

The recipe below calls for ground flaxseed bloomed in water to stand in for eggs—it’s a great source of protein and healthy fats. If you don’t have ground flaxseed, you can use two large eggs. As long as you’re getting to slice yourself a piece of cookie, you’re gonna win the trail snack game!

Bake + Take Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookies w/Coconut

Makes One 10” cookie

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole grain pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for buttering the pan
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp warm water OR two large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces 70% dark chocolate bars, roughly chopped into 1/4- and 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 ounces of coconut flakes, chopped roughly
  • ½ cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy to your preference

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C and place a rack in the middle. Lightly butter an 11-inch (28cm) long by 2-inches (5 cm) deep ovenproof skillet or pan. A 10-inch(25cm) pan can also work, but you might want to make your cookie a little smaller to fit. Measure if you’re not sure because an undersized skillet will create a messy overflow!
  2. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) into a large bowl.
  3. In another large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment) add the butter and the sugars. Cream together just until the butter and sugars are blended and fluffy, about two to three minutes at medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl along the way. While the butter and sugar are mixing, combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl, allowing the flaxseed to absorb the liquid before adding it and the vanilla to the butter mixture. 
  4. Continue mixing until all ingredients are blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again, then add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until the flour is just combined—about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl one more time.
  5. Add ¾ of the chopped chocolate and all of the coconut flakes. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is evenly incorporated and there are no dry spots visible in the batter. Transfer half of the batter to the prepared skillet, pressing it out into an even layer. 
  6. Dollop ¾ of the peanut butter around the surface of the cookie, then top it off with the remaining cookie batter, pressing firmly with the back of a rubber spatula to mix it all together. Top the second layer of cookie batter with dollops of the remaining peanut butter and the remaining chopped chocolate, sprinkling evenly. Press again to adhere the chopped chocolate to the batter so it melts soon. 
  7. Bake the skillet for 35-45 minutes, or until the dough is a deep golden brown along the edge and the center has set. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before slicing into the cookie into servings the size and shape of your heart’s content!

Wash it Down

There’s nothing so excellent after a ride as an icy trail beer…except for maybe a refreshing beer shandy while your wheels are still in the dirt. The Backcountry Mid Mountain 2L Hip Pack has space for a tidy picnic and the ingredients for this easy recipe. As an added bonus, the maple and lemon will help you rehydrate after your ride! 

Use a light beer or pale ale for the brew and lemon, lime, or orange for the citrus. Don’t forget to pack out your trash and consume responsibly!

Maple-Lemon Beer Shandy

Makes 2 6oz beer cocktails

Ingredients

  • 1 12-oz can light beer or pale ale 
  • 1 Untapped Maple Syrup Packet
  • ½ fresh lemon

Equipment

  • 2 small shatter-resistant cups

Directions

  1. Open the packet of maple syrup and squeeze a rough tablespoon into each of the two cups. 
  2. Place a clean hand over the sliced surface of your half lemon, then squeeze a rough 1 to 1 ½  tablespoons of juice into each cup. Your hand will help catch any seeds hiding in the lemon flesh. 
  3. Lastly, divide the beer between the cups. Swirl the cup to incorporate, or stir with a pocket knife or clean finger and enjoy!