Eating and shredding go hand in hand. To hit the trails with energy, you actually need energy; it’s simple physics, or is it biology? We’ll just call it science, it makes sense, ok? Anyway, that’s where trail food comes in.
Trail food is a staple feature in any rider’s armoury (that and a few quid for a drink in the pub later, of course). There is, of course, a wide selection of ready made, isotnic, ice and tonic, products on the market that you can stuff in your pocket if you are totally baffled by the concept of a spatula, but we decided to see if we could come up with our own creations using actual kitchens and ovens and stuff like that.
So we went around the Singletrack office and asked the culinary challenged we found there to come up with their own take on trail food.
So without further ado, welcome to the Singletrack Great British Trail-Food Off – actually, scrap that title. We don’t fancy a lawsuit from Mr Hollywood and Ms Berry…
Sarah’s Chocolate Salty Balls
This recipe will make around six to ten pieces depending on how big you roll them.
- One ripe avocado
- A few tablespoons of coconut oil
- A couple of shakes of powered cocoa
- A good drizzle of honey
- A pinch of salt
- A mixture of nuts and/or seeds
This method is the most straight forward of the lot – and that’s a good thing if you like to be incredibly
lazy efficient like us at Singletrack. It’s basically freestyle cooking, and freestyle is the best style. So here goes.
- Throw everything in a mini food processor – or use a blending stick – and whizz till smooth. The hardest part of this recipe is getting a smooth texture as it is thick and sticky. Be persistent, it’s worth it.
- Chop up you favourite nuts or seeds and then roll your mixture into bite sized spheres.
- Finally, dust with cocoa powder.
You can create your own variation, but in this recipe, these ingredients are raw, so make sure you store them in the fridge and it probably wouldn’t be a great idea to take them out on a hot day- but that won’t be a problem for those of us in the northern hemisphere!
Barney: “I’d never in a million years believe there was avocado in that. Lovely.”
James: “I really did like sucking on those chocolate salty balls.”
Chipps: “The chocolate balls instantly taste like they’ll last you through a cold winter’s hibernation… while they’re way more healthy than they look, I daren’t think how many calories are in each bite – especially given that they would all disappear in about three minutes at the end of a winter ride.”
Mark’s Bacon, Cheese and Chutney Swiss Roll
I can see the point of sugar based energy food – it’s what your body needs when you are exerting yourself, but if like me your cravings are more savoury then here’s my solution. You still need sugar I guess but then chutney is just sugar with bits of veg in right?
This recipe should make about eight pieces of sushi-like goodness.
- One Warbuton’s Soft White Easy Roll Wrap Pack
- 100g of cream cheese
- One rasher of lean back bacon
- Chutney of choice
- Start by trimming the fat from the bacon and slice it into small lardon size pieces and then cook for three minutes in a non-stick pan with no fat or oil. Keep them moving. Remove from pan and leave to cool.
- Take your square wrap and, starting at one end, spread a line of chutney about 1/3 the length of the wrap across the entire width.
- Spread the cream cheese over the remaining two thirds, making sure you go right to the edges.
- Sprinkle those crispy bacon bits over the cheese.
- Starting at the chutney end, carefully begin to roll up your wrap. Make it tight. If you have spread your cheese right to the edges it will stick and hold together well. If your wrap is a little dry stick into the microwave for 5-10 seconds, with ingredients, and it will soften it up enough to roll without cracking.
- Now grab a sharp knife and cut the roll into sushi sized pieces. Place the entire cut roll on a length of tin foil and roll up tightly. And that’s it, go out and ride, stop in the middle and unleash the moist cheesy bacon greatness.
Kane: “This cream cheese tastes like cheese spread. I really like cheese spread. I like bacon, too. Can I have another?”
Vic: “An interesting twist on a sandwich. Loved the sweetness of the chutney. Reckon it’d be even better made with chorizo.”
Rich: “A quick nibble on cheesy roll, with the added benefit of bacon.“
Barney’s Extremely Chocolatey Flapjacks
This recipe should feed a small village for a number of weeks.
- 700g of butter (yes, seven-hundred)
- 350g of soft brown sugar
- 350g of oat flakes
- 350g of dark muscovado sugar
- 550g of processed oats
- 12 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons of syrup
- A selection of nuts and fruits
Okay, we’ll admit that if you’re looking for healthy trail food, you need to move right along – these things are not remotely healthy. The quantities of butter and sugar in this thing are frankly spectacular – but if you’ve previously found that you don’t like chocolate flapjack, then prepare to be amazed. These things are fantastic. And frankly, if you’ve just busted your guts on a huge strenuous climb, then you need a reward before you hit the descent, right? Right.
- Preheat your oven to 140 degrees.
- In a (large) pan, melt 700g of butter (we TOLD you), 350g of soft brown sugar, 350g of dark muscovado sugar and 6 tablespoons of golden syrup – but don’t allow it to bubble, that would BE BAD.
- Then vigorously stir in 350g of oat flakes (the ones you get from the baking aisle), 550g of processed oats (porridge oats is perfect). Take it of the heat and stir in 12 table spoons of good quality cocoa powder. If you like, throw in a couple of large handfuls of chopped nuts and fruit, too.
- Lay the whole lot into a large baking tray (10x14inch is ideal) and bake for 18-20 minutes, but If you’ve got a fan oven like us, turn the temperature down by 20 degrees to 120 degrees and bake it for an extra five minutes.
- Remove from the oven (it should smell slightly caramelly and not burned), and leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes. You can cut it up then, but leave it in the pan – it’s still too soft. Cover and allow it to cool.
- Turn them out, and enjoy. They are very moreish.
Hannah: “I’m on my second piece… can I have a third?”
James: “Chocolate crack. These calories will fill me for a week.”
Ali: “BAM! Smacks you round the chops with a cocoa right-hook, followed by a chocolate upper-cut. Knock out!“
Vic’s Seeds and Something Cookies
This recipe should make six plentiful sized cookies. We know there’s only five shown above, but six were made. Could there be a cookie thief amongst us?
- 125g of unsalted butter, softened
- 100g of your choice of seeds. It was pumpkin and sunflower for these
- 80g of crunchy peanut butter
- 100g of jumbo oats
- 100g of wholemeal flower
- One egg
- One teaspoon of vanilla
- Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 100g of light muscovado sugar
- 100g of caster sugar
So according to Vic, this piece of fine baking is an amalgamation of a couple of her favourite cookie recipes. Lightly toasting the seeds beforehand in a dry frying pan gives them a nice nutty flavour, and who can resist the addition of peanut butter. A bit too sweet to be truly healthy, but the oats, seeds and nuts help slow down the release of that sugar- and that means we can’t eat as much as we like without getting fat, well, that’s we keep telling ourselves.
- Start by mixing the butter with the sugars, as well as adding an egg.
- Throw in peanut butter and vanilla- keep that mixing going. Add the toasted seeds, oats flour and bicarb and again, keep mixing.
- Now put a dessert spoon sized blobs on baking parchment on a baking tray. Leave gaps between as they tend to spread. Bake at 150 fan (170 normal, gas 3-4) for 9-12 minutes until lightly golden round the edges. They may still seem soft in the middle.
- Let them cool for a few minutes on the tray before carefully transferring to a cooling rack using a spatula.
- You’re done. Devour at your leisure. A paper bag of these offered to fellow riders will make you quite popular, but if doesn’t then wow, you must be seriously un-liked.
Kane: “I can’t describe what makes this so nice. It just is.”
Mark: “Cookies! What’s not to like. By far the best use of seeds”
Chipps: “Probably the tastiest ‘worthy’ mouthful I’ve had all week.”
Hannah’s Salted Marshmallow Lovelies
This recipe should make 12 decent sized portions, unless you just want one big piece straight from the tray. We won’t judge you.
- 100g of granulated sugar
- 100g of chocolate, chopped and put in the freezer
- 60g of dark muscovado sugar
- One big dollop of syrup
- 3 teaspoons of water
- 30g of butter
- 100g of mini marshmallows
- 10g of salt
- 125g of Rice Crispies
Hannah calls these Eric’s weakness. I bet you’re wondering why- well even if you’re not, we’re still going to tell you.
Eric was baking for a cafe and, somewhat strangely, he managed to not eat any of his creations. But then he made these and he finally cracked. Not the longest explanation but that’s that, you needed to know- and now onto the method.
- Start by dissolving the sugars, syrup, butter, water, salt and marshmallows in a large pan over a gentle heat. Keep that going until you get a smooth consistency and then remove the pan from the heat and quickly mix the cereal in. Add the frozen chocolate (yes, frozen!) and squash it all into a grease lined tin.
- Let the mixture chill in the fridge and then cut it into the shapes you desire.
- *Top tip from Eric: use a hot knife, it’ll cut easier when chilled.*
Ali: “#SaltyStickyCrispyYumness, get it trending.”
Richard: “Not to be eaten in the morning. Salty, salty, very very salty.”
Jamie: “Instantly recognisable from the first bite. Crispy, crunchy, chewy and with the caramel holding it all together nicely, it serves up quite dense but be ready for the unforgiving salt boost that kicks in at the second bite.”