Friday, November 13

Fat Bike Friday: Will it freeze???

Welcome to the first of my little series of Fat Bike Friday posts while I gear up for some fun winter riding and races this year. My first installment is called "Will it freeze?" and I put some tasty and random items in the freezer overnight for taste, texture and hardness testing. You've got to figure that everything on your bike, in your drop bags and sometimes even in your poggies will freeze. The big question is what's still edible and tasty? Let's see how the round one contestants did!

Contestant #1 is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. One of my Tour Divide staples and something that Jill is also fond of lending it winter food cred, Reese's did very well in the freezer test. The chocolate hardened but the center stayed less than solid, warming up and becoming chewy quickly in my mouth. Taste was good with the chocolate slightly subdued and the texture was fine. Based on this information, it's possible that Reece's Big Cups might be the best choice when frozen. Further testing to come...

Contestant #2 is Peanut M&M's. Another Tour Divide favorite, the peanut M&M's fared exceptionally, tasting pretty much like a colder version of normal. They warmed super fast in my mouth and the limited chocolate content made them tasty but not hard to chew. 500 cals/king size pack and frequently on sale. Score!

Contestant #3 is butter. Yum good old butter. Now you non-winter sports people will think I'm crazy but hey I like butter and it's super high in calories per ounce. It's not pure fat with 20% water content but it's good in hot meals, rolled in brown sugar or just eaten straight up. How did it do in the freezer? It came out hard and I was worried but I bit off a chunk and it was great. Easy to slice or eat and just as delicious as normal.

Contestant #4 is summer sausage. I had high hopes for this one after reading some reports that it worked well. It came out of the freezer pretty hard and the bite test was a little discouraging. I sliced off a round and that worked better. It started out hard but quickly warmed up in my mouth and had a good taste and texture though not quite like normal. I think this one needs to be pre-sliced or cubed but it would be a great addition to a meal for fat and protein and salt and also a good "sugar cleansing" snack to help reset the palate when it goes into sweets overload. It's easy for me to OD on summer sausage but it might be a good drop bag item.

Contestant #5 was PB crackers. These little guys were a Tour Divide revelation and have made it into my regular rotation now. They're not a high volume item but they travel surprisingly well and make a great different snack from the normal stuff. The encourage hydration but are edible with minimal water too. How'd they do in the freezer? They were great! Pretty much indistinguishable from normal.

The Bonus Contestant was butter flavored Crisco. The Crisco was firm but still able to be squished and probably cut easily. The package I used for testing was not yet open so I didn't eat any. I may try an open package next time to try it raw and also drop a bit into a dehydrated meal. I'm skeptical but I like butter so maybe Crisco will work too? It is 20% more calorie dense, haha.

What other ideas do you guys have for the next round of "Will it freeze?" I'm thinking pure peanut butter, Poptarts, praline pecans, some sort of chocolate truffle ball, string cheese, Twix, a special non frozen but extra cal hot cocoa recipe I've been wondering about and the best ideas out of your suggestions. Leave a comment and I'll try them out!
In other news, new parts keep trickling into the house and once my frame arrives I'll give the rundown of my parts choices and post some pictures of the build up. Turbo is not amused that another really large bicycle is moving into the house but I sure am excited!


Vito said...

I love the Fat Bike Friday idea. Good motivational tool to get me excited about winter riding and the new Pugs.

However...I'm not so big on that whole Crisco thing. All the other items were good, but the butter would have to go in a meal.

Have you ever carried Fig Newton's or fig bars (Trader Joe variety)? Good energy food, but the crumble factor is pretty high.

Doug said...

Definitely cut the sausage into bite size pcs. I did this with bison jerky for my AH135 rides. I don't have any suggestions from my experience since I eat gluten-free. Almost all my food was homemade energy bars and calorie dense muffins. I also carried nuts. Macadamia nuts are high fat and very calorie dense. My sugary mainstay was Bit-o-honey. It's GF. I'd buy the individually wrapped pcs in bulk and unwrap them all and put them in snack size ziplock bags before the race. Six pcs has 180 calories.

Marni said...

You should freeze all types of girl scout cookies. I will help you test those. Not so much the frozen summer sausage or butter.

brett ebben said...

I bet toaster strudel would be good. You freeze it anyway, and it makes a good breakfast.

Jill said...

Great post! The few things I discovered:

Any kind of dried fruit or nuts are as easy to ingest frozen as thawed.

Pop Tarts are terrible frozen. They become even drier, if you can believe it. Like chewing on cold chalk.

Just say no to energy bars.

Jerky is horrible in the cold; it takes like an hour to chew. Maybe sausage is better. Cheese is OK. It's pretty tasteless when it's frozen.

I had a whole box of Wheat Thins that I stuffed in my pogies. Any crackers are pretty good for salt and quick energy.

Just say no to packets of tuna.

Grandma's Cookies are good. I became really attached to these in New Mexico, because they also don't melt.

Any kind of high-fat candy is good. It's interesting how the deeper the freeze, the more the consistency changes. Snickers Bars are just cold and chewier at 10 degrees, but they turn to shattering glass at 20 below.

Ed said...

All I can contribute is peanut gallery advice, stick with the butter and ditch the Crisco idea - blech!


Nick said...

Nutter Butters, Raisinettes and York peppermint patties.

I've also tried Whoppers which work well, but the malt bothered my throat in a short time.

I like the girl scout cookie and muffin suggestion above, I'm adding those to my list.

Twix do pretty poorly, the caramel gets way too hard, but the cookie part breaks nicely.

I've also pondered carrying ice cream sandwiches, but thought that might just be too weird riding in the cold, munching on ice cream sandwiches, but at least you know it's up for being consumed while frozen.

Lummox said...

i wonder if the peanut butter will have seperation problems. What would Nutella be like?

Neve_r_est said...

Peanut butter covered pretzels for a little sweet and a little salt. Frozen grapes worked well to offset the sugary stuff and you get a little water content too. Gummy bears, Junior mints, raisinettes, dehydrated apples, ginger cashews. Chocolate chip oatmeal balls. And of course chocolate covered expresso beans!

The cinnemon/oatmeal/butter ball is tempting.


hdraper said...

If you could carry the sausage inside your jacket layer, then I bet an hour or so of riding would make it soft and warm. If you have pit zips, those might make a convenient over door.

Jerky baselayer!

Eric said...

try Halva bars - the sesame confection.

super high calorie and don't freeze.. much.

spruceboy said...

Hostess fruit pies! Not sure whats in them, but they just get "more firm" as the temperature drops and stay pretty edible even at <-20f. They are ski trip food staple for me.

hireland said...

Noticed you hadn't incl;uded my fave junior mints..mine are always frozen! but they are thin and warm up quick, but they do get smashed!!!