Dec 23, 2020 at 10:38 am #3690388Adam SalingerBPL Member
Spent a while on the forums and not finding a thread that really dives into this giving me the answers I’m searching for…
Looking for recipes for very high caloric density bars (snacks I can make) for the trail. Yes….I’ve looked at all the bars I can buy ….as PowerCrunch’s seem to be about the highest at about 153 cal/ounce that I can stomach.. Looking for recipes that lean towards using very high calorie dense ingredients to create easy to snack on foods while walking. This will add to what I’ve come up with for high caloric dense meals. Trying to keep my average for the day well above 150 cal/ounce with an effort to get as high as possible and still enjoy what I’m eating.Dec 23, 2020 at 11:14 am #3690398Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup wheat germ
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, cranberries, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, pecans, cranberries, blueberries, coconut, and chocolate chips.
- In a smaller bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, egg, and vanilla.
- Using rubber gloves for this next step: pour into flour mixture into the large bowl, and mix by hand until the liquid is evenly distributed.
- Press evenly into the prepared baking pan. Make sure it is packed in tightly.
- Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven or until the edges are golden.
- Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.
- These bars take well to using applesauce or baby prunes as part of the oil.
- Brown sugar Splenda® works well as a way to cut back on the sugar content for diabetics.
- Any nut can be used, and feel free to change the fruit or add chocolate chips, etc to the batter!
- These bars have been made by a number of hikers on hiking forums, and the consensus is they are fang good!-no matter how you change the recipe!
- Egg can be replaced with Egg Beaters or flaxseed meal slurry as well.
- Consensus Statement: With homemade items try to eat your product within 3-4 days of baking it. Most homemade items can be frozen safely in advance (cut into individual portions, wrap, and store in large freezer bags.). Most frozen items are good for 1-2 months in a freezer.
Dec 23, 2020 at 11:21 am #3690401Adam SalingerBPL Member
Thank Ken…Looks possible…but without knowing the serving size in grams or oz. it’s impossible to know the cal/ounce. Really would want to know that number before committing the time to trying out the recipe. I’ve got lots of recipes that will yield 100-150 cal/ounce…looking to smash that number. Do you possibly have that information??Dec 23, 2020 at 12:24 pm #3690412Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Sorry cannot help you with the cal/oz. I can say this bar was designed for a dinner meal for adolescence that finished a 13 mi hike prior to their “Duo” in a outdoot ed class and for 16 years I never heard a negative comment concerning the “Bar”. They are worth the time to try them and each bar fits nicely in a small Ziploc bag.Dec 23, 2020 at 1:39 pm #3690425
“150 cal/ounce … smash”
Lard is 255 cal/ounce. Dilute with other ingredients to taste and texture, but lower caloric density.
Seriously, 255 cal/ounce is the maximum for pure fat including vegetable oils, so not sure how hard you want to smash 150 cal/ounce. And eating pure fat (or even a lot of fat, trust me) gets old, quick, unless it’s a big part of your normal daily diet. Plus, semi-solid fats like lard are naturally or artificially hydrogenated, which might be hard on your arteries and heart.
Haven’t seen hydration packs filled with olive oil on the trail. Yet.
Carbohydrates and protein are much lower at 142 cal/ounce, and fiber, water, and other nutrients effectively contribute 0 calories, so you can only go down from 255 cal/ounce.
Old Army saying: Doesn’t matter how many calories you give a man if he won’t eat them. BTDT.
USDA: How many calories are in one gram of fat, carbohydrate, or protein?
https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/how-many-calories-are-one-gram-fat-carbohydrate-or-proteinDec 23, 2020 at 3:23 pm #3690441Tipi WalterBPL Member
I think someone could easily come up with a Backpacking Bar—even a vegan bar—using the wide variety of powders available nowadays—like at Walmart.
You could use Oatmeal as your base and add peanut butter/honey for starters and then shovel in the POWDERS—
Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder or Hemp Powder or Pea Powder.
Cashew or Almond Powder.
Maca Powder ETC.Dec 23, 2020 at 3:46 pm #3690444Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I think the iditarod racers just roll cubes of butter in sugar and eat those by the fistful. YMMV!</p>Dec 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm #3690446
When Hig and Erin did their trip from Seattle to Unimak Island they ate a fair bit of what they called “buttery goodness” which I think was approximately equal parts oats, sugar, and butter, mushed together and eaten straight out of a ziplock like cookie dough. Using an online calculator that still only gets me to about 142 cal/oz (I did the calculation based on equal weights, not volumes, of each ingredient).Dec 23, 2020 at 7:46 pm #3690477Dave HeissBPL Member
@daveheissLocale: Pacific Northwest
Pemmican is pretty calorie-dense, at up to 200 cal/oz depending on how much tallow is mixed in with the dried meat and fruit.Dec 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm #3690480StumphgesBPL Member
I remember reading about a solo polar ski explorer who ate primarily chocolate truffles. Very palatable and Goog says about 190/oz.
On the other hand, Mi-Del ginger snaps are very tasty, easy to binge on, and 150/oz.Dec 23, 2020 at 9:20 pm #3690492
Place chili cheese Fritos (160 cal/oz) in a food processor and blend to sand consistency. Melt Crisco (250 cal/oz) in sauce pan and add Fritos sand until well moistened. Press into shallow sheet pan and cool, then cut into squares. Call 9-1-1.Dec 23, 2020 at 11:26 pm #3690645matthew kModerator
Maybe with butter?Dec 23, 2020 at 11:37 pm #3690650
I was trying to reduce saturated fats, minimize cholesterol and rancidity, but if you are going to gag these gut bombs down in a timely manner… then totally, butter.
(Ghee might be the best of both worlds.)Dec 24, 2020 at 12:36 am #3690674
Butter’s about 203 cal/ounce due mostly to water, so you’re already starting below caloric kings like Crisco, lard, and olive oil at 255 cal/ounce. Ghee is much closer at 248 cal/ounce.
But if you want a mostly-solid bar to eat at temperatures above 40 F, you’ll need some kind of less-calorie-dense glue to hold it together – and reduce the gag factor. And you’ll probably want some flavor variety.
Even eating many ounces of chocolate per day for weeks is at best … an acquired taste.
Not to mention what these gut bombs, no matter how tasty, will do to the rest of your metabolism and body.
— RexDec 24, 2020 at 6:39 am #3690680BonzoBPL Member
@bon-zoLocale: Virgo Supercluster
I’m not sure that it’s possible to get over 170-ish calories per ounce and still have a palatable “bar” of any sort. 130 is easy and pretty common for an off-the-shelf offering, but once you start pushing a mixture’s fat content higher and higher you start losing the ability of the ingredients to actually hold together and resemble a bar of any recognizable sort. For example: peanut butter is around 185 calories per ounce, and it offers a good blend of fat and protein…but it’s not possible to make a bar out of straight peanut butter because peanut butter is not firm enough at any normal temperature. Thus, some sort of thickening/firming agent would have to be added – some sort of flour or milled grain or protein powder, even – but all of those ingredients are going to lower the overall caloric density. By the time you create something that’s recognizable as a “bar” you’re probably going to be down into the 130-150 calories/oz. range, which is likely why that seems to be the normal amount seen in commercial offerings that follow this formula. If you want to go higher, the “roll butter in sugar” idea isn’t far off the mark…but it’s not going to be a bar, per any normal definition.
All that said, it’s an interesting question; I might play around in the kitchen and see what I can come up with.Dec 24, 2020 at 7:56 am #3690683JCHBPL Member
Just gonna throw this out there, but *maybe* caloric density is not the best metric by which to judge a backpacking food. I would put palatability very high, if not top, on the list…doesn’t matter how many calories it has if you can’t stand to eat it for days on end. Second would be nutrition…too much fat is not good. Natural fats (nuts) is good. Third might be longevity. That huge cache of rancid bars is not going to help much on day 5, or 10.
Personally, I would rather carry a little more food weight and eat “real” food. Cereals, nuts (butters?), dried fruit, preserved meats and cheeses. Then again, if my usual trip parameters are very different than the OP’s, my preferences may not be valid.Dec 27, 2020 at 3:59 pm #3691012
If you chose to go for maximum Caloric density but not gag on your food, it turns out most nuts are relatively high in Cal/ounce.
Scrolling down this list:
Macadamia nuts are the highest (that I’ve eaten) at 203.5 Cal/ounce, using WolframAlpha for conversions and struggling with the stupid difference between Calories and calories. Pecans, pine nuts, and dried coconut aren’t too far behind. From personal experience, eating major quantities of the same nut gets old fast; I’d want a variety.
Might even consider several different mash-ups of chunked-up nuts, fats, and sweeteners formed into a bar, then sealed into individual pouches for longevity.
Wait, that formula looks familiar…
— RexDec 27, 2020 at 7:01 pm #3691037Ken WhiteBPL Member
So we are talking carbs, proteins, and fat. The various goodies mentioned before all have different absorption rates. I would think we should consider what combination of nutrients gives us the highest number of absorbable calories and are tasty and shelf stable.
PS-I’m a fan a mac nuts. Just a quick scan of the lit suggests that the calories absorbed from nuts, for instance, are 10-20% less than their posted max.Dec 27, 2020 at 9:50 pm #3691058Monty MontanaBPL Member
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Recently I purchased Just The Cheese baked cheddar cheese bar, which was about the size of your average granola bar and scored an amazing 187.5 cal/oz, 12 g fat, 8 g protein. Pretty tasty, too! On sale the price seemed reasonable…don’t know if I’d purchase at full price.Dec 28, 2020 at 7:02 am #3691068BonzoBPL Member
@bon-zoLocale: Virgo Supercluster
Wow, straight dehydrated cheddar? Is that possible to replicate at home? 187/oz. is higher than anything I’ve been able to come up with in the kitchen thus far. Can’t say that it’ll offer much fiber, though; might have the opposite effect!Dec 28, 2020 at 7:23 am #3691071JCHBPL Member
“Wow, straight dehydrated cheddar? Is that possible to replicate at home?”
Certainly worth a try…seems like you could dehydrate if you can keep from simply melting it.Dec 28, 2020 at 2:35 pm #3691127
I’ve enjoyed Just The Cheese snacks for many years, usually larger round chips made of cheese sealed in mylar bags. The larger rounds were relatively crush proof compared to baked cheese products from other companies, like Whisp.
Not cheap (good food sometimes costs more), so I usually made one big order per year to avoid shipping costs. Appeared and disappeared at random in local markets where I first found them, so I ordered direct. Now selling on Amazon according to their web site.
Note from JTC FAQ:
“Our bars have a shelf life of 9 months and minis have a shelf life of 12 months.”
I like some flavors better than others, but couldn’t stand eating the same flavor day after day. Also, one 1-ounce package per day was about my limit. Very salty, which is probably A Good Thing while backpacking and sweating.
JTC changed flavors and form (bigger rounds, smaller round, bigger packages, smaller packages) several times over the years. Didn’t know they’re making bars, might try them.
Does packaging count in cals/ounce?
— RexDec 28, 2020 at 3:08 pm #3691131Axel JBPL Member
Personally, my appetite goes away on treks and reading some of these recipes, well, I think I would stay with my mash potatoes and bacon.
Maybe you should eat all these calorie dense foods a couple of weeks before the trip, gain about 10 pounds of extra body fat, then burn that off on the trip. Ive been doing just that since Thanksgiving but the problem is, I have no trip planned for the immediate future!Dec 28, 2020 at 9:14 pm #3691189Michael BBPL Member
I’ve always enjoyed this bar. Seems to be about 170Cal/oz. pretty dense. I just made it in a big sheet pan, calculated the total calories for the whole pan and divided it into portions i thought would be reasonable to eat at a sitting.Jan 2, 2021 at 4:26 pm #3691849John “Jay” MennaBPL Member
Just made the “BRICK”. Tasty. But I threw in a few hands full of m&m’s. Mine didn’t bind together all that well.
1. Any hints on making them more solid?
2. Whats the wheat germ for?
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