While Magic Tours provided all food and lodgings for the hike towards The Lost City, promising vegan eats for me, I came prepared. Just in case. Fresh fruits were a-plenty, that’s for sure. Prior to my trip, though, I had my dehydrator out in full force: I was making myself treats to keep me fuelled through this grueling hike.
I made an assortment of treats and not all made the cut.
Chickpea Granola Bars: A peanut butter-based granola bar stuffed with roasted chickpeas. Sounded great but these bars were too dry for me. They are supposed to be chilled for best eating (maybe that would have helped?), and dehydrating them did not make them more palatable. They stayed at home.
Caribbean Coconut Oat Bars: Looking for something tropical, I made these with fresh mango instead of banana. They combined oats, almonds, macadamia nuts and coconut with lime. These had promise but my bars were too thin to enjoy the fudgey/chewy texture I was hoping to duplicate. These stayed at home.
Gingerbread Cliff Bars: Hoping for a savoury energy bar without all the crap from real Cliff bars, this was a strong contender. However, these were unlike any Cliff bar I have ever tasted. The pumpkin pie spice treat tasted great but they were cakey more then dense and too fragile to bring on a hike. They stayed at home.
Chocolate Mint Protein Bars: A great good source of protein when all I had to eat was fried rice and avocado for dinner (only once). With a bit of dehydration, these were a nice portable option. Without the dehydration, they would not have survived. They came with me to the jungle, too.
However, the winner of all the snacks were these raw lemon barley energy cookies from Tess! Combining only a few ingredients, these are delicious snacks that withstood everything the jungle threw at it. Almonds. Dates. Sprouted barley. Lemon. Salt. The original recipe also had raisins, but I opted to omit it in favour of a tart lemony cookie instead. The lack of raisins (or decreased dried fruit) really helped these cookies keep their shape through all the backpack reshuffles and heat of the jungle. Furthermore, I do not like overly sweet things when exercising. I also made Tess’ Gooey Cinnamon Raisin version of these cookies which were incredibly delicious with a heavy hand of cinnamon, but the extra raisins made them a bit more gooey and sweet in the heat.
Some of my other favourite energy snacks from my cycling adventures:
What is your favourite energy bar?
Raw Lemon Barley Energy Cookies
Adapted from The Two Week Wellness Solution
1/2 cup dry pearled barley, rinsed
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates (I used honey dates)
3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tbsp lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1/2 tsp salt
1. Begin by sprouting your barley: Place the rinsed barley in a sprouting jar and cover with lots of water. Leave for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Remove the water and rinse well with new water. Place the container upside down at a 45 degree angle for another 8-12 hours. Continue for a full 2 days. At this point, the barley will be tender yet chewy but no sprout will form. Rinse and drain again.
2. Once your barley has sprouted, use it right away. In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, blend the barley well. Add the remainder of the ingredients and blend until relatively smooth.
3. Pinch off a tbsp or so of the dough and roll into a ball. Place onto a dehydrator tray. Continue with the remainder of the dough. Flatten the cookies if desired (I didn’t). Dehydrate at 105F for 6-12 hours. They should be relatively soft and chewy.
4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 14 cookies.