Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cool Gear, Gadgets, Trends-Outdoor Retailer S/S 2015 ENERGY on the GO


Part 2

Portable food energy, like portable power=is delivered by scores of vendors nowadays…enticing consumers looking for easy, tasty ways to fuel on the go.

Or to snack on---no matter where/what -including couch potato types.

Some Highlights:
Chocolov XOXOX…24 flavors are sold all over- very authentic tasting even discerning chocolate snobs  would nibble…and we're half French.

one distributor offered various sized, ready to drink tea options from Ito En-a brand remembered fondly- drinking gallons of- from all those vending machines-during time spent in Japan. Unsweetened options actually taste good!
Brooklyn's brewing up 100% Arabica- Jay Street Coffee-coffee drinks with the milk part mixed in +shelf ready. These kinds of beverages have been massively popular in Japan for decades wonder why it took so long to catch on here.

Third generation owned Nature's Bakery™ served up devour-able natural versions of the classic Fig Newtons- made of non-GMO stone ground whole wheat, dried cane syrup, and brown rice syrup for sweetness (not high fructose corn syrup…). Packaged in handy 2oz sizes-our fav -the lemon, didn't 'survive' the plane ride home. Completely addictive-you've been warned.
flavor options-apple cinnamon, blueberry, fig, peak apricot, raspberry, lemon, mango, strawberry, vanilla fig,, vanilla raspberry

love these-aromatic lemon really comes through-and not coconutty at all-about $6.99/bag
Coconuts are having a 'moment' as the 'it' ingredient-the elixir for endurance activities (electrolyte loaded-coconut water) and beauty/hair treatments (organic extra virgin/ cold-pressed coconut oil).

And so too with-Laughing Giraffe Organics Snakaroons™ 100 calories/cookie, coconut embedded bites-that  have the texture of thick buttery sugar cookies -but are non-GMO, gluten-free, USDA certified organic snacks, made from 'raw' food ingredients that are all pronounceable. The melt in your mouth treat comes in several authentic flavors-sweetened by low glycemic agave syrup.

Maybe because they are authentic foods---we found one cookie very satisfying-versus an urge to inhale the entire bag.

Family owned SunRidge Farms™ offers a wide assortment of snack+trail mixes-including themed ones like nutty/spicy Zen Party Mix™…candies, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds…plus -Power Chews-bite sized energy bars-that come in four flavors...
-Power Chews-Peanut Butter, Vanilla Coconut, Almond Cranberry, Cocoa Energy
Chances are-if a local grocery -health food store sells these kinds of items in bulk or packaged with its own label-the eats might be SunRidge Farms™ supplied-which is a good thing, given the company's commitment to green policies-like reimbursing employees $5/day who bike to work and food sourcing policies of using only sustainably produced products.

One of our first 'hits' on Demo Day-is the from Utah- ProBar® booth---and not just us…we see attendees with the company's signature MEAL™bars-everywhere.

ProBar® Bolts-gummy-bears' like USDA  organic energy chews in four flavors that can constitute breakfast for us on triathlon race days…and the new plant based protein packed BASE™ bars-4-5g of fiber, 20g protein from chia and flax seeds non-GMO=6 flavors…ready to sample
new flavors for MEAL™- Almond Crunch and Strawberry Bliss -10 others with 5-8g/fiber, 5-11g/protein (nuts+seeds), non-GMO, 350-390 calorie-3oz size

A highlight, tastebuds wise - - -Setton Farms' products are a smash hit since arriving at OR. Frankly, pistachios any which way- are a favorite food group all unto its own in our household.

New to us-are the flavored ones-that take those delectable Californian grown pistachios -and fuse them with some added kick. (5 flavors available). Bars across America-take note.  SO MUCH BETTER…than the mixed nuts.

Available on Amazon.
the Chewy Bites are cranberry and pistachio loaded tiny bars-about 3 bites worth…just the right texture and blend of sweet/salty/tangy. We would be happy too if we worked for this company. Yummy! Great for kids. $5.99/6 pack, $14.99/16 pack, individually wrapped.

Gift sized, every allergy -free human -practically speaking- would love the 100% bag of extra large 18/20 premium California pistachios -roasted with a touch of sea salt (19oz)…or the 18oz roasted cashews with sea salt. $15.99/per

Dark Chocolate Pistachios=win win

PowerBar's Performance Energy Wafers-have that satisfying lightness and crunch of a waffle cookie but are made of the company's C2MAX-"a dual source energy blend…2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose." Reminds us of what energy gels deliver. We tried the Chocolate/Peanut Butter flavor (other one is Berry Yogurt)---and it is on the sweet side---but real tasting with satisfying crispness.
PowerBar Protein Plus® 20g protein NOT from meat. Peanut Butter Cookie and Chocolate Mint Cookie-chewy-without cardboard taste. Each bar has 270-280 calories. Sweat-ers alert-their PowerGel® have 200mg of sodium/pouch.  AND the PowerBar® High Intensity Beta-Alanine Dietary Supplement-is NSF certified.

Fortunately for attendees-CLIF Bar has a huge- hanging from the ceiling banner-making it easy to change-up routes- so we can do a drive by -and sample some of the company's offerings-including the LUNA and Builder's Bars that we count on for protein nutrition.
smartly segmented products-for Before, During, Recovery---natural and organic ingredients---a lot of product offerings...

Big thumbs up for sponsoring races! The Clif Bar gels are a bit thicker textured than other brands- makes it easier take a bit at a time vs liquidy kind. FYI:-we buy the Black Cherry Gel Bloks by the case…

HONEY STINGER bases their entire organic product line on naturally energy delivering, easy to digest honey. The gels- are no caffeine and caffeine blessed-getting a 32mg kick from green tea extract. Also new and easily devoured-Gingersnap Waffle-crispy light and delish. We could see an entire Christmas themed gingerbread house made of these though we guess buttery frosting would negate any healthy eating fantasy.

Organic gels get new flavors-chocolate and strawberry kiwi.
After reading a Runner's World readers' forum on best fuels for long distance that are easy to digest- we took up one guy's tip-and carried some of Honey Stinger's Organic Wildflower Honey in a little plastic bag during a recent marathon…easy enough to take a bit when needed...and it really gave us that instant kick to avoid bonking out during the last 5 miles. Now a staple on 2+hour runs.

Freeze dried-just add boiling water and wait a 8-9 minutes-or use cold water and heat it up-Breakfast Skillet is all in one meal=hash browns, scrambled eggs mixed with pork sausage, peppers and onions. Different sized packets widely available.

this ginormous can that doubles as a pot- has shelf life 25 years
Campers-including car campers, the military…as well as those stocking up on stable, last for years'  items for storm ravaged emergencies-or for when the power goes out moments… have choices. An entire just add water-or open the packet industry of food purveyors exists.

With really long shelf lives of prepared food staples--one of the bigger ones at OR- Mountain House- dazzled us with their Raspberry Crumble. So easy…just open the can, add boiling water, stir up-serve with the included chocolate cookie crumble on top. DONE.
Feed a whole group. FYI-gluten free, vegetarian, ethnically flavored and low sodium options are available-including entrees like Pasta Primavera, Mexican style rice and chicken, Beef Stroganoff and whole bunch of sides. Even ice cream sandwich-jsut tear packet open and eat.
We went on their website-and thought the prices totally reasonable. People who hate to cook-but like to eat-should check it out.

cookie crumble is in a protective sealed pouch- crispness guaranteed. 10 year shelf life 

CHEF 5 MINUTE EXPRESS™ had just tear open and eat tuna vegetable and chicken vegetable salads (with 3 year shelf life, no refrigeration needed)…and …super cool Chef 5 Minute Meals that are self heating-with a heating pad oven envelope -that works with the included salt water activator pouch-tear open and pour contents into  heating pad oven, fold over as directed with the meal placed just so, and wait 5-10 minutes.
Everything needed is completely packaged in one box. EVEN featured on the Rachel Ray show…we bet she was as impressed as we are.

9 entree size, self-heating meal options-like Beef Chili and Beans, Chicken Cacciatore, Vegetable Lasagna... the company donated an entire inventory-2 million Hurricane Sandy victims. Bravo. Also sold by the huge buckets and pouches. 
Gadgets abound at OR-but this AMAZING Ice Cream Ball from YayLabs™ is super special---we wonder how the inventor thought this up! The blue ball, ruggedly built from food-safe BPA free materials-one side gets the salt, the other side opens up for the natural ingredients…both sides seal shut-then kick it around for 20 minutes=exterior is a toe friendly soft-shell…then violà-a pint of ice cream.
wide opening makes it easy to mix natural ingredients and scoop it out.

handles are built-in makes opening the ends easy
Ice cream salt in the other side

close shut-roll around
MSRP $34.99

FYI-company now sells an ice cream ball with additional inflatable cover. The one featured above-is an all in one soft-shell... should be available soon.

bonus points go to this watermelon juicer. THANKS!