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Ideal Foods To Carry On A Bike Tour

Posted March 24th, 2012

Bike Touring In Denmark You’re on a bike tour so you want to eat well, but how do you keep food fresh without a refrigerator? That’s what one of our readers recently asked.

How do you manage to keep your food fresh? If you buy some meat or eggs, for example, how do you keep them cool? Maybe you buy fresh things just before you cook? -Denise

The short answer is that most things will keep much longer outside of a fridge than you probably think. Unless it’s a blazing hot summer day, there’s little (aside from fresh meat and milk) that won’t keep for 6-8 hours in your panniers.

Most vegetables will last at least 2 days in your panniers and many hardy fruits, vegetables, dried and cured foods will easily withstand several days of travel – especially if you pack them deep inside the bags, far from direct sunlight.

Keep reading about Carrying Fresh Food On A Bike Tour.

Posted in Food

Carrying Fresh Food On A Bike Tour

Posted January 28th, 2012

Bike Touring In Denmark You’re on a bike tour so you want to eat well, but how do you keep food fresh without a refrigerator? That’s what one of our readers recently asked.

How do you manage to keep your food fresh? If you buy some meat or eggs, for example, how do you keep them cool? Maybe you buy fresh things just before you cook? -Denise

The short answer is that most things will keep much longer outside of a fridge than you probably think. Unless it’s a blazing hot summer day, there’s little (aside from fresh meat and milk) that won’t keep for 6-8 hours in your panniers. You certainly don’t need to resort to expensive, freeze-dried meals for bike touring.

Most vegetables will last at least 2 days in your panniers and many hardy fruits, vegetables, dried and cured foods will easily withstand several days of travel – especially if you pack them deep inside the bags, far from direct sunlight.

Foods that travel well include:

  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Pumpkin
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered milk
  • Dried fruits
  • Cured meats (salami, chorizo)
  • Tinned fish
  • Salami
  • Hard cheeses (cheddar, parmesan)

Some things may surprise you by how well they keep outside of a fridge in normal temperatures. This Mango & Avocado salsa, for example, is made from ingredients that would easily travel well for 2-3 days.

P1020842

Eggs are another example. They’re sold refrigerated in North America, leading many of us to believe that they must be kept cool. In Europe and many other places worldwide, however, eggs are routinely kept on normal shelves at room temperature (here’s why). We’ve also found that salted butter keeps just fine for 5-7 days, even in hotter climates. We do keep it in a screw-top jar to prevent spills (in case it melts a bit during the day).

Other tips for storing food on a bike tour include:

  • Buy produce that is almost (but not quite) ripe. By the time it bounces around on your bike for a day or two, it’ll be perfect.
  • Don’t wash or prepare the food until you’re ready to eat it. This speeds up spoilage.
  • Use paper bags or mesh fabric bags to store fresh food, rather than plastic. Produce needs to be able to breathe.
  • Store delicate food like tomatoes and bananas inside a pot or other hard container, to prevent bruising.
  • If you really want fresh meat and you’re worried about it going bad before the end of the day, buy something frozen as well, such as a small bag of frozen peas. Then you can use the peas as an ‘ice pack’ to keep the meat cool.
  • Carry a small insulated bag to keep fresh things cooler for longer.

Want more food inspiration? See some of our favourite bike touring recipes.

Recipe: Chorizo & Spinach Pasta

Posted January 10th, 2012

Ah, pasta. Where would a bike tourist be without it? And yet, we can eat it so often after a long day of cycling that pasta quickly gets boring.

The good news is that it’s easy to dress pasta up with many different ingredients. Chorizo & Spinach Pasta is one of our favourite recipes for on-the-road mealtimes.

Pasta with Cabbage and Chorizo

Here’s our ingredient list. Serves 2 hungry cyclists.

Ingredients:

250g pasta
125g chorizo, sliced (or any other meat you fancy: bacon, ground beef…)
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
250g kale, spinach or cavolo nero cabbage
3 tsp spices (we use a mix of paprika, dried hot chiles and basil)
oil or butter for frying
250ml chopped tomatoes
200ml cream (optional)

Keep reading the recipe for Pasta With Chorizo & Spinach

Posted in Food

Chorizo & Spinach Pasta

Posted December 27th, 2011

Ah, pasta. Where would a bike tourist be without it? And yet, we can eat it so often after a long day of cycling that pasta quickly gets boring.

The good news is that it’s easy to dress pasta up with many different ingredients. Chorizo & Spinach Pasta is one of our favourite recipes for on-the-road mealtimes.

Pasta with Cabbage and Chorizo

Here’s our ingredient list. Serves 2 hungry cyclists.

Ingredients:

250g pasta
125g chorizo, sliced (or any other meat you fancy: bacon, ground beef…)
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
250g kale, spinach or cavolo nero cabbage
3 tsp spices (we use a mix of paprika, dried hot chiles and basil)
oil or butter for frying
250ml chopped tomatoes
200ml cream (optional)

This is a very versatile recipe, so amend it according to what you can find. Also, for short trips (such as an S240) you can chop and wash everything at home so it’s ready to go in the evening.

Ingredients for a camping supperAll the ingredients, chopped up at home and ready to go for a quick overnight bike camping trip.

Directions:

1. Fry the onion, garlic, green peppers and chorizo in a little oil. Cook until the vegetables are softened and the sausage is brown. Set aside in a bowl.

2. In the same pan, saute the greens until they’re wilted and tender. Add the tomato sauce and spices and let it bubble away for 2-3 minutes.

3. Cook the pasta as you normally do. Drain and mix with the vegetables and sauce.

4. Add the cream, if desired. It’s not necessary but a nice treat if you’ve had hard day on the road, or are just craving something luxurious. You may need to reheat the pot of food slightly, if you use the cream.

Eat and enjoy! For a vegetarian version, check out Tomato & Kale pasta.

Posted in Food

Fresh Mango & Avocado Salsa

Posted August 16th, 2011

If you can get mangos and avocados in the markets or supermarkets where you’re touring, then you can definitely make this easy salsa.

P1020842

The sweet and sour combination from the mango and lime juice works really well together with the avocados to make a refreshing salsa. Serve it with nacho chips, pita chips or on the side along with pan-fried chicken or fish.

Ingredients:

2 avocados, diced
1 mango, diced
2 spring onions, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup freshly chopped herbs (we used parsley and mint; cilantro would be nice too)
1 lime
salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Have a bowl or pot ready before you start chopping. Put the diced avocado and mango in the pot as you prepare them.

2. Stir in the chopped spring onions (you could use a bit of finely minced white onion, if you can’t find spring onions), garlic and herbs.

3. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the mixture. Season to taste with the salt.

4. To make this spicy, you could also add a finely chopped hot pepper or some dried pepper flakes.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Posted in Food