Category Archives: nutrition

DIESEL FUEL: Hard Cider Wars Round 2

20131030-105310.jpg

Vs.

20131030-105333.jpg

Round 2 pits two sweet ciders against each other.

Magner’s

It’s Irish. Those folks know their alcohol. My wife took a sip and described it as tasting like rotten fruit. Although this is a little harsh, isn’t that what cider basically is? This cider is very sweet, relatively low in alcohol, and definitely tastes like strong apple (surely the antithesis of Stella Cidre). It kind of did taste like rotten fruit, but like other strong and polarizing tastes (think coffee, capers, sharp cheddar cheese), I kept going back for more.

Woodchuck Hard Cider (Amber)

Like the state of origin of this cider (Vermont), I can’t say anything bad or great about it. Yup, tastes like cider. I think that is a good thing, and not meant to be a knock. Like a good steel frame with wide tires, it’s solid and a go-to bottle. Unlike Redd’s which tended to be first sweet, then refreshing upon swallowing, this beverage was refreshing when first chugged, with a sweet apple-y aftertaste.

Winner

This is a close call, but anytime a comparison is made to a steel framed bicycle, it’s gotta be a winner. Besides, I got married in Vermont. Woodchuck moves on in the bracket.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

DIESEL FUEL: Hard Cider Wars Round 1

20130904-093625.jpg

vs.

20130904-093700.jpg

The first round of cider wars features two very different competitors. Fighting out of the blue corner is the blue blooded European Stella Artois Hard Cidre (that’s not a typo). Fighting out of the red corner, is…well, Redd’s Apple Ale from Georgia.

Stella Artois Hard Cidre
Stella’s entry into the hard cider foray doesn’t try to hide it’s uppity roots. From the spelling, to packaging, to selling in packs for 4 instead of 6, this drink is more for Belgian royalty than the pave or mud of a hard core Belgian bike race. The apple taste, well there ain’t much of it. Stella Hard Cidre has notes more similar to a dry wine with merely fruity undertones upon swallowing. My palate could barely detect apple flavor.

Redd’s Apple Ale
Let’s get this out of the way right away. I am not even sure this “ale” is technically a cider. However, if it smells
like a cider, tastes like a cider, and looks like a cider, let’s just call it a cider for my purposes.

I loved apple juice as a kid. Redd’s is essentially apple juice for big kids. It has a strong apple taste, and the carbonation leaves your mouth feeling clean after swallowing. It’s quite a refreshing way to hydrate after a ride or run. It’s also makes a nice dessert to sip when doing bike maintenance when the moon comes out.

The Winner
Based on it’s working man attitude and strong apple flavor, Redd’s advances to the next round.

Tagged , ,

DIESEL FUEL: Hard Cider Wars

20130827-194651.jpg

The suffocating humidity is lifting, some of the leaves are showing color other than green. Marathoners are thinking about their long runs, mountain bikers are oiling their chains, and cyclocrossers are grabbing their drop barred bikes with knobbies instead of the slicks they have been riding all summer.

Most folks love to sit down with a cold beer after a race or training day. The problem is, I am not really a fan of beer. What is one to do in such a case?

Let’s rewind to earlier this summer. To celebrate my mother winning her age group in the Pocono XTerra Trail Run Series, we decided to hit up some wings and cheesesteaks. There was a little ad thingy for Redd’s Ale on our table. Being thirsty and in a celebratory mood, I thought I would order one up to try it out. I ended up really enjoying it.

Where am I going with this? Well, what better time than fall, with the upcoming apple harvest and a glut of racing and woodsy endurance activities, to have a Hard Cider War?

What is best alternative for endurance racing type of folks who aren’t beer fans to sit back and enjoy a manly adult beverage that celebrates the season? I intend to answer that question through a no holds barred, last cider standing taste testing tournament. Check back soon for the first round!

Tagged , , , , ,

DIESEL FUEL RECIPE: Car Brewed Tea

Everyone has likely heard of sun tea, if not sampled the drink. The idea is to put a few tea bags out on a hot sunny day to brew. How many have heard of car tea? Likely none because I think I just invented it today.

Brewing your iced tea in a car can make sense in many circumstances. For example, if one lives in a city and doesn’t have private space, or if one lives in a colder clime and wishes to take advantage of the warming greenhouse effect of car windows.

What does this have to do with endurance sports? I propose iced tea is a wonderful drink to take with you on a ride or run for the following unscientific reasons:

  • it’s mostly water and will hydrate you
  • add honey for simple carbs and quick energy
  • the caffeine can give you energy (and is known to decrease perceived exertion)
  • antioxidants in many teas can help reduce free radicals from training and sun exposure
  • it doesn’t leave that crappy taste in your mouth like some sports drinks (especially if you add something extra refreshing like mint
  • much cheaper than sports drinks
  • So what do you need to make some car tea?

  • glass container that seals (try TJ Max where I got mine for
    $5)
  • water
  • a few tea bags (I prefer green tea)
  • raw local honey, or other sweetener
  • Simply add the tea bags to the water jug and sit in your car for a few hours. You can adjust the temperature by placement of the jug, or rolling down windows. After it’s sufficiently brewed, remove tea bags, stir in honey, and serve over ice cubes in your water bottle.

    20130507-100716.jpg

    Tagged ,

    DIESEL FUEL RECIPE: Baked Oatmeal

    20130403-085027.jpg
    Lance, if you are reading this, you can stop now. Baked oatmeal is not some code word used to describe a pharmaceutical concoction that is injected intravenously. Rather, it is a delicious recipe that can be used as a pre-workout meal, post-workout meal, or delicious snack or dessert. Like shrimp and grits, the baked oatmeal is greater than the sum of it’s parts, and also has a surprising and unique texture. Ground zero for baked oatmeal is the Lancaster, PA area as it’s a popular Pennsylvania Dutch recipe.

    Nutritionally, baked oatmeal offers a good mix of complex carbs, simple carbs, and some protein. By adding fruits and nuts to the mix, you can add additional vitamins, antioxidants, healthy fats, etc. For the base recipe, you can also substitute apple sauce for butter, cut down on the brown sugar, or substitute xylitol or splenda. Below is the basic recipe followed by some ideas for variations.

    Recipe

    20130403-085210.jpg

    3 cups instant oats
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 cup milk
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon salt
    1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
    Splash of vanilla extract

    20130403-085332.jpg

    Combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine all other ingredients (don’t forget to take the eggs out of their shell!). After wet and dry ingredients are combined separately, combine all the ingredients together. Place in a greased vessel, approximately 9×9 in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until it looks done. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Once baked, serve warm in a bowl, with some milk poured over (see picture below). Once eating is commenced, the cake-like structure will fall apart like a Schleck brothers’ season and will become a delicious porridge. The leftovers can be eaten for days, just remember to warm up the cake, before you pour on the milk.

    20130403-085449.jpg

    Variations

      Cherry Garcia Baked Oatmeal: add cherries and dark chocolate chips. If you just ran a half marathon or greater, you have earned a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
      Mother-in-Law Baked Oatmeal: add chopped walnuts and sliced almonds for some excellent Omega 6 fatty acids and a truly nutty experience
      Orchard Baked Oatmeal: Add diced apples, pears, and peaches and you will almost be able to smell the Spring blossoms and pesticides on the trees
      Obama Baked Oatmeal: add nothing because you can’t afford it with higher taxes. In fact, with this variation, you must give half of the recipe output to the guy who was too lazy to make his own.

    Lance, I was just kidding. Call me, we will go for a ride.

    Tagged ,