Book Review - Skratch Labs Feed Zone Portables Cookbook

A year or so ago, I reviewed the Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix here on Life In The Saddle. I was impressed by its subtle flavour, natural ingredients, and how effective it was at warding off cramps. In the last month, I have been testing out recipes from their 'solid fuel' solution: the recipes in the Skratch Labs Feed Zone Portables Cookbook.

The 'Feed Zone Portables' cookbook is a collection of recipes for snacks, breakfasts, lunches and light meals, which you could take with you on any of your outdoor adventures. From rice cakes, to panini rolls, and cookies to granola; this is a collection designed for easy transportation, and easy consumption.

The book is most definitely written for the American reader; with quite a few Americanisms like "grit" and "put it out for 10"; as well as using quite a lot of ingredients that are far cheaper in the States than they are this side of the Atlantic (such as maple syrup and blueberries). Yet, being selective about which recipes you choose, you can make some superb meals and snacks from the ideas in this compact cookbook.

I've experimented with a few...

Beef and Sweet Potato Pies

Pastry based snacks aren't normally on the menu for a cyclist, however these are a nutritious and tasty savoury snack. Effectively like mini Cornish pasties, they pack a good punch of energy, protein and carbohydrates.

Ideal for taking with you on a camping trip, or even wrapped in foil in your jersey pocket.

Curry Potato and Chicken Pies

A second great variation on the above mini-pies. I made these with turkey mince, as chicken mince isn't widely available in the UK. They tasted great, especially with a drizzle of gravy (although you might not have that with you on a ride).

Apple and Cinnamon Rice Cakes

This is a great combination, and well known. The Skratch Labs recipe puts an interesting twist on the idea though, with a salted cinnamon sugar topping, and large chunks of apple.

I tweaked the recipe slightly, by adding milk to replace some of the water (added protein), and doubling the amount of apple in the mixture. Also, despite using more bitter cooking apples, I only used half of the sugar topping mixture; personally I'm not a fan of too much sweetness.

Portable Banana and Cashew Oatmeal

This is a real winner. Combining almonds, cashews, honey, banana, raisins, spices and more. 

It is designed so that you can take it with you on your next big adventure, and then just add hot milk to make an instant energising oat breakfast. Personally, I ended up eating a load of it with greek style yoghurt, and on the top of my normal morning porridge. It tastes fantastic.


I will keep experimenting with the recipes from the Feedzone Portables Cookbook, but the ones that I have tried so far have been easy to follow and tasted great. 

This would be a great gift for any outdoor adventurer who enjoys fresh and natural wholefoods, rather than pre-packaged energy bars. That includes me.


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