Food Reviews

Food Reviews: Greenbelly Bars ~ Fuel for the Active Family

We are an active adventurous family.  Whether we are hiking, backpacking or cycling there is one thing as outdoor parents that is a major concern for the entire family....

Food = Energy

Greenbelly has created a new meal bar that was calling out to Chasqui Mom and family!  We might not hike or bike major distances because our of children but we do burn a lot of calories due to the amount of gear we carry in addition to "little humans"!

Greenbelly meal bars were created by founder, Chris Cage after his amazing hiking, backpacking and cycling adventures all throughout Asia, New Zealand and the Appalachian Trail.  Cage understood the necessity of quality, healthful nutrition that can keep an adventurer full.  Chasqui Mom and family tested all three flavors in three different activities: hiking, snow play and cycling.

Hiking with kids burns lots of calories! ~ Flavor: Peanut Apricot

  • Three Great Flavors ~ Peanut Apricot, Cranberry Almond and Dark Chocolate Banana.
  • All Natural Ingredients & Balance Nutrition ~ 33% of your daily calorie intake created by a food scientist and chef.
  • Lightweight ~ For us pack weight "worriers", Greenbelly meals weighs only 5.6 oz and has over 600 calories.
Great for long bike rides! Flavor: Chocolate Banana

The Pluses!

  • Meal Replacement or Added Snack  ~ Honestly, my husband and I are always in a "calorie deficit" when we go on long treks with our kids and Greenbelly meal bars are a great addition.  This will going in our backpacking food list and hopefully we don't wake up in the middle of the night hungry anymore!
  • All Natural for the Whole Family ~ Since we do everything as a family, my kids eat whatever we eat on the trail.  I gladly shared my Greenbelly meal bars with my kids knowing that it's all natural, not to mention that I was pregnant when I ate these.  I love giving my family nutritious natural foods.
  • Flavorful ~ Many energy bars taste, "blah" and even though they might provide the calories and energy needed, I just don't like eating them.  Greenbelly meal bars are flavorful and taste like the food listed on the packaging because they are made from REAL FOOD!  I thought Cranberry Almond would be my favorite, but I truly loved the Peanut Apricot even though I'm not a big peanut fan!
  • Socially Conscious ~ For every meal bar that is purchase, Greenbelly donates a meal to someone in need and has partnered with Leave No Trace to preserve the outdoors for the next generation, like my kids!

The Minuses

  • Packaging ~ I couldn't finish an entire package myself and would have liked to "zip" it up back into the packaging to snack on later.  Thankfully my kids and husband help with eating the rest of the meal bars!
  • Eating While Riding ~  The meals are a little large (but light) to eat while riding.  Even my husband, an experienced rider had to stop riding to open and eat the meal bars.  This was not an issue while hiking or any other outdoor activity.

I love partnering with new innovative companies with products that I would actually use in my outdoor lifestyle.  Greenbelly is a USA, Georgia based company making a great new food product that I fully endorse.  Hear from the founder himself ,Chris Cage ~ Greenbelly.

Starting March 3, 2015 Greenbelly is selling their awesome meal bars through their Kickstarter Project for a month.  For more information on on how to get some bars for your adventures, check out Greenbelly's Kickstarter Project: CLICK HERE.

I would like to thank Greenbelly who provided this product for the purposes of this review.  As always these are my true and honest opinions.

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!-

This Outdoor Mom is a Nuunbassador!

Got the news recently that Nuun has chosen me, Chasqui Mom to be one of their 2015 Nuun Ambassador or as Nuun calls it a Nunnbassador!  Looking forward to representing Nuun in the upcoming year.

For those who don't know about Nuun, it's an electrolyte tab that hydrates without the sugar (carbohydrates). Personally, I started drinking Nuun over Summer 2014 because I became pregnant, was still very active and couldn't stay hydrated when hiking, running and particularly road biking with my kids.

Staying hydrated while being active during pregnancy is a MUST!

Since then Nuun has become a staple in our house...sometimes it was the only thing this pregnant woman could stomach to drink!  It gave me a little boost during my outdoor activities and my kids LOVE drinking Nuun.

I'm not a fast hiker, runner or cyclist but I'd like to thank Nuun for picking Chasqui Mom, an active outdoor loving mom who will represent parents enjoying the outdoors as a family, staying fit and hydrated!

Keep your eye out for things to come on Chasqui Mom and make check out Nuun's social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with their #NuunLove #StayHydrated hashtags!

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Chews Review + GIVEAWAY!

Snacks, snacks and more snacks! After this past weekend adventures, snacks are top priority when I'm packing for a day of activity in the outdoors with my children.  I bring a variety snacks ranging from cheese, veggies to my "special treat" snacks, which I dispense at certain times during our outdoor adventures.  This past weekend adventures was a complete success due to the constant steady flow of a variety of snacks to my little ones tummies.

Honey Stinger released their "Just for Kids" products last Summer 2013 and being familiar with the regular Organic Waffles for cycling, I was definitely interested in trying their kid snacks.  Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles were a great hit with my kids, so I was expecting nothing less from their second kid product.

  • Soft Bites ~ Soft chews are easy to eat and don't stick to teeth.
  • Flavors ~ Two Flavors: Sour Citrus and Mix Berry
  • Retail Price ~ $5.19 a box containing 5 individual pouches (0.8 oz)
  • Nutritional Value ~ 70 calories per packet, Certified Organic and Gluten Free

The Pluses!

Easy to Chew ~ The Honey Stinger chews are very soft and easy to chew.  I've had my share of "chewy" snacks where hours later they are still stuck on my teeth.  Something I really don't want my children's sensitive teeth to deal with.  The Honey Stinger Kids' Chews are very easy to eat and quite tasty too.

Convenient Snack ~ Whether on the trail or not, these chews are very convenient to dispense!  I have two different categories of snacks: ones that we eat while taking a break from hiking/cycling etc and others that we can eat while hiking.  The Honey Stinger Kid Chews were easy to keep in my pocket and hand out to my children to keep them moving along.

No Mess! ~ I don't mind messes, I actually like my kids getting dirty but I am not too fond of a chocolaty mess on my kids faces and hands mixing in with the dirt!  Honey Stinger chews for kids keeps my hands and more importantly my kids hands and faces clean.

Tastiness ~ I don't like giving my children anything that I would not eat myself, so of course I had to take a little flavor test!  My kids loved both flavors but my personal favorite was the mixed berry flavors.  The sour citrus flavor isn't really "sour" but I like berry flavors over the citrus flavor.  Not only are these chews tasty they have no artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fat or hydrogenated oils.  One might think chews are just a "sugar rush" but sometime sugar rushes are good when an activity has no other option that to be finished! Why not be happy that it's organic!

The Minuses

None!  No allergens in this product.

Honey Stinger Giveaway

Here's your chance to win one (1) box of Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Chews, your choice of two flavors.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Contest starts March 3, 2014 12:00 a.m. PST until March 10, 2014 12:00 a.m. PST.  Winner will be announced a couple days after the giveaway has finished.  Please use the Rafflecopter below to submit your entries and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would like to thank Honey Stinger who provided this product for the purposes of this review.  As always these are my true and honest opinions.

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Kid Approved Gear Review: Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles

Food and snacks, something that is absolutely essential when heading outdoor with kids. Whether we are hiking or biking on the trails you will definitely find my pack full of snacks!  The snacks sometimes determine whether the time outdoors will be a success or a disaster.

I have two completely opposite toddlers: one who eats anything and the other who only likes to eat bread, milk, bananas and yogurt.  Let's say it's a struggle at almost every meal to have my picky eater eat something.  I'm always on the look out for new snacks that my children like to eat because food = fuel on and off the trail.

I always take more than enough snacks when we head out for a hike or bike ride because I never know when my picky eater will decide to eat.  Trust me it's not a fun time when a child is low on energy, there are no more snacks around and a mile is still left to be finished!

A newest addition to my snack pack is...

  • Kid Size ~ A smaller version of the adult size Honey Stinger Waffle, suited to meet children's smaller appetites and nutritional needs.
  • Flavors ~ Two flavors: Honey and Chocolate!
  • Retail Price ~ $4.99 a box, containing 6 individually wrapped waffles. Option of individual sale of $0.89 per waffle. Purchase at or local outdoor retailer store.
  • Nutritional Value: Certified organic ingredients and only 80 calories.

The Pluses!

Picky Eater Approved ~ If you can't hear my sigh of relief over the internet as you read this just imagine you heard it.  My kids LOVE the Kids' Organic Waffles and actually request for it went we hit the trails.  My picky eater is hesitant to try anything new but the second he saw the waffle he wanted to try "The Cookie" as my kids call it.  He scarfed down the waffle and wanted more, something I rarely hear!

Just  Like Daddy's (Mommy's too) ~ My kids are not easily fooled but Honey Stinger made the kid version waffle just like what the adults eat.  Whatever we are eating, my kids want to eat as well so the kids waffles are perfectly proportioned for my two and four year old appetite and they don't steal mine.

Organic Ingredients ~ We try to do "Organic" as much as we can in our household but that is not always feasible while outdoors, so I'm glad I can find organic snacks that my kids see as special treats.  My usual special treats are left over Halloween & piñata party candy, but my kids have chosen the waffles over candies.  I feel better giving them Organic Kid Waffles over candy.

Chocolate! ~ Those are magic words to get my kids moving on the trail.  My kids tasted both flavors which they both liked but I have purchased two boxes of the Chocolate Waffles because my kids get more excited when they hear "Chocolate" over "Honey".  I'm a big fan of chocolate and so are my kids.  Who isn't a fan of chocolate?!

The Minuses

Allergens ~ Thankfully my kids do not have any food allergies but Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles do contain wheat, soy and may contain egg and milk.  Not suitable for children with allergies to those ingredients.

Chasqui Mom Last Thoughts...

I know that food is fuel, especially when doing any activity outdoors, whether hiking, backpacking or biking on the trail I will definitely have Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles in my food pack.  My kids love "The Cookie" and I actually finally had a chance to taste the kids version and they are just tasty.  The waffle isn't the only Honey Stinger kid product, they also have Kids' Organic Chews which will be reviewed soon!  I give the Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffle the "Chasqui Mom Seal of Approval" for on and off the trail snacks!

*I would like to thank Honey Stinger who provided this product for the purpose of this review.  As always these are my true and honest opinions.

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Related Posts and Links:

  1. Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Chews Review + Giveaway!

The Toughest Backpacking Cheese

I'm a burger and fries kind of girl.  I crave healthy fats and bad fats but after hiking for long periods of time or in particular backpacking trips, I want meats and cheese at the end of the day.  I've managed to address my meat craving with Trader Joe's Chianti Red Wine Artisan Salami, which is absolutely delicious alone or in a dish.

On our last backpacking trip to Yosemite National Park we took two different hard cheeses:
  1. Gruyère cheese - a cheese from Switzerland, normally used in baking.
  2. Asiago cheese - a cheese from Italy, normally grated on salads, soups, pastas, etc.

We first tested Gruyère out on our first family backpacking trip in Point Reyes National Seashore in May.  As many coastal locations, the weather was mostly cool so the temperatures never got above 70 degrees.  I was very comfortable with eating non-refrigerated Gruyère during our Point Reyes trip.  We used it in a Backpacker Magazine recipe for Cheesy Sausage Pasta dish, which was a fatty filling dish that I loved.  We decided this would be a meal we would replicate on our Senior Graduating Yosemite Backpacking Trip as well as another Backpacker Magazine recipe, Quick Pepperoni Pizza, that used Asiago cheese.

Our backpacking trip happened to be during California's most recent state-wide heat wave that hit a few weeks ago, long story short we were hiking in 105 degree weather with hardly any relief at night.  All of our food were in bear canisters from the previous night of camping at Hetch Hetchy backpackers camp.  After hiking all day in scorching heat and finally making it to our first site, I started getting our food ready for dinner and when I opened the bear canisters I wanted to cry.  The Zip-Lock bags that contained the cheeses had almost disintegrated from the heat and the oil that leaked from the cheeses.

I'm not going to lie, I was so distraught because it was two meals worth of food that I thought had gone to spoil and there was a possibility of our trip being cut short due to the lack of food.  Either way I kept the cheeses because even though the chunks of cheese were HOT they maintained their structure when I pulled them out of the canisters.  In my mind, the cheeses were no good.

It was dinnertime and Nate, one of our gracious leaders volunteered as a "cheese tester" and took the plunge and tasted the Asiago cheese that had been in extreme heat baking in a bear canister all day.  My sadness turned to joy when I heard Nate say, "The cheese is good!" as well as the pepperoni that we had brought, so we enjoyed pepperoni pizzas that night.  That's why Asiago cheese gets my "Tough Backpacking Cheese" seal of approval.

Dinner for the second night was the Cheesy Sausage Pasta dish and we were so hungry that we almost didn't care if the Gruyère cheese had gone bad, I really wanted cheese! Nate our cheese tester, tasted a piece of Gruyère cheese that had gone through TWO days of scorching heat, and our beautiful, delicious Gruyère cheese was still good.  I dove right in and had a piece of Gruyère even before our meal was done.  That's why in my experience Gruyère gets my "Toughest Backpacking Cheese" seal of approval.

I recently read post, "Cheese" and I learned that we should have packaged our cheese differently rather than keeping them in tightly wrapped packaging.  Cheese paper, parchment paper, foil wrapped chunks or unsealed plastic baggies are cheese wrapping options and probably would have helped the cheese oils not to explode all inside the bear canister as it did on our Yosemite trip. also lists other "backpacking" cheeses and Backpacker Magazine also list 20 types of "Trail Worthy Cheeses" that I will definitely try out on our future trail adventures but I can personally testify to the toughness Gruyère and Asiago cheese in extreme temperatures.

Related Posts:

  1. Cheese by
  2. Wordless Backpacking at Hetch Hetchy - Yosemite
  3. Test Kitchen: Cheese by Backpacker Magazine
  4. Trail Chef: Weekend Menu - Cheesy Sausage Pasta & Canyon Quesadilla by Backpacker Magazine
  5. Trail Chef: Recipe - Quick Pepperoni Pizza by Backpacker Magazine