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Colorado is one of the fittest states in the nation because its inhabitants are so lucky to be living near the Rocky Mountains where summertime is playtime for the majority of folks. Since there are so many activities offered, such as hiking, kayaking, camping, off-highway travel, and so much more, keeping the energy level up can be difficult when taking part in these activities; therefore, many outdoor explorers grab energy bars that will help them keep that high energy level. That’s great but the only problem is, do they know what a good energy bar is?

All energy bars provide energy because energy, in the pure sense of the word, refers to use of calories to propel oneself. Since some energy bars contain over 400 calories (more than in many candy bars) and up to ten grams of fat. Many energy bars do contain added vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other important substances; however, they do not contain the natural fibers, phytochemicals, and high quality proteins found in less-processed foods.

Here is a simple Fruit and Nut Energy Bar recipe that can be changed into many different bars by changing the nuts or dried fruits:

1 Cup Rolled Oats
¼ Wheat Germ
¼ Cup sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons Flax Seed Meal
¼ Cup Almonds
¼ Cup Cashews
¼ Cup Dried Cherries
¼ Cup Dried Blueberries
¼ Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ Teaspoon Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a glass pan with cooking spray.
2. Spread oats, wheat germ, nuts, and seeds on a sheet pan and toast for five minutes while stirring occasionally.
3. Combine honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved.
4. Add the finished oat mixture to the saucepan along with the dried fruit and mix.
5. Press and form mixture down in greased pan then bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. Cut into eight servings and store in air tight container for up to one week.

Calories: 205
Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 30 grams

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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Move over Julia Child and Betty Crocker cooking clubs of yesteryear, today’s chefs and food enthusiasts aren’t just Suzy Homemaker anymore. Enter the Man Pan.

Sure, I’d like to see someone say “cooking is for girls” these days to somebody like Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen…or even say it to me for that matter! Bring it, and that is just what Man Pans has done!

Having this pan myself since it was still in the prototype phases, I have trail-tested this pan on numerous occasions both out on the trail as well in my home kitchen. It is a useful tool for sauté, wok-style cooking, boiling water, cooking pasta as well pasta dishes, soups, stir fry, or even one pot meals such as stews or braised dishes. It performs in the house just as well as it does on the trail.

Adventure usefulness and/or Jeep usefulness:    

The Man Pan fits fairly well in an off-highway camp kit much more easily than it does in a backpacker’s trail kit. The handle, which has a great purposeful design, has its own slight issue being that it’s in a fixed location and might potentially lend to it taking up extra space or making it slightly tougher to pack. Nonetheless, The Man Pan’s superbly designed, lightweight nature and overall handle design usefulness does balance it out as an adventure savvy trail companion.

Durability of the item in the field:     

Lightweight it might be but I would consider it to be a heavyweight contender in durability. Construction is geared towards commercial use, and anybody that has worked in a restaurant/hotel/food service kitchen can attest to the beatings that pans take. Similar, cheap imitation pans made overseas might be considerably less expensive but guess what, you get what you pay for! Similar cheap pans would become loose and breakdown easily under pressure.

The Man Pan has been industry proven as it is used in several national chain restaurants. It can “Take a high heat licking and keep on ticking!” The one-piece handle itself is attached/riveted at four points from the inside with the handle integrated attachment point on the outside. This means your wife can smack you upside the head multiple times and the handle will not loosen from the pan.

Value of product in relation to competitors’ product:     

The fact that these pans are made in the good ole’ USA and secondly in an Eco-Friendly manner is of significant value within itself. As far as what the product costs, it certainly may seem expensive to the average Joe or Jane but by far there is no comparison in the quality of the finished product. Placed side by side with other contenders in this particular pan category the cost is comparable. The exceptional and added value amongst its competitors in the same range is certainly strength, durability, and design.

Additionally, the design itself incorporates methods of material forming for impressive H.E.T. (heat-energy-transfer) efficiency (like an R.T.I. ramp but for pans). This process gives the ability of lowering the heat source by up to 40% while still generating the same effects as if it were a full, high heat flame. This is the Man Pan claim and trail-tested and proven result. The Man Pan won’t sit in the garage or storage unit lonely with your other camp cookware. The Man Pan demands more than that. Its value is additionally shown in the ability to have it as an everyday home use pan. The wife just might actually get jealous if she doesn’t use it to smack you upside the head (remember, it is durable).

Quality of product:     

Designed by “a team of top industry engineers and experts” (possibly including wives, just a theory I have), the materials and design factors that went into the Man Pan shine through when in use and it shows. From the technologically superior design components such as the ultra durable cool grip handle and natural non-stick nature (Gen-X2, see information in manufacturer specifications), the Man Pan delivers (insert Tim the Tool-Man grunts here).

Similar cheap imitator pans use Teflon for non-stick. Let’s be honest here: How many Teflon pans have you thrown out (I HOPE YOU HAVE) because of flaking Teflon surfaces?

The integrated natural non-stick surface of the Man Pans comes from the pan making and metal forming/layering process itself. The claims of scratching with a coin hold true, I have done it myself, try that on a Teflon pan!

The cool grip handle design is purposeful and two fold.

The design itself and metal used keep the handle from getting the O.S.T.H.H.G. Factor (Oh S&%T that’s a Hot Handle Grab Factor) you have experienced while being camp chef. C’mon you know those “Wish I had the video camera AFV home video moments.”

The handle is further designed to be non-slip, which is a great added benefit. Industry pans often have “handle rubbers” that are just plain worthless and make the pan even more dangerous to handle.

Ease of use:     

Pretty simple here. Put over medium – high heat, add in a cooking medium (such as cooking oil not 30w or 40w), some food, and …cook away! Don’t worry about delicate clean-up either. Get in there and “Git ‘er Done!” without worry of scratching that precious Teflon coating!

– For more information on The Man Pan and other products built by Man Pans Cookware, check out their website at www.manpans.com.

Related – Epicurean Camp Series Cutting Board

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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