If somebody asked, “Want an energy waffle?” what could be the very first thing that popped into your thoughts?
A crispy, fluffy Eggo smothered with some questionably healthy, sugar-coma-inducing toppings?
For these not “in the know” on the power waffle, don’t be bummed. The phenomenon really started centuries in the past in the Netherlands, when bakers in the Dutch city of Gouda started making what they referred to as Stroopwafels—literal translation “syrup waffle”—a hand-pressed deal with concocted of candy syrup constructed from beet sugar and skinny, crisp wafers.
But the small-yet-filling (and apparently satisfying) deal with has solely actually risen in US markets lately, significantly with the lively outside crowd. Companies like Honey Stinger, GU Energy Labs and Rip Van Wafels, have unleashed the on-the-go snack to the lots; they’ll even be present in the power bar part of REI and different shops that cater to outside and lively life.
The historical past of the stroopwafel getting used for power dates again to their adoption by the Belgium bicycling neighborhood. Cyclists turned to the stroopwafel, in search of an easy-to-pack, energy-revving choice that may very well be tucked away in a jersey.
While it might appear arbitrary, this custom is one which’s widely known in the area.
“The Dutch are avid cyclists so it makes sense that they picked up on the stroopwafel’s high-carb-to-sugar ratio becoming the perfect fuel-up before or during rides,” says Netherlands native and Rip Van Wafels Co-founder Rip Pruisken. “It can also get to be quite cold in the Netherlands so prior to your ride the traditional way of eating the waffle—warming it on top of a coffee or tea—is also the perfect pre-ride ritual.”
These days, firms competing in the house have subbed out syrups for barely completely different, extra health-conscious components like honey and tapioca syrup, supporting a sustainable power launch over lengthy durations of time.
What would these firms say to individuals who suppose the stroopwafel is only a glorified cookie?
“We’ve got a crazy loyal following of active outdoor athletes that eat our waffles in the morning with coffee or tea, during breaks while they bike or on a hike to help keep energy levels up,” says Honey Stinger Co-owner Len Zanni. “A lot of customers report using them as fuel for marathons and ultra running events or long distance cycling rides.”
The stroopwafel remains to be a novelty to many, and we have been curious to place the completely different variations to the check.
Rip Van Wafels, launched in 2010 at Brown University by way of a Kickstarter marketing campaign, is now based mostly in San Francisco. Their mantra is to create handy food choices which might be more healthy.
In addition to Rip’s, we put waffles to the check from Colorado-based Honey Stinger and Berkeley, California GU Energy Labs.
Honey Stinger has been round for many years, however started placing power waffles on the market in 2010, with assist and inspiration from part-owner and well-known bike owner Lance Armstrong.
Everything Honey Stinger does revolves round (you guessed it) honey. Their waffles have a thicker profile than Rip Van Wafels, and seem to comprise extra filling while you chunk into it.
Honey Stinger has additionally launched a gluten-free choice for these with sure food restrictions. We had an opportunity to style these, and the refined distinction in style is sort of indiscernible.
For this comparability, although, we tasted Honey Stinger’s Organic Honey Waffle. Honey Stinger’s outer wafer tasted much less sugary in comparison with Rip Van Wafels’, whereas the internal filling had a refined sweetness to offset this.
Rip Van Wafels’ filling was a thinner layer than Honey Stinger’s, however was extra chewy and gooey in consistency.
The GU Stroopwafel had the least chewy consistency of all the fillings, and the outer wafer additionally appeared to comprise a bit extra oil to the contact. Though it might simply have been indicative of the two flavors we tried—Salty Caramel and Salted Chocolate—GU’s wafels tasted a bit extra sodium-heavy than others.
From a pure style perspective, Honey Stinger and GU tasted extra like one thing we’d deliver on the path, whereas Rip Van Wafels have been equally as scrumptious, however actually tasted extra like a deal with we wouldn’t really feel as unhealthy indulging in.
Our favourite taste from Rip was a tie between the Chocolate Brownie and the Dutch Caramel and Vanilla. We weren’t a giant fan of the Toasted Coconut.
When discussing power, it’s frequent sense to try a few of the primary sources, like carbs, sugar, and protein.
Honey Stinger’s waffles comprise about 11 grams of sugar and 21 grams of carbs in a serving, which is one, 1-ounce waffle. You are getting 150 energy in a serving, which might energy a fast run or longer hike or bike journey.
GU incorporates 140 energy, and equally has 10 grams of sugar and 21 grams of carbs.
Rip Van Wafels hover round 8 to 9 grams of sugar relying on the taste, and comprise 18-20 grams of carbs and 130 energy.
Rip Van Wafels even have roughly 8 to 9 grams of “added sugars” along with the sugar listed above.
Another factor that caught out to us about Rip Van Wafels is that one among our favourite flavors, the Chocolate Brownie, contained 155 mg of sodium.
Curious if that was the norm, we took a take a look at the others, and realized that different Rip Van Wafels flavors and the Organic Honey Waffle from Honey Stingers solely contained roughly 55-60 mg of sodium. The two flavors from GU, nonetheless, did additionally contained 150 mg of sodium.
Fat content material didn’t fluctuate an excessive amount of between the completely different waffles—Honey Stinger with 7 grams, GU with 6 grams, and Rip Van Wafels with 6 grams.
While all of the waffles for this check comprise wheat, eggs, and milk, there have been ingredient variations to notice. Rip Van Wafels’ components are non-GMO verified, and comprise chickpea flour and natural tapioca syrup.
Honey Stinger and GU each use natural wheat flour as its most important components. Honey Stinger additionally incorporates natural rice syrup.
Honey Stinger and GU comprise soy flour, one thing for these with allergy symptoms to notice.
All three waffle firms use palm oil and cane sugar.
Each comprise about 1 gram of protein per serving, and whereas GU and Honey Stinger will not be important sources of calcium, Rip Van Wafels incorporates about 2 p.c of day by day worth in a single serving.
GU’s flavors comprise an amino acid mix of L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine, which set them aside from the others. Upon additional analysis, this mix might assist forestall muscle breakdown throughout lively pursuits.
We discovered every of those waffles actually did maintain starvation cravings and power all through the day for reasonable exercise ranges, particularly if eaten round breakfast with a cup of espresso.
After just a few hours, power ranges dip and it is advisable to replenish, particularly if collaborating in high-intensity actions.
The ease of packaging actually does enable for fast snacking nearly wherever, anytime, which helped make us a fan of the power waffle. Not to say, they are surely indescribably tasty.
Taking each style and nutrition into consideration, the following could be our suggestions:
Best Overall Flavor: Honey Stinger
Best Chewy, Gooey Consistency: Rip Van Wafel
Best for Sustainable Energy: GU or Honey Stinger
Best Indulgent Treat: Rip Van Wafel’s Chocolate Brownie
Gluten-Free Option: Honey Stinger
For entry to unique gear movies, superstar interviews, and extra, subscribe on YouTube!