On Your Bike: Grab & Go Recipes to Fuel Your Adventures
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: one of my favourite things about cycling (other than the snazzy lycra and exploring the great outdoors) is the snacks. Anyone who’s ever experienced the dreaded mid-ride “bonk” (a term which means something very different in the cycling world…) will tell you: big adventures require decent fuel. Gels definitely have their place but whenever I can, I prefer to opt for real food. I’m often asked how I motivate myself to get through the long 5-6 hour solo rides that Ironman training requires and the answer is food. I’m essentially a Labrador in a cycling jersey.
Fuel your rides with these faff-free makes:
Peanut Butter Date Bombs
Healthy fats and natural sugars keep those energy reserves topped up, whilst the sea salt helps to keep cramp at bay on those warmer days. They’re not the most photogenic, but these little brown blobs of joy are easy to transport and make for a perfect mid-ride snack. Just one piece of advice – don’t be tempted to go overboard on the peanut butter. It will go everywhere when you bite into the date and you will end up with PB all over your face, your jersey and the aero bars on your brand new Canyon. I may or may not be speaking from experience…
Peanut butter (Meridian’s smooth PB is my favourite – 100% peanuts, no palm oil and no added nasties)
Cut a vertical slice down the centre of the date, making sure you don’t cut all the way through (like slicing a hot dog bun) and remove the stone Pop half a teaspoon of peanut butter into the centre of the date
Sprinkle with sea salt
Coconut & Cranberry Oat Balls
Makes 16 (depending on how big you like your balls…)
I’ve tried to write this several times without sounding like a lycra-clad Nigella Lawson impersonator and it’s just not happening so I’m going to roll with it. When it comes to being able to easily get your snacks from bento box to gob with minimal disruption, ball-shaped is the way forwards. They’re easy to get your mitts around (nobody likes an awkward fumble) and they’re bitesize so you can get your food fix without even having to leave the aerobars. These little balls pack a punch on the energy front too, combining the slow-release power of oats with the joy of peanut butter and some quick-hit sugars from the dried fruit. For the triathletes out there, these are also great if you’ve got an early morning swim or run session and you want a little something-something, but you haven’t got time to have a proper breakfast and wait for it to go down. Keep them in the fridge so they stay nice and solid – nothing ruins a ride like crumbly balls.
50g desiccated coconut
100g mixed dried cranberries, raisins and pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons of peanut butter
20g milled chia seeds
Splash of vanilla extract
Chuck all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix.
Add the sticky stuff (peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract) and mix until it all starts to combine into a
lovely clumpy mess.
Time to get down and dirty. Use your hands to shape the mixture into balls – don’t be shy, give hem a good old squeeze to make sure they’ll hold together when you’re on the move. Pop them in the fridge for 30 mins or so to harden up a tad and then you’re good to go!
Dark Chocolate Banana Bread with Ground Almonds and Olive Oil
Okay, this one involves a bit more faffing around than the last two recipes but I promise it’s totally worth it. All the goodness of your typical banana bread with the addition of olive oil and ground almonds; adding a dose of healthy fats, protein and magnesium whilst giving the loaf a bit of a firmer texture to make it easier to gobble on the go. Plus, it’s got chocolate in it – an instant winner.
95g plain flour
95g ground almonds
25g dark cocoa powder
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
50g dark chocolate
Pinch of sea salt
3 overripe bananas
2 eggs (whisked)
6 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180c (fan)
Lightly grease a loaf tin and line with baking parchment
Mix together the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder, sea salt and dark chocolate and set aside. (I just chop my chocolate very roughly, keeping it in fairly large chunks because then it melts into the loaf and you get a surprise mouthful of chocolatey goodness every now and then.)
Mash the bananas and mix in the olive oil, the eggs and the honey
Gently mix the dry ingredients in with your banana mixture – add about a quarter of the dry ingredients at a time to avoid the mixture going lumpy.
Pour the mixture into your loaf tin – bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for approximately another 30 mins or so. I like it a little bit gooey (you heard it here first folks!) so I tend to take mine out of the oven a little earlier and leave it to cool in the tin.
If you’re on the move, chop up a few slices into bite size chunks. This also makes a great post-ride treat – best served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, a handful of blueberries and a side of coffee.
Happy, hunger-free riding! Feel free to tweet me or tag me on Instagram if you give any of these a
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