Thursday, August 2, 2012

Real-Food Fuel

In sports, there’s a rising trend away from synthetic sugary sports drinks, goos*, and bars and toward healthier, real-food based energy. I’m not going to name any names, because I’d just be contributing to some brands’ household-name-recognition and no one’s paying me for that**, but certain over-touted sugar-waters and gummy-thingys are no longer popular among some ultra-athlete types.***

On that theme, if you or someone you love (or at least cook for) is into on-the-go energy for strenuous activities, I have a couple of recommendations. Thrive Foods, by Brendan Brazier, has 200 plant-based recipes for peak health. (I didn’t count them, it says so right on the cover.) This includes a section on do-it-yourself energy bars and gels, of which I tried a couple. This one came out really well:

Spiced Acai Energy Bars
 ¾ cup raw almonds
 ¾ cup pitted Medjool dates (I couldn’t find these, used regular)
 3T acai powder
 2T raisins
 ¼ c dried apricots (I left these out, hate apricots. Yuck.)
 1T chia seeds
 ½ t ginger powder
 ½ t cinnamon
 ¼ t vanilla extract

(Oh, and I added 1 T carob powder and 1 T coconut oil and 1T agave nectar, because that’s how I roll. No, actually, I started one recipe then switched to another one part way through, and it worked—must have made up for skipping the apricots.)

Everything just gets thrown in the blender, then squished onto wax paper in approximate bar-shape, then tossed in the freezer. DELICIOUS quick energy before or after a nice beach run. I had to check out Oceana and bulk foods at Fred Meyer to find all my ingredients, but in the end, it was no more expensive than a commercial energy bar. Maybe a little stickier, but that’s probably my fault.

 Another good book for this is Raw Energy: 124 raw food recipes for energy bars, smoothies, and other snacks to supercharge your body by Stephanie Tourles. From this book I made a lovely almond milk, carob, coconut and banana smoothie that you wouldn’t believe, and found so many ideas that I may have to buy a copy for myself. Raw foods is also a rising nutritional trend, and if you’re interested, search raw food diet in the Oceanbooks catalog and see all the inspiring books you’ll find! (Personally, I also eat cooked foods, but as a working mom I’m attracted by any healthy food that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and clean up.)

*You know, those little foil packets full of sugar and sometimes caffeine.
**This blog is 100% free of product placement ads, except for books, and we don’t get paid extra for those, I promise.
***see Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and Finding Ultra by Rich Roll.  OK, that's it for the footnotes.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Stacy! I'm always more inclined to try recipes when someone I know recommends them. Hope these recipes help you ace your next marathon!!!