What's Cool In Road Cycling

Toolbox: Simple On-The-Go Snacks

With race season just around the corner, I have visions of plenty of car travel, plane travel, time to and from hotels and host housing in team vehicles. Not to mention idle time resting with the legs up and large bottles of water in hand. So, what’s an athlete to eat between meals in their down time and travel time? Want to change it up a bit this season?

Do It Yourself
I’ve put together a short list of some of my favorite on the go recipes. Rest assured, you don’t have to be a chef to make any of these, and they are not very time consuming. What will you end up with? A dozen snacks made at a time; double or triple recipes for “dozens.” Your teammates will love you!

Instead of grabbing commercial muffins with trans-fats, or super healthy muffins for $5 each, I have recipes for some excellent homemade sweet potato muffins, simple delicious date balls (you can get creative with these ones!) and the ultimate dried fruit and nut bars (trust me you will never want to spend money on one again).

Hate the idea of baking? Have a teammate that cooks? Are you a good wrench? How about swapping wrenching for some baking? Of course this is not for those not so fortunate to have a mechanic and soigneur cleaning their bikes and cooking for them, but even pros have to do some of their own cooking. (Ahem, I’m for hire…)

Simple Cooking is Good Cooking
These recipes are simple and fairly quick. Two of them require a food processor. If that word scares you don’t let it; Food processors are cheap these days and all they do is mix up your dried fruit, cocoa and maple syrup for you. I use the simple Cuisinart. It’s small and would travel well in a suitcase too, But of course not a carry on as it has a blade. It’s just ONE button, so don’t be intimidated and go get one.

The first two snacks are more carbohydrate dense whereas the fruit and nut bar is more balanced with fats and proteins. If you are an hour or 90 minutes out from a ride, driving in the team car, the date balls and muffins are a great go to. The fruit and nut bars are more ideal for a regular snack between meals, keeping your calorie intake up for those big training days. Remember you can always double the serving size of any of these to your needs.

Anne’s 3 recipe ideas – yum!

Sweet Potato Muffins

Makes 12x 190 calorie muffins; each muffin has 32 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 5 g fat, 3 g fiber


• 1 large sweet potato
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
• 2 cups of whole wheat flour. (if you use gluten free just add 1tsp of xanthum gum if it’s not in the gluten free powder mix) I used brown rice flour and also tried Bob’s Red Mills GF Flour adding xanthum gum. More dense but great!
• 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
• 3/4 cups of pure maple syrup (plus 1tbsp to brush muffin tops)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 1 ½ tbsp Chinese 5 spice (President’s Choice in Canada makes one)
• 1 tsp pure vanilla
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1 tbsp of chia seeds


• Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake sweet potato whole with skin on, piercing it a few times first
• Once cooked and cooled enough, remove the skin from the baked potato, place into a bowl
• Mash the sweet potato well in the mixing bowl
• Add the milk, vanilla, oil, maple syrup and apple sauce (wet ingredients). Add chia seeds here and let it sit.
• Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
• Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, until well mixed together
• Take a muffin tray (for 12 muffins) double the recipe for 24 and freeze them or share.
• Grease 12 muffin tin hole sides with a bit of coconut oil and take a small piece of ripped parchment paper and place one in each muffin tin hole. This stops them from sticking to the bottom. Just tear pieces, they don’t have to be circles.
• Pour the muffin mixture evenly into 12 muffin rounds.
• Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes (I tend to need 25 with my oven).
• At 20 minutes take the muffins out and brush the top of each with a bit of maple syrup.
• Bake another 5 minutes until nothing sticks to a sharp knife when inserted into the center of the muffin.

Enjoy when cool enough to bite into. Let them sit a good 10 minutes and they will lose some of their moisture. At first they may seem very dense.

TIP: Want to add 100 more calories from carbohydrates? How about 2 tbsp. of your favorite full fruit jam? Want to add some good fats? These are great with 1tbsp of almond butter too.

Power Date Balls, Your Simple high carb snack for 2014!

These are super simple, calorie dense, keep well a long time in the fridge or freezer and easy to travel with.

Total Recipe is 660 calories; Each 330 calorie ball has 50g carbs, 5.5g protein, 5g fat, 5.5g fiber.

Makes combinations of either 2x 330 calorie balls or 4×165 calorie balls

• Use 15 dates (I used pitted regular dates not the large medjool, they may be twice the size so likely only half the amount with the huge ones)
• 2 tbsp cocoa
• 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
• 1/4 cup dried cherries (or blueberries or cranberries etc.)
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup


Put all in food processor, blend until it turns into one big ball, this can take some time. Depending on the moisture of your dates you may need to add a BIT of water but wait it out first, let it blend a minute or two. What happens is it blends and eventually turns into one large mass in the processor, sticking the wall. That’s when it’s done. If you add liquid only add 1 tsp at a time after it doesn’t stick together on the first try. Usually this recipe works well as long as the dates are not the ones you buy in the baking section that are bone dry and packaged into a block.

Break into as many balls as you like by rolling between your palms. You can also leave the coconut out of the recipe and roll the balls in it instead, coating them in coconut.

Mango Date and Oat Bars – AMAZING!

These are tough to stop eating. More balanced macronutrient wise than the higher carb date ball, these bars keep forever in the freezer so you can always have them ready once you make a few batches. They are calorie dense like the date balls, which is great when you are in big training blocks and doing lots of volume.

Makes 10×304 calorie bars; entire recipe is 3042 calories. Each 300 calorie bar has 39 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 15 g of good fats from pumpkin seeds, almonds and coconut, 4 g fiber.

• 2/3 cup dried mango, soaked for 1 hour and drained
• 1 cup Medjool dates pitted
• 2 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
• 1 1/4 cup raw almonds
• 3/4 cup shredded coconut
• 3/4 cup rolled oats
• 3/4 cup raisins
• 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• In a food processor, combine the mango, dates, and vanilla. Make sure you soaked the mango.
• Process into a very smooth paste. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is well combined but some texture in the nuts and a seed is retained.
• Press the mixture into an 8X8 square or 8X11 rectangle (depending on the thickness you want) on parchment paper.
• Place the bars in the freezer to firm up. Cut into bars. These bars will keep for over 4 weeks in the freezer! I’m sure long but I have never kept them long enough to know ☺. They really are too hard to resist! They won’t last!

Feel free to send photo proof of your created masterpieces to @pezcyclingnews! We’d love to know you took this article right into the kitchen! Make any changes to the recipes? Share your creations with us too!

About Anne:
Anne Guzman is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Sports Nutrition Consultant with a degree in Kinesiology. Her passion lies in Sports Nutrition for endurance athletes as well as general health and wellness. Anne raced full time on the women’s Professional circuit in North America with some bouts in Europe from 2008 until 2011 and previous to cycling was a Provincial and CIAU Champion and National Bronze medalist as a Varsity Freestyle Wrestler. Currently Anne works with athletes helping them reach their potential by combining their own training plans with her nutrition plans. Anne believes that many athletes undermine their intense detailed training regimes by not backing them with sound nutrition. Her personal experience as a cyclist and athlete is a great asset to her business as she understands the needs and nuances that come with the sport. Currently Anne works with Peaks Coaching Group as well as her own business Nutrition Solutions Anne Guzman. You can follow Anne on twitter or her facebook page.

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