It’s that time year where we are all either hibernating on an indoor trainer, getting up later to ride and just trying to keep our damn feet warm!
Winter is usually base training for most cyclists, where the miles are put in to make the difference in the summer races. With miles come the large calorie expenditure that needs be watched if you want to maximise your training and recovery. Without fuelling correctly, you essentially set yourself up for failure.
Endurance means riding long, steady and consistent. It also means that there is a lot of strain on your body’s immune system which is already susceptible to illness due to the winter months – your nutrition, recovery and preparation are all key component in avoiding this.
I believe that eating when training is a case of quality in = quality out.
We’re all riding for a reason. Fun, fitness, sanity, elite athlete dreams, mateship etc. The options are endless, but we all know that it involves good hot coffee at the end and riding snacks! Yay!
These diverse little bars take after their name in the terms of flavour that they provide. Being a fat and carb based recipe, they are designed for the long rides where they provide a slow release and steady stream of energy to your body. Light and tasty, they are easy to digest and assist in decreasing inflammation as well as beating those boring, dry energy bars!
There are many key health benefits of the ingredients of this bar- oranges, cinnamon and honey.
Oranges are rich in potassium and boost heart health and well as the fact that they are full of vitamin C, which protects cells by neutralising free radicals! Perfect in winter with a lowered immune system! They also aid in good eye health, protect vision and are rich in carotenoid compounds, which are converted to vitamin A to help prevent macular degeneration! Did I hear your quads celebrate?!
Honey is a natural energy source and an antioxidant powerhouse. It is an incredible sleep promoter, maximising recovery. We all know you get stronger on the recovery days and thats where the cinnamon comes in handy too. Another high source of antioxidants, it contains anti-inflammatory properties and protects heart health. Perfect for your blood flow and keeping those arteries pumping strong.
This recipes doesn’t take long and can be done the day before a long ride.
1 cup Cashews Chopped
1/2 cup Almonds Chopped
1 cup dried fruit of choice (I used apricots and cranberries)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Zest of one Navel Orange
2 tsp Cinnamon
2/3 cup Honey
Preheat your oven to 160C, or 170C fan forced.
Line a small baking pan (20x10cm) with baking paper, leaving an overlap on all 4 sides.
Roughly chop the almonds and cashews by hand or place in a zip lock bag and crush in small pieces- it is essential they are small or else they won’t hold together.
Combine nuts, cinnamon and orange zest into a bowl stirring to combine.
Pour in the honey and mix with a fork until everything is evenly coated.
Spread mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing down to pack it in and reach all edges and corners of the pan- a spatula is really handy to do this.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden in colour.
Remove to a wire rack and use the parchment flaps to press the bars down and compact them before they cool completely.
Leave for about 1-3hrs until completely cooled before lifting the bars out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and flipping over onto a piece of parchment. The bottom would now be the top.
Reshape back into a square and place in the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting them into 16 little bars.
Wrap individually in foil for a quick snack to stick in your jersey. Store in the fridge or at room temperature is an airtight container and eat within a week.
Happy training 🙂 See you out on the singletrack!