Seasonal Smoothies

No matter the type of workout, I always crave a smoothie afterwards. There is just something about sucking back a deliciously thick drink to help feel recharged. But like other parts of a meal plan, smoothies can also follow the seasons. With that said, I present two seasonal smoothies that make the post-workout period as tasty as ever. Yes, cabbage does rock in a smoothie!

You can find more creative blender creations in the pages of ROCKET FUEL.

Apple Crisp Smoothie

applesmoothie1a 

Serves 1

1 cup milk of choice

1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder

1 apple, cored and quartered

2-3 dried pitted dates

2 tablespoons oats

2 tablespoons walnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 small frozen banana, chopped

Place all of the ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth. The longer you let the blender work the smoother the drink will be.

Blueberry Cabbage Smoothie

cabbagesmoothie1a

Serves 1

1 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup chopped red cabbage

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 frozen chopped banana

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Place all of the ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth.

Rocket Fuel by Matt KadeyIn Rocket Fuel, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures. Rocket Fuel will be available this April in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online. Preorder today from VeloPress,Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local booksellers, and Chapters/Indigo.

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Orange Crush Power Bites

Orange slices are a traditional halftime snack for kids, but you can upgrade with these Orange Crush Power Bites!

These new portable snacks from ROCKET FUEL are ridiculously easy to make and their smart nutrient mix will prevent the spike-and-crash in blood sugar that often comes with prefab carbs like sports drinks and gels.

Enjoy this free recipe from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure by award-winning sports nutritionist Matt Kadey. Rocket Fuel offers 120 delicious, creative, and convenient recipes to power your everday exercise and weekend adventures. Take a look at Rocket Fuel!

Rocket Fuel Recipe Orange Crush Power Bites by Matt Kadey

Dairy-free, Freezer-friendly, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Vegan or vegetarian
Servings: 8
Active time: 20 min.

Although it may sound counterintuitive, studies suggest that people who regularly crunch on high-calorie nuts are more likely to maintain healthier body weights. It’s thought that the synergy of protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and minerals in nuts such as pecans and walnuts can help keep you svelte.

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup pecans
½ cup walnuts
1 cup dried apricots
Zest of 1 medium orange
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Place carrot, pecans, and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until pulverized. Add apricots, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and blend until mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers.

Roll mixture between your hands into 1-inch balls. You should have about 16 balls. Place coconut on a plate and roll balls in the coconut, pressing down gently to adhere. Chill in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Game Changers: Use almonds instead of pecans + Swap out orange zest for lemon zest + Replace coconut with hemp seeds or sesame seeds

Rocket Fuel by Matt KadeyIn Rocket Fuel, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures. Rocket Fuel will be available this April in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online. Preorder today from VeloPress, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local booksellers, and Chapters/Indigo.

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

Red Velvet Energy Balls

The research keeps on piling up showing that beets are indeed a vegetable athletes should be eating more often. For example, a new study suggests that adding beets to your post-workout nutrition plan could aid in recovery by lowering muscle pain following exercise. Other investigations have found that naturally occurring nitrates in beets can improve the efficiency that working muscles use oxygen thereby leading to better endurance.

Exercise boosting powers aside, I’ve always had a major fondness for beets. It’s likely their engrained sweetness that wins me over. Which means I’m always looking for ways to work them into functional fuel for active bodies. That’s where these great balls of energy come in. They have just the right amount of sweetness without tasting too, well, beety. They are sure to become a regular part of my fueling routine, and I hope yours too.

You can find more beet infused recipes to ramp up you workouts in the page of ROCKET FUEL.

Red Velvet Energy Balls

BeetBalls1a

1/2 pound beet (about 1 medium-large), peeled and chopped
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
1/3 cup dried coconut
2 tablespoons honey
Zest of 1 medium orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Place beets in a microwave safe dish, add 1 tablespoon water, cover and microwave on High for 4 minutes. Stir, and continue microwaving until beets are fork tender, about 4 to 5 minutes more.

Place oats and walnuts in a food processor container and process until pulverized. Add beets, dates, hemp seeds, honey, orange zest, cinnamon and a couple pinches salt. Blend until mixture sticks together. Pulse in mini chocolate chips if using.

Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. You should get about 20 balls. Place in refrigerator to chill and firm up. They will be quite moist when first rolled.

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Granola Bites

Who says granola has to be served from a bowl? These little bundles of nutrients are an on-the-go way to carry your beloved hippie food. You will be perfectly happy getting lost in the woods or stuck on the steepest of inclines if you have these nearby.

Enjoy this free recipe from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure by award-winning sports nutritionist Matt Kadey. Rocket Fuel offers 120 delicious, creative, and convenient recipes to power your everday exercise and weekend adventures. Take a look at Rocket Fuel!

Rocket Fuel Recipe Granola Bites by Matt Kadey

Dairy-free, Freezer-friendly, Gluten-free, Vegan or Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Active time: 20 min.

You can also make these in regular-sized muffin cups for a more substantial postworkout nosh or a take-and-go breakfast option. Just increase cooking time by about 5 minutes.

1½ cups quick-cook oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
½ cup chopped pecans or almonds
¼ cup hemp seeds
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup honey or brown rice syrup
¼ cup melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together oats, wheat germ, pecans or almonds, hemp seeds,
cranberries, apricots, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg and stir in honey or brown rice syrup and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until everything is moist.

Divide mixture among 24 greased or paper-lined mini-muffin cups and make sure to pack it down tightly to help hold everything together. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Let cool several minutes before unmolding. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and transport in a small zip-top bag.

Game Changers: Use oats labeled “gluten-free” or replace oats with quinoa flakes, barley flakes, or spelt flakes + Use almond flour or ground flaxseed instead of wheat germ + Stir in sunflower seeds instead of hemp seeds + Swap out cranberries for dried cherries, chopped dried pineapple, or goji berries

Rocket Fuel by Matt KadeyIn Rocket Fuel, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures. Rocket Fuel will be available this April in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online. Preorder today from VeloPress, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local booksellers, and Chapters/Indigo.

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Salted Quinoa Almond Fudge Cups

Every good deed deserves a reward. So after a health-boosting workout, why not luxuriate in some fudge? Of course, this version has more of what you need to recover well than any typical store-bought fudge. Case in point: I’ve worked in some protein powder, banana, and quinoa puffs for extra recovery protein and carbohydrates.

Enjoy this free recipe from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure by award-winning sports nutritionist Matt Kadey. Rocket Fuel offers 120 delicious, creative, and convenient recipes to power your everday exercise and weekend adventures. Take a look at Rocket Fuel!

Rocket Fuel Recipe Salted Quinoa Almond Fudge Cups by Matt Kadey

Dairy-free, Freezer-friendly, Gluten-free, Vegan or Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Active Time: 20 min.

No mini-muffin tray? You can also mold the fudge in lightly greased ice cube trays. You may need to use a butter knife to unmold the set fudge pieces.

½ cup almond butter
½ cup protein powder
1/3 cup softened coconut oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 medium-sized ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup quinoa puffs
1 teaspoon flaky salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon

Place almond butter, protein powder, coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pulse in quinoa puffs.

Divide mixture among 24 silicone mini-muffin cups or paper-lined metal mini-muffin cups. Sprinkle salt over tops. Place tray in freezer until set, about 1 hour. The fudge cups will remain fairly soft and won’t freeze solid. Unmold fudge cups and keep in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. They can also be transported to an event in a cooler.

Game Changers: Swap out almond butter for peanut butter + Sweeten with brown rice syrup or honey instead of maple syrup + Replace quinoa puffs with other small cereal puffs, such as millet

Rocket Fuel by Matt KadeyIn Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

Real Food Rocket Fuel

It’s no secret that the pages of ROCKET FUEL are filled with encouragement to turn to foods that you would find in the supermarket and bulk stores as a method of fueling your active lifestyle. Which is why I am always mining the research looking for more proof that sports nutrition can be so much more than gels, chews and neon sports drinks. So it’s my pleasure to present three items that can give you some Olympic power.

Tart Cherry Juice

If you’re an athlete or even weekend warrior, it’s a good idea to see red. British researchers provide football (soccer) players with 30 milliliters of Montmorency tart cherry juice mixed with 100 milliliters of water twice per day – once in the morning and once in the evening – or a placebo drink. It was discovered that drinking tart cherry juice lead to a decrease in a key marker of inflammation associated with exercise, helped the athletes maintain greater functional muscle performance and also brought about a decrease self-reported post-workout muscle soreness. In other words, making Montmorency tart cherry juice part of your nutrition program could help you recover better and perform to a higher standard during subsequent workouts.

Sardines

Here’s a good reason why you shouldn’t shun the canned fish aisle of the supermarket. Scientists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas showed that consuming high amounts of fish oil may help lessen delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) following resistance training. Fish oil contains the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which may work on a cellular level to limit the stress in the body that brings about post-exercise muscle owies. The study provided participants with a fish oil supplement, but you can also obtain high amounts of omega-3 fats by eating fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, herring and rainbow trout more often. As a bonus, these swimmers are rich in protein for better muscle recovery and growth.

Milk

After a sweaty, hard workout consider reaching for moo juice. A new British Journal of Nutrition study discovered that milk can help restore your fluid levels after a spirited exercise session. In the study, active men took part in exercise designed to bring about dehydration and then followed this up by consuming milk, a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink or water. It turned out that milk did the best job at promoting whole-body net fluid balance, or in other words restoring hydration status. It seems that the fluid in milk works synergistically with its nutrients to promote better rehydration. Previous research has demonstrated that chocolate milk contains a dynamic duo of carbs and protein to kick start better post-training muscle recovery.

Learn how to use these and other power foods to reach new exercise heights in the pages of ROCKET FUEL.

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: Mango Lime Energy Shot (Plus Contest!)

Many athletes turn to sticky gels when in need of a quick hit of sugary energy. I’ll admit that I used to rely heavily on these products until I discovered how easy it is to make my own concentrated sugar rush using dried fruit.

That’s why I included a few recipes in ROCKET FUEL that require little more than soaking some dried fruit like raisins or apricots and then blending with a few flavorings. The combination of glucose and fructose present in dried fruit increases carbohydrate absorption rates during exercise, while the added water not found in packaged gels encourages better digestion and hydration.

Since the release of the book, I’m still experimenting with different dried fruits to keep my long rides a lot more energized and tasty. This energy shot featuring dried mango has become one of my favorite things to bring along when I’m on the saddle for the long haul. A little reminder of some past tropical rides in locations like Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Often, I add a touch of salt to my energy shots to help replace what is lost in sweat. But I recently discovered a great new electrolyte product produced by EnduroPacks. It’s essentially a spray bottle filled with liquid electrolytes like sodium, magnesium and potassium. No sugar calories, no lab created colors or mystery flavors. I like to squirt it into my water bottles when I’m not interested in adding calories to my liquid but feel like there is a need for a little boost of electrolytes. And it’s also a great product to elevate DIY energy shots like this mango lime version.

Spray1

Want to try some for yourself?

The generous folks at EnduroPacks are offering a chance to win a electrolyte spray bottle to test out. Just e-mail us at contest@rocketfuelfoods.net with “EnduroPacks” in the subject line to enter. This contest ends August 13th!

Mango Lime Energy Shot

MangoGel1a 

1/3 cup chopped dried mango

2/3 cup boiled water

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon lime zest

1/8 teaspoon salt or about 10 pumps of EnduroPacks electrolyte spray

Place mango and boiled water in a blender container and let soak for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend until as smooth as possible. Let cool and then transfer to one large gel flask or two smaller ones. This can be made a day or two in advance if kept chilled.

During exercise, divide into two servings or suck back the whole thing if you need a big energy boost.

Rocket Fuel by Matt KadeyIn Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Grand Tour Financiers, a Luxurious Mini-Cake in Tribute to the Tour de France

Just watching the monumental efforts of the Tour de France participants is enough to work up an appetite. Which is why I wanted to create a fuel recipe that pays tribute to the great nation of France that is hosting the riders as they battle the mountains in the pursuit of a yellow jersey. Likely one of the hardest athletic endeavors imaginable.

Tour-de-France-yellow-jersey

Financiers are traditional light and moist French mini cakes. Its defining ingredients are ground nuts, browned butter and egg whites. A trio that creates a two-bite luxurious cake that is a total taste bud party. Financiers are often formed into small rectangles, but I’m partial to using mini muffin cups to make them easier to transport in a jersey pocket. Small vessels of joy when enjoying the great outdoors.

For a recent ride, I teamed up the financiers with Mini Mediterranean Muffins and Enduro Balls from the pages of ROCKET FUEL for the ultimate exercise snack pack. Now doesn’t that look more tasty than a packaged energy bar?

Financiers2a

With this collection of edible goodness on hand, I’d be ready to challenge Chris Froome up any incline. Well, maybe for the first few pedal strokes.

Bob’s Red Mill is a good source of both almond and hazelnut meal, which are simply ground up whole nuts that also includes their skins, but if you can’t locate this product you can grind nuts in a food processor or high powered blender until powdery. I don’t own a cherry pitter, so I just push the smaller end of a chopstick through the ends of each cherry which will push the pits out.

Grand Tour Cherry Financiers

Financiers1a

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
2/3 cup almond meal or hazelnut meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons honey
12 pitted cherries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly, until it browns and smells nutty, scrapping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Be careful not to burn butter.

Stir together nut meal, flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites. Stir in butter. Stir in honey.

Divide mixture among 12 mini silicon or greased metal muffin cups. Gently press a cherry into each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and tops are set. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding. Cool completely on a metal rack.

Rocket Fuel provides a bounty of recipes that will give you the quality carbohydrates needed to keep up with the competition. Oats and sweet potatoes, anyone?

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Fueling a Grand Tour

Here is an interesting infographic on what it takes to keep team Sky well fed during the Tour de France. Of course, I think there are more than a few recipes in Rocket Fuel that would help get them to the top of alpe d’huez. SIS_Infographic_Final_Infographic_image

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Carbs are Rocket Fuel

In the pages of Rocket Fuel, I make a case for why athletes need not shy away from consuming carbohydrates. I know it’s cool to gang up on the macronutrient these days, but science continues to show that carbs are what can help get you to the finish line with energy to spare.

Case in point: In a fascinating 2016 Journal of Applied Physiology study, researchers provided runners with a carb-based meal before a treadmill run to fatigue as well as a trial involving the carb meal and a special compound that restricts the body’s ability to use fat as an energy source during exercise. The subjects ran at the equivalent of 95% of their personal best half-marathon times. The result was that the runners ran equally well in in both trails. The upshot is that at this intensity, an active body much prefers to use carbohydrate as a fuel source as indicated by the fact that even when fat was available it did not result in improved performance compared to when fat-burning was hindered by the researchers.

In a follow up study, cyclists performed time trails after consuming a breakfast containing 2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight and either a fat blocker or a placebo. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the time to complete the 60 and 90 minute time trials. So, again, even though fat was available as an energy source when no fat blocker was administered it did not alter performance indicating that the body had no real use for fat to generate energy. As along as enough carbs were available that is what the muscles turned to. Performance was hampered in the fat-blocking trial for the 120 minute cycling effort. This suggests that carbohydrate stores in the cyclists started to run out and there was no other viable fuel to turn to. This presents a good argument for fueling with extra carbohydrates in long lasting events.

Despite the internet buzz about the benefits of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets for endurance sport, these results indicate that a diet high in fat and protein at the expense of carbohydrates will very likely hinder performance during high intensity exercise efforts by impairing the body’s ability to tap into carbohydrate stores as a vital energy source. In short, its carbohydrate availability that is rate limiting for performance with most endurance sports. That is why in a recent review of 61 studies, researchers determined that consuming extra calories from carbohydrates is a surefire way to improve endurance exercise performance.

Rocket Fuel provides a bounty of recipes that will give you the quality carbohydrates needed to keep up with the competition. Oats and sweet potatoes, anyone?

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.

Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
MattKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.