Great Balls of Energy

Is it just me, or does it seem that in social media circles balls have supplanted bars when it comes to homemade snack fuel. Unlike avocado toast, this is one trendy kitchen creation I’m happily embracing. For the most part, balls can be easier to whip up than DIY bars and it’s really easy to just to grab one or two from the fridge when you need a pre-exercise energy boost or to help get you through the afternoon slump.

With that said, here are the latest batch of tasty balls I’ve been popping in my mouth to energize my fall rides.

Mango Chia Balls

1 1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
1 1/2 cups dried mango
1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup dried coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place cashews in a food processor container and blend until you have small pebbles. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers.

Using damp hands, roll mixture into 1-inch balls. You should get about 20 balls. Keep chilled.

Chocolate Tahini Balls

1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup tahini
Zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Place dates in a food processor container and blend until dates are pulverized and beginning to form a pasty mixture. Place cocoa powder, tahini, orange zest, vanilla and a couple pinches salt in container and blend until mixture sticks together when pinched between your fingers.

Spread sesame seeds out on a plate. Roll date mixture into balls about the size of golf balls, adding more sesame seeds to plate as needed. You should get about 10 balls. Keep chilled.

Banana Date Energy Balls

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup baked banana chips (such as the brand bare)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup nut or seed butter of choice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Place dates in a bowl, cover with warm water and let soak 15 minutes.

Drain dates and place them in a food processor container along with banana chips, oats and sunflower seeds. Blend until mixture is pulverized. Add nut or seed butter and vanilla and blend until mixture sticks together with pressed between your fingers. If using, pulse in chocolate chips.

Form into 1-inch balls. You should get about 14 balls. Keep chilled.

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.

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ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Hand Pies

Cycling down the iconic Ruta 40 in Argentina became a whole lot tastier when my girlfriend and I discovered that the handheld pies known as empanadas make for stellar on-the-go fuel. After extensive sampling, we deemed Caprese our favorite flavor, but the great thing with empanadas, as these incarnations demonstrate, is that they are so versatile. They can be stuffed with all sorts of sweet and savory combinations, making every outing a new gastronomic delight.

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 by Matt Kadey Hand Pies

Hand Pies from Matt Kadey’s ROCKET FUEL

Serves 8

2 frozen pie shells, defrosted at room temperature
1 egg

NUTTY MANGO
1/4 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup mango chutney

CAPRESE
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

SAVORY APPLE PIE
1 apple, finely chopped
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 375° F. Working with one pie shell at a time, flip shell and its container upside down on a lightly floured work surface, carefully release pie shell from container, and press down gently to flatten. If any cracks form, seal shut with moistened fingers. Slice pie shell into 4 equal-sized triangles. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water.

Place some of one of the filling combinations in the center of each triangle. Do not overstuff. Brush edges with the egg wash, fold one end of each triangle over to form a smaller triangle, and seal each shut with the tines of a fork. Place pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and brush tops with more egg wash. Repeat with remaining pie shell and filling.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Transport pies in small zip-top bags.

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:
MatthewKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Hot Chocolate Recovery Smoothie

After a crisp late-fall run or a full day of cross-country skiing, you’re not likely to be craving a frosty drink. That’s the beauty of this smoothie: It’s reminiscent of hot chocolate but with the carbs and protein needed for recovery.

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 by Matt Kadey RF Hot Chocolate Recovery Smoothie

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

Serves 1

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup milk powder
1 small banana
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scoop protein powder of choice
2 teaspoons almond butter or other nut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of chili powder or cayenne powder (optional)

Heat water in a kettle to desired temperature. Place water in a blender along with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Consume immediately or transfer to an insulated drink container to keep warm until after your workout.

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:
MatthewKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Turkey Muffins

If your workout was dominated by a sweet deluge of gels and chews, these savory muffins will offer your palate a shred of comfort. They’re a tasty reward for getting through a tough workout, and they also contain a notable amount of protein to fire up muscle recovery and growth. They’re especially good when warmed in the microwave and then adorned with a touch of butter.

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 by Matt Kadey RF Turkey Muffins

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

Serves 12

2 teaspoons + 1/4 cup canola, grapeseed, or light olive oil
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon dried sage or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups 2% plain yogurt

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Remove turkey from pan and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sage, garlic powder, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in cheese, yogurt, and 1/4 cup oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently. Fold in cooked turkey.

Divide mixture among 12 standard-sized silicone or greased metal muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out nearly clean. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding and cooling completely on metal racks. Chill for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

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:
MatthewKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Toast Stacks

No offense to peanut butter, but when it comes to recovery toast you can stack on a more inspiring combination of ingredients to deliver the carbs and protein you need to revive after a tough workout. Enjoy these even more by using crusty bread from a local artisanal baker. For an even bigger dose of recovery carbs, use a toasted bagel.

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 by Matt Kadey Toast Stacks

Serves 4

4 thick slices of bread, toasted

GOING BANANAS

BASE
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1 small ripe banana, mashed
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

TOPPING
2 cups sliced roasted chicken
1/4 cup cilantro

JUST PEACHY

BASE
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons prepared pesto

TOPPING
2 peaches, sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds

COTTAGE COUNTRY

BASE
1 cup reduced-fat cottage cheese
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 teaspoons lemon zest

TOPPING
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sliced fresh mint

GO FISH

BASE*
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup peppadew peppers or roasted red pepper
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt

*Combine ingredients in blender or food processor

TOPPING
2 (4.3-ounce) cans sardines packed in water
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

BEAN GOOD

BASE
1 cup fat-free refried beans

TOPPING
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup sliced mango
2 ounces diced feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
Squirt of lime juice

If your chosen flavor option’s base has more than one ingredient, stir them together before applying. Apply an equal amount of a base and topping combo to each piece of toast.

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:
MatthewKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Graham Cracker Pumpkin Butter Smash

Good for more than s’mores, graham crackers are a great vehicle for transporting this velvety pumpkin butter into your body for a shot of pre-workout carbs. You can now even find gluten-free graham crackers. These can also work for fueling as you push the pace during a workout, but keep in mind that the crackers won’t stay crispy for very long once the pumpkin butter is applied.

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 by Matt Kadey RF Graham Cracker with Peanut Butter Pumpkin

Serves 8

1 (14-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
32 graham crackers

Place pumpkin, sugar, cider, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the mixture is thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir the pumpkin butter frequently during cooking and keep the lid slightly ajar to help steam escape yet still avoid splatter—a wooden spoon handle can help with this. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Let pumpkin butter cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container and keep chilled for up to 2 weeks.

To serve, spread some pumpkin butter on a graham cracker and top with another cracker.

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:
MatthewKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

 

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Sweet Potato Tots

Tender on the inside with a nutty crisp on the outside, these energy bombs flip a switch that tells your body to mover harder, faster, and longer. So grab a bunch and get out there. The secret ingredient is coconut flour, which works its magic to absorb some of the excess moisture from the mashed potato so the tots will firm up and better keep their shape during transport. To make these even more crave-worthy, mix a couple of tablespoons of molasses into the potato mash.

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 Sweet Potato Tots by Matt Kadey

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Vegan or Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Active Time: 25 min.

1½ pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 medium-sized), peeled and cubed
¼ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar

Steam or boil sweet potatoes until fork-tender. Place cooked sweet potato in a bowl and mash until smooth. Stir in coconut flour, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate small bowl, stir together pecans and sugar.

Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Scoop out sweet potato mixture by the tablespoon and roll between hands into a cylindrical shape. Roll in pecan mixture and place on baking sheet. Chop more pecans if needed. You should have about 24 tots.

Bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway, or until golden on the outside. They will firm up further upon cooling. Tots can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you want to enjoy them warm as a snack, simply microwave tots for about 30 seconds.

Game Changers: Season with allspice instead of cinnamon + Use finely chopped walnuts instead of pecans + Substitute date sugar for coconut or brown sugar

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:
MatthewKadey.com
VeloPress
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
local booksellers
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

ROCKET FUEL Recipe: Apple Sandwiches

APPLE SANDWICHES

This riff on iconic PB&J is great for both gym bags and lunch boxes. The dynamic duo of apple and figs provides carbs to give you the little rev your body needs. You can add extra crunch by sprinkling on some granola.

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 Apple Sandwiches by Matt Kadey, RD

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo-friendly, Vegan or Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Active time: 15 min

½ cup dried figs, stems removed
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter
2 large apples, cored and sliced into six ¼-inch-thick rounds*

* If not eating right away, you can brush the apple slices with a solution of 3 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to slow browning.

Place figs in a bowl, cover with 1 cup boiling water, and let soak 30 minutes. Place figs, the soaking liquid, cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt in a blender and blend until slightly chunky.

Let cool. Jam can be chilled for up to 10 days.

Spread about 1 ½ teaspoons nut butter and 1 tablespoon fig jam on one apple slice and top with another apple slice. Repeat with remaining apple slices and filling as needed.

Use store-bought berry jam or cherry preserves instead of the fig mixture + Replace nut butter with coconut butter or seed butter.

Rocket Fuel by Matt KadeyRocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Matt Kadey, RD, is an ingenious new cookbook of delicious real-food snacks that are timed to fuel whatever thrills you. Rocket Fuel will be available in spring 2016 in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online. Preorder now from VeloPress, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local booksellers, and Chapters/Indigo.

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Peach Rocket Fuel

For me, a perfectly ripe local peach is one of the sweetest treats of flip-flop season. Their season is fleeting up here in Ontario so when August rolls around I’m working the stone fruit into my recipes anywhere I can. While a very sensible way to eat a hazardously juicy peach is by simply leaning over a kitchen sink with napkin nearby, I’ve also found a number of tasty ways to turn peaches from the farmers’ market into optimal recovery fuel.

Recharge with these recipes and you’ll be peachy keen to make them again and again.

Peaches and Cream Soaked Oats

Scoop this up for breakfast or after a hard workout – either way your taste buds won’t be disappointed.

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup plain or vanilla protein powder
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2/3 cup low-fat milk
1 small peach, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped almonds
1 tablespoon coconut flakes or chips (optional)
1 – 2 teaspoons maple syrup

In a bowl or half pint glass jar, stir together oats, protein powder, chia seeds and allspice. Stir in milk and then top with peaches, almonds, coconut if using and maple syrup. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Minty Peach Cheesecake Smoothie

This smoothie, which provides a winning mix of recovery protein and carbs, tastes like summer in a glass.

1/2 cup milk of choice
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 peach, pitted and quartered
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 tablespoons hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 small frozen banana

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

Peach Toast

I can think of no better way to kickstart recovery than grabbing hold of this fully-loaded toast. It’s a delicious mix of creamy and sweet only made better by some nutty crunch. If you like, ricotta cheese can replace the cream cheese.

1 slice bread, toasted
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1/2 peach, sliced
1 tablespoon pistachios
2 tablespoons sliced basil
1 teaspoon honey

Spread cream cheese on toast and top with orange zest if using, peach slices, pistachios and basil. Drizzle on honey.

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.

Portable Power

It seems that there is no end to the interest in transporting tasty treats from the kitchen to the trail. Recently, I was asked by Alive magazine, a publication I have worked with for many years, to put together a collection of portable nibbles that can help people stay energized during their summer adventures. The idea is that you need not rely solely on packaged energy foods to keep your gas tank from hitting red. It very much aligns with the premise of my book ROCKET FUEL.

From Curry Apricot Bars to Mocha Crepes, click here to head over to the Alive website to find this collection of recipes (and admittingly, more appetizing food photography) to help you keep up the pace all summer long.

Sweet Potato Energy Bites

SweetPotatoBalls1a

Chocolate Hummus Stuffed Dates

HummusDates1a

Curry Apricot Bars

CurryApricotBars1a

Mocha Crepes

MochaCrepes1a

Mini Trail Mix Muffins

TrailMixMuffins1a