PB&J Onigiri

Onigiri are traditional Japanese rice balls usually stuffed with pickled and/or salty items. Sometimes they are wrapped in nori seaweed. But stuff them with nut butter and jam and you have a portable energy bomb that makes what amounts to near perfect fuel when on the go. My go-to habit recently is to grab one of these balls before a big ride, not so much to help power my pedal stroke but because each stuffed ball of rice is so darn delicious.

PB&J Onigiri

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1 cup white short-grain sticky rice

2 tablespoons sugar

5 teaspoons peanut butter or almond butter

5 teaspoons jam of choice

Wash rice to remove surface starch by placing the grains in a bowl and cover rice with cold water. Swirl the rice with your hand and then drain off the milky liquid. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the water becomes nearly clear.

Place rice, 1 1/2 cups rice and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Sprinkle on sugar, remove pan from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Gently stir rice.

When cool enough to handle, place a heaping spoonful of rice into damp hands. Make an indentation in the rice and scoop in about 1/2 teaspoon each nut butter and jam. Use your hands to form rice into a ball around the nut butter and jam, adding more rice if needed to cover the filling. Repeat with remaining ingredients, making sure to keep hands damp so rice does not stick to hands. You should get about 10 balls. Chill balls for at least 2 hours to help them firm up.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

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Figgy Energy Bars

Tis the season when I’m putting in plenty of miles on my bikes. Which means I’m craving an abundance of tasty fuel to power my rides. But what I don’t have an appetite for when the temperatures outside are soaring is to crank up the oven to make my ride fuel. Especially in our second floor kitchen that in the absence of air conditioning can quickly turn into a sauna.

These no-bake figgy bars solve that conundrum by requiring no oven time, but still delivering great flavor. The figs offer up plenty of energizing carbs, while I like the walnuts for a little crunch. Add cocoa is here for some chocolaty pick-me-up when your energy levels are sagging.

No-Bake Fig Bars

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1 1/2 cups dried figs

1 cup almond flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnut pieces

Place figs in a large bowl, cover with hot water and let soak 30 minutes. Drain figs and pat away excess moisture with a paper towel.

Place drained figs, almond flour, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a food processor container and blend until the mixture clumps together. Pulse in walnuts.

Line an 8 by 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Add fig mixture to pan and use damp hands to press the mixture flat (about ¾-inch thick). Place pan in freezer until contents of pan have firmed up, about 1 hour. Slice into 9 squares. Keep bars chilled in the refrigerator or freezer. Transport bars in a small zip-top bag or bundle up in a reusable wrap such as Abeego.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: Black Bean Energy Balls

I seemingly always have a stash of energy balls in the fridge. They are easy to grab when in need of a pre-ride snack or something I can bring along to help keep my energy levels up when on the saddle for a number of hours.

This version includes the nutritional overachievers known as black beans. They lend the balls a slightly fudgy consistency and the inclusion of items like nut butter and cocoa powder assures they don’t taste, well, too beany.

Black Bean Energy Balls

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1 cup rolled oats

1 cup cooked or canned black beans

1/3 cup protein powder of choice

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pulverize oats in a food processor. Place remaining ingredients in the container and blend until mixture sticks together.

With damp hands, roll mixture into golf ball sized balls. You should get 16 balls. Keep chilled for up to 1 week.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: Banana Oat Cups

Banana, Oats and Peanut Butter are definitely a recipe for tasty fuel. These baked energy-packed cups for #makeyourownfuelfridays  are designed to keep you well fueled. Enjoy them as a pre-exercise snack to get your engines revved or pack a few for the road. I personally plan to stuff them into my jersey pocket this weekend for what I hope is some great saddle time.

Banana Oat Cups

OatmealPucks

2 ripe bananas

3/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk

1 large egg

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

½ cup chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a blender, blend together banana, milk, egg, peanut butter and vanilla. Stir together oats, flax, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add banana mixture and stir everything together. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Divide mixture among 12 standard sized greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until cups are set. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before unmolding.

 

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: PB Chocolate Protein Powder Mix

Taking the time to gather up all the necessary ingredients for a recovery smoothie after a hard workout can be a pain. That is the beauty of this #makeyourownfuelfridays DIY protein powder mix – simply blend some with milk and frozen banana (for frosty creaminess) and you’ve got a drink that is ready to show your tired body some love. The peanut butter powder is a stealth ingredient to give the mix the quintessential nut butter flavor and I’ve included ground flax for a shot of healthy fats. You could even mix in some instant espresso powder for a mocha vibe.

PB Chocolate Protein Powder 

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1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla protein powder of choice

1/2 cup peanut butter powder

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Transfer to a container and keep refrigerated.

To make a smoothie, blend together 1 cup milk of choice, 1/3 cup of the powder and 1 chopped frozen banana.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Apple Crisp Smoothie

For another installment of #makeyourownfuelfridays, I’m combining recovery nutrition and dessert in one with this crave-worthy apple crisp smoothie. Each sip has a winning mix of carbs, protein and fats to make it easier to rebound from a sweat session.

To freeze apples for smoothies simply cut up fresh apples into chunks, spread them out on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid. Transfer the frozen apple chunks to a zip-top bag or other sealed container and stash in the freezer until ready to use.

Apple Crisp Smoothie

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3/4 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup plain Greek or Skyr yogurt

3 tablespoons rolled oats

2 tablespoons walnuts or pecans

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 frozen chopped apple

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

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: PB & J Chia Pudding

Studies show that the texture of the food we eat can play a big role in how satisfying we find it. Which is why chia puddings have become one of my go-to workout recovery eats and why they are featured in the pages of my book Rocket Fuel. There is something deliciously satisfying about spooning up a thick and creamy pudding after sweating it out, especially when it’s packed with the necessary carbs, proteins, and fats needed to recharge.

This version for #makeyourownfuelfridays is definitely reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood sandwich. Blending in a bit of peanut butter powder makes it tastes extra, well, peanuty. If you like, raspberries can replace the strawberries, maple syrup can be used instead of honey and, for something a little more decadent, ricotta cheese can stand in for Greek yogurt. For extra crunch, I like to sprinkle on cacao nibs and unsalted roasted peanuts just before serving.

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2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons peanut butter powder (optional)

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons cup chia seeds

Place strawberries, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, peanut butter powder if using, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a blender container and blend until smooth. Divide among 2 jars. Add half of the chia seeds to each jar, seal shut and shake.

Chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: Ginger Sweet Potato Drinking Soup

A while ago I received some samples of a brand of bottled soup that I was supposed to drink from a bottle instead of serving it from a bowl with a spoon in hand. At first, I thought the idea of drinking soup was a food trend that needed to disappear fast. But I was blown away by how awesome all the different flavors tasted. I idea behind drinking soup is that you basically take a bunch of ingredients, blend them up and then sip what is essentially a whole food juice. Gazpacho would be a good example. The benefit is that you drink the whole vegetable or fruit instead of just the juice pressed from it. Brilliant!

For some time now, I’ve wanted to try making my own drinking soup. And now in the grips of winter why not blend one up with a payload of immune-boosting vitamin A for #makeyourownfuelfridays. This mixture has just the right amount of sweetness and gingery zing. Plus it’s crazy easy to make. Simply simmer up your veggies and then blend with sweet cider. Each sip is like a fountain of youth. I’ve been drinking it after sweat sessions on the bike trainer to help my body feel recharged. You could also warm the soup on the stovetop and serve in a mug instead of a glass.

If not using cider, try adding a couple chopped apples to the simmering vegetables after about 15 minutes on the stovetop and then blend the whole thing with 1 cup water.

Ginger Sweet Potato Drinking Soup

SweetPotatoSoup

1 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup sliced ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup apple cider

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place sweet potato, carrots, ginger, salt and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Place contents of pan including any remaining water in a blender container along with cider and cinnamon; blend until very smooth.

Chill for 2 or more hours before serving.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: Mini Beet Blueberry Muffins

As an addition to my #makeyourownfuelfridays line-up, these mini muffins are a great pre-workout nibble or healthy snack at any time of the day. The beets lend the muffins a fun rosy color and added sweetness, but won’t make each bite taste to beety. You can roast or steam your own beets, but an increasing number of supermarket produce departments are carrying pre-cooked beets for convenience.

You’ll find more baby muffins to help power your adventures in the pages of Rocket Fuel.

Mini Beet Blueberry Muffins

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1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 large egg

2 medium-sized cooked beets

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Stir together flours, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in blueberries.

Place milk, yogurt, egg, beets, maple syrup and sugar in a blender container and blend until smooth. Add beet mixture to flour mixture and stir gently until everything is moist.

Divide among 24 mini muffin cups and bake for 18, or until muffins are set in the middle. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding and cool further on a metal rack.

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

Food photography by Aaron Colussi.

Recipe: Warm Cider Pumpkin Smoothie

Things are getting chilly up here in Ontario, which means I’m looking for ways to take the frost out of my smoothies. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of blended drinks as a way to kickstart recovery from a spirited workout, but when the snow starts flying  I don’t always crave a cold drink. So I’m turning up the heat on #makeyourownfuelfridays with this toasty apple cider smoothie with just the perfect hint of pumpkin sweetness. Greek yogurt adds muscle-mending protein and the nut butter is here for satiating fats. The spices and vanilla make it taste oh-so seasonal.

Most often, I’ll make this ahead of my workouts and then pour into my trusty Hydro Flask so it’s ready to go soon after I hop off the trainer – yep, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to riding outside in the cold.

This would also work with cooked butternut squash or sweet potato.

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Warm Cider Pumpkin Smoothie

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1 cup apple cider

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons almond butter or walnut butter

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

  1. Place apple cider and water in a saucepan and warm until it just reaches a simmer.
  1. Pour apple cider mixture into a blender container and add remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.