When it comes to comfort food for athletes and, of course, school kids, one item that will always come to mind is a ye-olde peanut butter and jam sandwich. After all, how can you beat refueling after a spirited workout with a combination of creamy peanut butter, sweet jam and doughy bread? In fact, I’ve heard through the grapevine that some athletes are more than happy to call a couple of PB&J’s dinner – not sure this sports dietitian would be on board with that. But I see the allure.
So in celebration of this iconic sandwich and the release of ROCKET FUEL, here is a brand new recipe not in the cookbook that has all of the cherished flavors in a portable format. Grab a few before a workout for an energy boost or take them along on any summer outdoor pursuit like a paddle down a lazy river, a bike ride under a bluebird sky or a tramp in the woods. They’re a delicious excuse to make sure you have a food processor in your kitchen arsenal.
These feature one of my favorite foods for active bodies – dried tart cherries. Beyond their habit-forming sweet-tart flavor, studies suggest that unique antioxidants in the parched fruit may help athletes perform their best by lessening inflammation associated with training.
Want more ideas for how dried cherries and peanut butter can boost your performance? You can find plenty more recipes featuring these tasty items in the pages of ROCKET FUEL.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Balls
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cups quick cook oats
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted peanut butter)
Place dates in a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak 30 minutes. Drain and pat excess water away with a paper towel.
Place peanuts in a food processor bowl and process until pulverized into small pieces. Add dates, cherries, oats, peanut butter and salt. Blend until mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Roll into 1-inch balls. You should get about 18 balls. Keep chilled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Try more of Matt Kadey’s recipes!
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:
Barnes & Noble
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada