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May 31, 2014

Cycling Snacks to Pack with you, not pack on Pounds: A New way to Think about Some of the Classics

Veggies on a cutting BoardWe are not talking about carb loading here or fueling for that grueling 20 mile cycling ride.

What I want to talk about is that snack you pack on that recreational ride you take with your family or a group of friends.



When we think about snacks for a ride we grab a granola bar or some processes food that touts being the cyclist choice for snacking and we hit the trail.  These may be easy but they often don’t give us what we truly need.  We feel hungry still and sometimes we just feel cheated.  We feel like we are missing something.  These are not social foods, and recreational cycling is a social activity.  To be social, like it or not food often plays a big role.  An activity is nearly always centered around food; usually an ice cream or some sugary drink, maybe you have found some bakery you like to make your destination.  What we really crave is to share a meal, to break bread so to speak.  So instead of adding on the pounds on your bike ride, try a new spin to some classics.  Find a place of beauty or intrigue to enjoy it and you may be surprised how satisfying sharing some healthy snacks can feel.

1. Veggies and a Quality Dip:  Nature packages veggies perfectly and virtually no prep is required.  Choosing peppers, cucumbers, radishes, celery, diakon or tomatoes will give you extra fluids; however carrots, broccoli, sliced turnip, and cauliflower are less likely to get banged up.  Veggies fill you up and provide fiber, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs for cycling.  They are the perfect portable cycling snack.  Just bring a bit of hummus, bean dip, or try a Delicious Edamame Dip and enjoy.  Trying a different type of dip and can change up the old classics.  Look for ways to make veggies into that snack you reach for and come up with your own new ideas for dips to use.  Try roasted vegetable, garlic and a bean of choice and you have a dip.  Use beets, peppers, squash, Kale, or anything that sounds good.  Blend it up and spice it up how you like it.

2. Fresh Fruit:  A no brainer right?  Have you ever thought of what fresh means?  Opting for fruits that are in season will ensure the highest nutritional content.  Melons, berries, oranges and grapes offer a high level of fructose which the body can easily break down into the necessary quick energy for your muscles to use and also offer the benefit of having high water content.  Don’t forget to add in those in-season berries.  Before you head out you may even want to locate your local farmer’s market stand and just buy your snack along the way.  There is something special about buying fruit that fresh.

3. Nuts and Dried Fruit mix.  A good blend of nuts and dried fruit can be an easily portable option that doesn’t require refrigeration.  Look for unsalted natural varieties, and bring extra water to ensure proper digestion of any dried fruits.  Nuts offer a high satiety, which means that they make us feel full for a longer period.  They are slow digestion foods so they release nutrition slowly.  Walnuts and almonds are my first choice for nuts.  Cashews, hazelnuts, Brazilian and pecans in a lower quantity.  Skip the banana, mango, papaya and pineapple which are usually coated in sugar on top of their natural sugars and opt for sour cherries, apricots, madjula dates, raisins, cranberries, and prunes.  Beware of the prunes, they are tasty but too many will have you running for a bathroom.  A bit of raw coconut thrown in there can offer a bit of a nice twist as well.  For weight control I wouldn’t recommend more than a handful of nuts a day.  We do need them but too many can have the reverse affect.

4. Breakfast material as a snack  For breakfast I have often made up a mix of old fashioned oats, almond milk, some walnuts, hemp heart, chia seed, oat bran, and frozen or fresh berries with a bit of Agave syrup.  I mix this up in small mason jars and put them in the fridge over night.  They are easy to grab and go, and don’t require heating to be delicious.  Adding Greek yogurt can also be a tasty alternative.  It occurred to me that they little packages have great stay power, offer a good carbohydrate, fat, nutrient balance that could be used for a cycling day as well.  Not to mention they are very portable.  So in the bag they go.  Did I also mention that left over brown rice and quinoa are great substitutes for the oatmeal?  There are also many different ways to sweeten.  Agave, Raw Honey, Cocoanut sugar.  The variety is endless really.  Be creative.

5. Yogurt:  I’m not a big dairy fan but I can’t argue that they can be a good cool compliment to your outing.  Yogurt tubes or even a zip lock bag can eliminate the need for a spoon.  Freeze the yogurt and pack it up with your other goodies. They can double as an ice pack for your trip and provide some sugar to replenish you on a hot day.  If you aren’t eating them every day, which with the amount of sugar in them you should not be, they become a special treat so indulge.  Lactose intolerant?  Try freezing Chocolate Almond milk.

All these snacks are portable, shareable and create a social environment if you take a stop along the way.  Using new dip ideas can give everyone something to look forward to.  It creates conversation and allows there to be a special twist to a classic snack.


-Laurel Jorundson

Tags Recreations cycling snacks  Social Cycling food