Chocolate Sticky Bites

Recently, I began searching for recipes for homemade nutrition to eat on the go.  I’m not a fan of Gu, something about the texture gags me.  I typically eat Honey Stinger Chews.  They are portable and kind of melt in your mouth, but the longer workouts have me wanting a variety.  Plus, my body is sensitive to too much sugar, as in I crash and burn.  I have to pair sugar with protein, otherwise I have a meltdown (similar to that of a toddler).  I also don’t particularly like sweets (probably because of the aftereffects), I prefer more of a salty, savory foods.  All of the on-the-go nutrition supplements seem to be really sweet and made of only sugars (i.e. – honey, molasses, sugar, syrup).  Thus began my search for recipes that are high in carbs, but not necessarily high in sugar.

USAT recently posted a Feed Zone Portable recipe for Bitter Chocolate & Sea Salt Sticky Bites.  I made them last week and tried them on our run Saturday.  The recipe made approximately two dozen bites, one ounce each.  It was easy to follow, and I had most of the ingredients in the house, with the exception of sticky rice.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed.

Chocolate Sticky Bites, Endurance Nutrition

First of all, when I made these bites, I tasted them.  They were a little sweet with a hint of chocolate.  On the run, I didn’t taste any of the sugar or chocolate.  They were pretty much flavorless, picture eating a bite of plain rice.  And the bites were sticky, like really sticky.  I wiped my hands on my pants, but was left with a film of sugar on my hands for the remainder of the run.

Second, the recipe says, “On your next ride, try bitter chocolate and sea salt sticky bites, a delicious portable snack made from real food.”  Well, I should have listened to their advice.  Even though these were bite-size portions, it is extremely difficult to breathe and chew these rice bites while running.  I think these would have been much easier to handle on a bike ride.

Finally, I wrapped the bites individually in plastic wrap.  The recipe does not state how to store these, other than in an airtight container.  So I put the wrapped bites in a Ziplock bag and stored them in the pantry.  I made these on Thursday, and by Sunday they had molded.  I considered storing them in the refrigerator, but typically rice doesn’t keep well in there.  Next time, I may try freezing any extras that won’t be consumed within a day or two.

Overall, I was happy to try something new.  I like the idea of using complex carbs as nutrition for longer rides and runs.  I just need to find the right recipe.  What’s your nutrition on longer workouts?  Do you make your own or just stick to gels and chews?

Fall is in the Air, Pumpkin Muffins are in the Oven

With the temperatures dropping and the color of the leaves changing, it’s beginning to feel like fall.  Which means, I’m ready to make my Pumpkin Bread Muffins.  We went to the store this weekend and I bought all of the ingredients, except pumpkin seeds.  While out Monday, I finally found those little suckers and made muffins that afternoon.

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I use this Pumpkin Bread Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens with a few modifications.  I reduce the sugar by half, add vanilla, fill in muffin tins instead of loaf pans, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top before baking.  They are great for breakfast!  I usually put a couple of them in the microwave for a few seconds and serve with butter.  My modified recipe is below:

Pumpkin Bread Muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 cup Cooking Oil

4 Eggs

3 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Soda

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

2/3 cup Water

15-ounce can Pumpkin

1 package Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease muffin tins or line cups with paper liners.  In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, vanilla, and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Alternate adding flour mixture and water to sugar/oil/egg mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Use a large spoon to fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on the muffins and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove muffins from tins and allow to cool.  Once they are at room temperature, I typically store in a ziplock bag.

Makes approximately 2 dozen muffins (give or take a few for the chef).

I typically store the muffins in a ziplock bag on the counter; they will keep for several days.  The muffins can also be frozen and reheated at a later date.  Enjoy!

Sunday Fun Day and Spring Gardening

When Nick is out of town, I try to keep myself as busy as possible.  I dropped him off at the airport Saturday afternoon and headed straight to the store.  I browsed the shoe department for a while, then decided to head over to Home Depot.  My goal for Sunday was to cleanup our two flower beds.  While perusing the garden section of Home Depot, I found the plants I wanted, but would have to return Sunday to get them because I needed Nick’s truck to be able to haul everything.  After that, I went to a friend’s house for dinner and a few glasses of wine.

Before and After

Before and After

Sunday morning I was up bright and early.  I had a full day ahead of me.  I wanted to try a new recipe, Cuban Lechon Asado, so I put a pork shoulder on the smoker.  Then I drove to Home Depot, arriving just as the doors opened at 8am.  I picked up some shrubs, a few flowering plants, potting soil, several bags of mulch, and concrete edging.  I got home and began working in the garden.  I pulled the weeds, planted the flowers and shrubs, added the edging around the two trees in the yard, and mulched the garden.   I didn’t finish working in the yard until almost 2pm.

Once inside, I ate lunch then took a short nap.  I woke up around 4pm and walked the dogs around the neighborhood.  When I returned home, I did my strength training dvd (more on that next week).  I took the pork off of the smoker, let it rest, and then pulled it.  Next, I made arepas.  This is only the second time I’ve made arepas, so I don’t have this recipe perfected yet.  Nonetheless, dinner was quite tasty.

Cuban Lechon Asado ArepasAfter cleaning the kitchen and doing some housework, around 8pm I was finally able to sit down and relax.  Sunday was a fun, yet very productive day.