Loving the BITE: Oatmeal Cookie Fuel
A client recently asked me what I thought about using Oatmeal Cookies for fuel. It happened to be a food he loved, a food he’d look forward to mile after mile, and one he could easily make ahead of time. It also happened to be a great idea.
Unlike most cookies, oatmeal cookies are unique in that they are more than refined flours and sugars. They use oats, which give a longer-lasting energy. And, as you’ll see in this recipe, they can be made with organic coconut oil and honey, which provide good fuel options.
In my recipes, I often “remake” older recipes to offer a healthy alternative to sugar-laden, refined-flour baked goods. When using them as fueling, though, it’s not completely necessary as long as you’re using good-quality ingredients. Your body can use, and actually needs carbohydrates every hour that are efficiently digested, absorbed, and metabolized rather than those that are slow in digestion (again, this is one key difference in Daily Nutrition vs. Training Nutrition). So, as you’ll see, this recipe has ingredients appropriate for Training Nutrition.
It can also be used alongside milk or another protein as recovery, or as a once-in-awhile dessert or treat. Enjoy!
Recipe of the Week: Oatmeal Cookie Training Fuel
(adapted from foodnetwork.com)
- 3 tablespoons organic coconut oil or organic butter, softened
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 + 2 Tbsp cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup flour (can use 100% whole-wheat flour for a healthier version)*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- Any amount of the following: chopped dates, figs, raisins, currants, chocolate chips, chopped nuts
*to make gluten-free, use gluten-free oats, and use almond flour, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking flour, or experiment with coconut flour in place of regular flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix softened coconut oil (or butter), brown sugar, honey, egg and water thoroughly. In a separate medium bowl, mix dry ingredients and then stir in the oats. Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. If you’d like to add any additional ingredients listed, add them and mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack. Should make about 16-18 cookies.
Would you look forward to a cookie? If the answer is yes, this may be a great fuel choice for you. Here’s why:
Carbohydrates and Energy Ingredients: This cookie contains a good amount of carbs from oats, flour, honey, and sugar (about 25 grams per cookie, or similar to a gel). Since the “refined” carbs are balanced with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, it all works well together to provide quicker AND longer-lasting energy. In addition, the organic coconut oil provides a wonderful energy-ingredient…this fat is digest quickly and used by cells as an energy source.
Long-lasting Energy without too much Fiber: When you think of oats, do you think high-fiber? Well, believe it or not, oats are not really a high fiber food. One serving of 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal for example, only provide 4 grams of fiber (much less than a really high fiber cereal or seed like chia seeds). However, the fiber is very high quality soluble fiber, which tends to be great for digestive health, heart health, blood sugar health and more, without being too hard on your gut. This is great when you are in the middle of a ride…no cyclist needs “hard-on-your-gut” digestive issue on the bike.
Protein: You’ll get protein from the egg, oats, and flour – not too much, but enough to contribute to long-lasting energy. These cookies will work well on shorter and longer rides.
Sodium: The baking soda and salt provide sodium, about 100 mg per cookie…a needed mineral for any athlete who is sweating longer than an hour.
Real Food Fueling: Many athletes simply feel better, and suffer less stomach distress, when they choose real, simple foods rather than “engineered” ingredients manipulated to meet specific nutrient parameters…real foods, simply don’t always meet these parameters and that’s okay. Often, they work even better to fuel us while satisfying our hunger and nutrition needs.
How about you? What’s your Real-Food Fuel Recipe?
Do you use any “regular” food recipes to fuel mile after mile? What sounds good to you on the bike? What works for you?
There’s definitely many ways to fuel well. Find yours. Hopefully, we’ve given you many great options during the last few years with Loving the Bite. If not, let us know what sounds good, and we’ll see if it, too, can work well as cycling fuel.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.