Tag Archives: Energy bar

Primal Biscuits and Energy Bars

When making low-fat food, it is usually easy for the non-dieting guest to detect that fat and sugar have been omitted. A polite acknowledgement to the chef is usually made, but in my experience the food is usually bland and unfulfilling. When I served up these biscuits at Christmas, family members could not believe that they were our ‘diet’ food. Of course, to a person who consumes a high carbohydrate diet and has the subsequent high insulin level, these biscuits might contribute to weight gain. For those of us who have our insulin under control, the high fat and moderate carbohydrate content will pose no such problems and give a tasty boost during longer bike rides.

Adapted and from two sources (Mark’s Daily Apple and This Primal Life) , I have a basic recipe for the biscuits, which I embellish as my mood takes me and store cupboard allows. For energy bars, I form the biscuit ‘dough’ into bar shapes which I wrap in cling film and put in the pocket of my jersey or food pack on the top tube of my bike. For biscuits, I make rounds or just dollop the mixture on to the baking tray with a tablespoon.

The biscuits are energy dense, and one is satisfying enough with a cuppa, although I can get through 3 or 4 bars on an epic ride.

Dry Ingredients

1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)

60ml scoop of whey powder (optional)

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of sea salt

Put these ingredients in a bowl and give them a mix. To this mixture, add the other dry ingredients that you have decided to use, such as roughly chopped nuts, coconut flakes, chopped dark chocolate, cocoa powder, a small amount of non-sweetened dried fruit (I dry my own blueberries) or some spice, such as dried cinnamon or ginger.

Wet Ingredients

5 tbsp of butter or coconut oil

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey (vary depending on the other sweet ingredients that you add, fruit, coconut and chocolate add their own sweetness)

A few drops of pure vanilla or almond extract

Heat the wet ingredients in a small pan until the fat has melted. Stir the wet mixture into the dry to form a biscuit ‘dough’. If the mixture is very wet, add more ground almonds. If it is dry, add a little water. Mix and cool a little if you have added chocolate to enable it to stay in defined lumps when baked. Form the mixture into your desired shape and place on some baking parchment and bake in the oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden. Cool on a rack.

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Primal Cycling Food

Flapjacks, bananas, gels and energy bars are the common provisions that cyclists will stuff in the pockets of their cycling jerseys to sustain themselves on longer rides. Having seen the low-carb light, I try to pack some good fat to keep me going when I feel like I need an energy hit. I’ve noticed that I now need much less food before, during and after riding. Pre-primal I’d get really hungry during some rides and if I ran out of food I’d spend the last few miles fantasising about gorging myself, pedalling squares and bonking out. As soon as I hopped off the bike I’d have an insatiable appetite, sometimes for over 48 hours after the ride.

One of the first things that I noticed post-primal was that I  didn’t feel as hungry during rides, even during fasted rides. I also tend to eat about the same amount on 100 mile cycling days as 0 mile cycling days. This is probably because my body has adapted from burning glucose and glycogen and is an efficient fat burning machine. Having said all that I do take food with me on long rides, particularly as it is hard to get good low-carb primal food at some café stops and many feed stations at cycling events.

Here are the usual things that I pack:

Nuts

I like macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans and brazil nuts. Macadamia nuts are probably my favourite as they pack a hefty fat punch and I find them satisfying. I sometimes put in some roasted, salted nuts as they are tasty and can replace salt lost through sweat.

Eggs

A couple of boiled eggs at the café stop on my club run are usually enough to sate my hunger.

Sausages

Polish smoked kabanos (check the labels, some contain sugar) and cooked 100% pork bangers (again, check the labels for rusk or crumb) can be wrapped in cling-film and stuffed in the back pocket easily.

Energy bars

I make my energy bars from fat (coconut oil or butter), ground almonds or coconut flour and other additions that I find in my store cupboard such as dark chocolate, chopped nuts, espresso or dried fruit. Coconut oil imparts a sweet taste and means I usually only add a dash of maple syrup or honey to my bars. I’ve tweaked a couple of recipes I found on the internet (here and here) and will post my take on the recipe later.

Chocolate

A few squares of nice 70%+, dark choccy are good for energy and to lift your mood while tackling those killer hills.

Lemon/lime drink

Hydration is obviously important, particularly on hot days. I used to pop low-cal flavoured tablets into my bidons, but hated the fact they contain a list of non-primal additives and sweeteners. I now concoct my isotonic drinks with the juice of half a lime or lemon and a small pinch of salt in my water bottles.

Cheese

I sometimes throw some Babybels into my jersey pocket. They fit nicely and are easy enough to unwrap whilst spinning along.

Jerky/Biltong

I am the proud recent owner of a food dehydrator. My home-made biltong is very tasty and will be the subject of a later blog. Beware shop bought jerky or biltong; it usually has lots of additives and a good hit of sugar. I pack a strip as it’s nice to chew away at while pedalling along and I can pretend I’m a cowboy.

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