Remember the cocoa-energy-balls of yester-month? Well, we’ve a new variety that’s sure to wake you up and keep you pedealing or running. Again, this energy bite is whole-food based, moderate in carbs, and containns some protein and fiber…so, it’s great for pre-training about 60 minutes before a ride or run, or try a couple every 2-3 hours of a long ride (in addition to hourly fuel with fluids, electrolytes, and carbs). Did I mention the real maple syrup and coffee in them? Because, it’s in there, and it’s delicious.
Recipe of the Week: Vanilla Walnut Latte Energy Balls
- 8 dates, pitted
- 1/4 finely chopped nuts such as walnuts (or any nuts or a mix)
- 1/2 cup natural nut butter
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 Tbsp ground coffee
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Additional sea salt sprinkled on top if using as training nutrition in warm weather.
Place dates and nuts in the food processer. Process until finely chopped and mixed completely together (should be like a course nut meal). Add nut butter and process until completely mixed. Add coconut flour, salt and coffee, and mix well in processor. Lastly, mix in real maple and vanilla with a few pulses to mix through.
Roll the mixture into small balls about 1-inch in diameter. Makes about 10-12 energy balls.
Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
If using for fueling, spinkle 1/12 tsp sea salt on each ball for 200 mg sodium.
These energy-balls actually share many of the same nourishing ingredients and qualities as the cocoa-balls, so you can see a complete run-down of the nutrition benefits here.
But today, I’d like to highlight the real maple syrup. Why? It’s delicious, aromatic, delicious, flavorful, deicious, and all-natural. Did I mention it’s delicious? Beyond this, it’s got a lot of nutrition to offer. In fact, real maple:
Protective Antioxidants: The medical journal Pharmaceutical Biology revealed that pure maple syrup contains up to 24 different antioxidants including enzoic acid, gallic acid, cinnamic acid, and various flavanols like catechin, epicatechin, rutin and quercetin. These antioxidants are in the form of phenolic compounds, and are beneficial for reducing free radical damage (causes inflammations and contributes to many chronic diseases).
Important Vitamins and Minerals: Maple provides zinc and manganese in fairly high amounts, in addition to potassium and calcium. Zinc is great for the immune function, manganese plays a role a crucial role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, brain and nerve function.
A Healthy Alternative to Refined Sugar & Sugar Substitutes: While providing nourishing goodness to your body, it also impacts blood sugars less intensely than refined sugar and spares you the issues that may come with using an artificial sweetener (such as digestion issues like bloating and gas, probiotic decreases, metabolic hormone response issues, and more). What’s more, we’re talking training nutrition here, and your cycling body can use a good dose of steady energy from real maple.
Apex Nutrition TV Bonus: Since we’re talking about Training Nutrition, here’s how your body is different (from the cells and hormones on up) during active training – fuel it accordingly:
Really, we could just refer to these as great balls of awesomeness. And deliciousness. With just a handful of real ingredients, they may just become your new favorite on the bike or run fuel.
Fuel Your Adventure. Nourish Your Body.
***Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietician, sports nutritionist, avid endurance athlete, and owner of Apex Nutrition, LLC. She has partnered with Heights Performance to help clients get and stay healthy, lose fat, recover from injury, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. She is also an expert in endurance sports nutrition, and focuses on optimal performance, best strength to weight ratio, recovery, endurance and stamina. She teaches clients to eat nourishing, real foods without spending hours in the kitchen or hiring a personal chef. Kelli can help you put great nutrition into everyday life.***
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