On longer bike rides I like to have a bit of food with me, something small and simple that I can eat at the turnaround point and ensures I can get home without being so hungry I want to eat my own arm.
Muesli bars would be a great option if they didn’t taste of sticky cardboard. I am yet to find a commercially available muesli bar that isn’t horrid. So I’ve been experimenting with making my own.
I’ve had some success with this one from the River Cottage EVERYDAY cookboook.
Honey and peanut butter booster bars
- 125g unsalted butter
- 150g soft brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
- 125g no-sugar-added crunchy peanut butter
- 75g honey, plus a little more to finish
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 200g porridge oats (not jumbo)
- 150g dried fruit, such as raisins, sultanas and chopped apricots, prunes or dates, either singly or in combination 150g mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, linseed and sesame
1. Grease and line a baking tin, about 20cm square. Put the butter, sugar, peanut butter, honey and grated citrus zests in a deep saucepan over a very low heat. Leave until melted, stirring from time to time.
2. Stir the oats, dried fruit and three-quarters of the seeds into the melted butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture out evenly in the baking tin, smoothing the top as you go.
3. Scatter the remaining seeds over the surface and trickle with a little more honey. Place in an oven preheated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden in the centre and golden brown at the edges.
4. Leave to cool completely in the tin (be patient – it cuts much better when cold), then turn out and cut into squares with a sharp knife. These bars will keep for 5-7 days in an airtight tin.
Variation: Banana booster bars: Replace the peanut butter with 1 medium ripe banana (about 175g), mashed. Stir it in after all the other ingredients have been combined.
While totally yummy they have 2 major drawbacks
1 – they don’t stay in one piece, no matter how much I’ve tried by the time I get to eating these they are a crumbled goey mess inside the wrapper. I’ve tried altering the recipe but to no avail. Fantastic with a cup of tea at home but on the road out of the back pocket of a jersey not so much.
2 – calories. I made a batch of these and carefully added up every single ingredient that went in. Divided that by the 4cm square pieces that I had cut my entire tray into and it worked out to almost 200 calories per square. That’s alot for not very much food (even if they do taste great).
The lovely Oelare on twitter gave me a link to her muesli bar recipe which sounds just scrumptious. I’ll be giving it a try next time I whip up a batch of bars.
Does anyone else have a go to recipe they use for something to eat while out on the bike?