Recipe: PB Chip Energy Bites

These peanut butter chip energy bites are absolutely delicious and they are whole grain based! They are perfect to keep on hand to fuel your athlete.

Energy Bites.jpg

PB CHIP ENERGY BITES
Serves 24 (Bites about 1" - 1.5" each)

Ingredients:
¼ cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups rolled oats
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1.    In a mixing bowl combine the honey, coconut oil, and peanut butter. Mix until well combined.
2.    Then add-in the rolled oats and chia seeds. Stir to mix together. 
3.    Finish with chocolate chips.
4.    Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
5.    Then remove from the refrigerator and form into bites, about 1-inch each. 
6.    Place in a storage container or freeze!

Nutrition facts per serving: 180 calories, 11 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 50 milligrams sodium, 18 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
 

Preparing College Athletes for Back to School

Source: Getty images

Source: Getty images

If you are an athlete and getting ready to head off to or back to college, this is an important time to calibrate your nutrition and plan and establish a game plan for when you are at school. Sometimes fueling your body can feel like a full-time job but the effort and diligence you put in will certainly yield results. Check out these tips two steps our founder and sports dietitian, Molly Morgan recommends that you take before heading to campus:

 

1. Research what foods and beverages will be available and/or provided to you at school 

Some athletic programs will have specific products like tart cherry juice, protein bars, bananas, etc. that will be available at the gym. Use these items to supplement your eating routine! 

Review menus for dining halls that will be accessible and learn what is offered and what is open when. This will help you for step 2!

Find out where the nearest grocery store is and a way to get there routinely to stock up on items that will keep you fueled while studying, between classes, etc. Check out this Snack Ideas handout for nutrient-rich snack ideas. 

2. Make a Food Game Plan

Once you have done some research you can now craft together your food game plan! Taking time to think this through will help your plan become a reality because fueling your body doesn't just happen by accident. Be sure to consider your class, practice, and game schedule when crafting your plan out as some days will likely be more hectic than others. 

If you are living on your own learn or have access to a kitchen, this summer, learn to prepare some simple meals and snacks that can become part of your eating routine. For example, teach yourself how to make these Maple Sea Salt Energy Bites which could be an on the go breakfast or a great snack.

Plan for at least 3 meals and 2 - 3 snacks to meet your energy needs!

Product Tip: Fuel For Fire

It is always important to have planned snacks that will deliver the fuel to keep your body running at it's peak. Although when your schedule is crazy it can get challenging. Sports dietitian, Molly Morgan's latest product tip is Fuel For Fire Smoothie Pouches. This product has a perfect blend of fruit and protein, each pouch provides about 100 calories, 15 grams of carbs, and 10 - 12 grams of protein.

Fuel for Fire Smoothie

Plus the ingredient list of the pouches is simple - for example the strawberry banana smoothie ingredients include: banana, strawberry, water, whey protein isolate, natural flavor, citric acid, and ascorbic acid (aka vitamin c).

The pouches are available in a variety of flavors including: tropical, sweet potato apple, strawberry banana, coffee, and banana cocoa. Note: The coffee one has 65 milligrams of caffeine, which is ideal for adult athletes over the age of 18 and would not be recommended for younger athletes. 

When should you add these pouches in as an athlete? When you are active for longer periods of time it is important to routinely have carbohydrates, some protein, and fat to keep energy levels up and balance blood sugar levels. This is especially for activities that are lasting longer than 1 - 2 hours.

What is great about these Fuel for Fire pouches is that once they are opened you can put the cap back on - making this ideal to stick back in a bike jersey pocket, backpack, or golf bag. 

Another suggestion of when to include these notes Morgan, is for a quick on the go snack! "I bring a couple of these along with me for busy days to help keep our little guys fueled and I always bring them along when the boys are out playing a golf match," states Morgan. 

Fuel For Fire pouches are available at Wegman's grocery stores or also buy them on-line directly from Fuel for Fire

Recipe: Maple Sea Salt Energy Bites

Energy bites are great to make ahead and have ready for a on the go breakfast or snack! This energy bite recipe pairs the sweetness of maple syrup with the crunch of pecans and sea salt - plus with a base of whole grains.  Each bite will deliver: 130 calories, 2 grams of fiber, plus 3 grams of protein! 

Maple Pecan Energy Bites

Makes 12 - 16 bites per recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) almond butter
1/2 cup (120 mL) flax seed meal
1/2 cup (120 mL) chopped pecans
1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup 1 tablespoon
(30 mL) chia seeds sea salt

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
2. Form into 1” blocks and transfer to parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Place in a freezer bag or container and store in freezer or refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts (per bite) : 130 calories, 9 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 35 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

Dinner Solution: Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

Curry is a rich in flavor that gets much of its flavor and color from turmeric that is a staple of curry dishes. Turmeric is a primary spice in curry powder; turmeric comes from the root of the plant Curcuma longa and is known for its bright yellow color that is provided by the polyphenol compound found in turmeric. Look for curry powder in the spice aisle of the grocery store.

The best part about this curry recipe is that it is a slow cooker recipe so when you are headed out for a busy day of sports, you can have a delicious meal ready when you return! Also switch up this recipe and add additional protein (e.g. cubes of chicken, tofu) or other veggies (e.g. sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes, broccoli instead of green beans)! 

Vegetable Curry (Source: Getty Images)

Vegetable Curry (Source: Getty Images)

Vegetable Curry

Serves 6 (1 1/3 cup servings)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed or cooked
1 1/2 cups red potato, cubed
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup (1-inch) frozen green beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (14-ounce) coconut milk

Directions:
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add coconut milk.

Serving suggestion: Serve over rice

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 275 calories, 7 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 620 milligrams sodium, 45 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber, 11 grams protein

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

These Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins are perfect for athletes, a nutrient-rich breakfast and perfect to pack for tournaments. Each muffin has 210 calories and 5 grams of protein and is made with a whole grain base.  

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins - Recipe developed by Molly Morgan. Photo Credit: Howey Mistakos, Novel Studios

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins - Recipe developed by Molly Morgan. Photo Credit: Howey Mistakos, Novel Studios

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

Serves 16

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (370 mL) lentils, cooked
1/2 cup (120 mL) 100% orange juice
2 cups (500 mL) white wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chia seeds
1/2 cup (120 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup (120 mL) vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) dried cherries

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Prepare 16 muffin tins with paper liners or non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine the cooked lentils and orange juice in a food processor until the lentils are pureed. 
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the pureed lentils, white wheat pastry flour and salt. Stir to combine.
4. Then add chia seeds, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla yogurt, and eggs. Stir to combine. Then add-in the dried cherries and stir to combine.
6. Pour 1/3 of the muffin mixture in each of the muffin tins. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
7. Cool the muffins on a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin): 210 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 5 grams protein
 

Garlic Quinoa Poppers

These garlic quinoa poppers are a great quick snack or addition to a meal. What is awesome about them from a nutrition perspective for athletes is that they are made with a base of nutrient-rich quinoa (pictured below).

Quinoa cooks up just like rice but delivers twice the protein compared to rice. Plus quinoa is gluten-free, as it is technically a seed, although is often considered a whole grain. Each serving of this recipe (2 poppers) has 6 grams of protein! 

Make a batch of these poppers up to have on hand for snacking, a great way to keep your energy up between meals! Click here to download the snacking handout for more ideas. 

Cooked quinoa

Cooked quinoa

Garlic Quinoa Poppers
Serves 12 (2 poppers each)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1½ cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
Non-stick cooking spray

Directions:
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a small pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then mix in cooked quinoa and chopped onion. 
4. Add cheese, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
5. Transfer mixture to the prepared mini muffin tin (about 1 tablespoon of mixture per muffin).
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 90 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 6 grams protein

Energy Bites

Energy bites are quick and easy to make plus a perfect nutrient-packed snack to addition to a meal. Plus there are endless combinations you can make, stay tuned for more energy bite recipes! 

Energy bites... a perfect on the go snack! 

Energy bites... a perfect on the go snack! 

ENERGY BITES
Serves 16 (1 bite each)

Ingredients
1 cup (~220 g) dates, pitted
¼ cup all natural peanut or almond butter*
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds (or flax or hemp seeds)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup rolled oats
Dash of sea salt

*For a nut-free option try: Sunflower seed butter, if needed increase the rolled oats to firm up the mixture.

Directions:

1. Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they are in small pieces or the mixture forms a ball.

2. Add oats, chocolate, chia seeds, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Then pulse or mix until combined.

3. Refrigerate mixture for 20 – 30 minutes (to help it firm up).

4. Roll into 1-inch bite-size cubes (about 28 grams per bite).

5. To set, place in a storage container and cover. Refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes or eat as is!

Nutrition Facts (per bite): 100 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

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Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

These cranberry oatmeal bars are a perfect treat for hungry athletes that will deliver whole grains and 3 grams of fiber per bar. Plus the creaminess of this bar comes from plain Greek yogurt, which delivers protein.

The grains in the bar are a mix of oats and white whole wheat flour - what is great about white whole wheat flour is that it has a lighter wheat flavor, yet you still have all the nutrition benefits (fiber, vitamins, minerals) of whole wheat. Look for white wheat flour in the baking aisle of the grocery store.

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Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
Serves 16

Ingredients - CRUST:
1 cup (240 mL) white wheat flour
1 cup (240 mL) rolled oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) packed brown sugar
1/4 (1.25 mL) teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) baking soda
6 tablespoons (90 mL) butter, melted
3 tablespoons (120 mL) orange juice
Cooking spray 

Ingredients - FILLING:
1 1/3 cups (320 mL) dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup (180 mL) plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt
1/3 cup (80 mL) agave nectar
2 tablespoons (60 mL) white wheat flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten 


Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 

2. To prepare the crust - in a medium bowl combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stir well. Then add the melted butter and orange juice over the flour mixture, stir until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. To prepare filling - in a medium bowl combine cranberries, yogurt, agave nectar, flour, vanilla extract, and egg, stir well. Spread the cranberry mixture over prepared crust and top with the reserved oat mixture.

4. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Option: Cherry-Oatmeal Bars: Substitute dried cherries for the dried cranberries.

Nutrition Facts (per bar): 210 calories, 5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 125 milligrams sodium, 35 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 20 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
 

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Q & A with Tomas Kudelka

Q: What is the biggest challenge around food & nutrition for you as an athlete?

Tomáš Kudělka (Born March 10, 1987) is a Czech professional ice hockey defenceman

Tomáš Kudělka (Born March 10, 1987) is a Czech professional ice hockey defenceman

A: For me biggest challenge around food and nutrition is eating on the road. When season starts you travel a lot, eat in different hotels, different food or even sometimes you have to eat in the bus/plane. And also after every game you feel differently. But you have to be smart and find the right solution for your body to be in the best shape possible.

Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up? 

A: I really like Greek yogurt with banana and raisins. Or just a cup of chia seeds.

Q: Did you find it difficult adjusting to American food/restaurants when living in the United States? 

A: Yes, on the start i found it really difficult. So many fast foods and junk food around. I guess its easier for American people eat like this. I found that Americans love fast food. You have to find right places, where to eat. But also its going to cost you way more money.

Q: If you could give a nutrition tip to another athlete what would it be?

A: Always stay well hydrated. Everybody eats fruits, but don't forget to eat a lot of vegetables as well.

Q: Do you have a favorite dinner that you like to make?

A: My favorite dinner to make is a salmon. You need... salmon, olive oil, 1/2 lemon, fresh dill and "Kudy's" secret spices.