Same four ingredients. Three all-new, whole-food, simple fuel options. No matter how you do the math, you’re sure to find a sweet potato recipe that will fuel your adventure, satisfy your taste buds, and provide some variety beyond bars and gels. In fact, each of these will work great before, during, or after training.
Recipe of the week #1: Sweet Potato Cycling Fries
2 Tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons maple syrup or organic honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large sweet potato (~1 lb), peeled and cut into fries (any size desired)
Combine oil, syrup, and salt. Coat fries thoroughly by shaking everything together in large baggie or stirring well in bowl. Spread onto well-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and soft.
Or, for less chewing, try:
Recipe of the Week #2: Sweet Potato Bike MashIngredients: 1 large sweet potato (~1 lb, washed well) 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil 2 tsp maple syrup or organic honey 1/4 tsp salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Pierce potato several times with a fork or knife and bake for ~45-60 minutes, or until very soft. Remove potato, open by cutting top length-wise. Add coconut oil, syrup, and salt. Allow oil to melt and then mix all ingredients thoroughly in skin, mashing potato into smooth consistency. Allow to cool. Scoop mashed sweet potatoes out and place in 2 “snack size” baggies. Eat on ride. 2 Servings
Recipe of the Week #3: Sweet Potato Cruiser Cakes
Ingredients:1.5 cups peeled and shredded sweet potato, about 1 large (~1 lb)
2 tsp maple syrup or organic honey 1/4 tsp salt 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil
Mix all ingredients together. Form 2 patties. Fry the patties in oil on medium-high for a ~2-3 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes (should have crunchy exterior). Then, reduce heat to medium-low for ~5 minutes, until cooked through (do not flip again). Allow to cool. Wrap each patty in aluminum foil or place in a baggie. They may fall apart during the ride, so make sure they are well-wrapped. Eat ‘em up!
Nutrition information (1 serving, any recipe): 161 calories, 24 grams carbs, 3 gm fiber, 2 gm protein, 232 mg sodium, 428 mg potassium, 34 mg calcium, 24 mg magnesium. Fries provide an additional 60 calories per serving from fat (organic coconut oil).
You’ve asked for more real-food fuel options, and I’ve heard you. While there are decent commercial energy bars, gels, and drinks out there, and they do have their place, it’s a great idea to use real food as much as possible, solely or in addition to high-quality commercial options. And so here they are.
When it comes to nutrient-dense carb sources, you don’t have to look much further than sweet potatoes. In fact, sweet potatoes provide:
- A vast array of antioxidants including beta-carotene that fight free radicals and promote reduced oxidative stress
- Anti-inflammatory nutrients including glycoproteins that promote cellular health
- Carbohydrates that promote steady blood sugars and even-keeled energy
What’s more, you’ll get a great all-natural carbohydrate and antioxidant source in real maple syrup or organic honey, fast-acting, energy-producing fat in organic coconut oil, and all your hourly sodium needs from salt.
To use these recipes as:
Pre-training fuel: Try 1 serving of any recipe, ~60-90 minutes out, with fluids.
During-training fuel: With training >90 minutes, eat 1 serving every hour with 20+ additional carbs from other foods or drinks. I recommend using faster-acting carbs for these remaining grams, as from a sports drink, so that you’ll have a great balance of both quick and sustained carbs. Make sure to aim for 16-32 oz. fluid, 40+ grams carbohydrates (60+ for intense work), 400-700 mg sodium, 100-300 mg potassium (more is fine from whole food sources) per hour.
Recovery: Eat 1-2 servings (depending on ride) with 16-32 oz. fluid plus an additional 10-20 grams of protein from 2 large cooked eggs, 1 scoop protein powder, 16 oz. milk, 6 oz. Greek yogurt/cottage cheese, 2-3 oz. meat, etc.
Whole-food, high-carb, brightly colored (why not?) fuel options for lasting energy. Sliced, mashed, or caked, these sweet potato recipes will give you carbs and nutrients to boot. How sweet is that?
Give your body what it needs for great energy and health every day and during training with the right Foods, Drinks and Supplements. If you would like my help with it, I offer comprehensive plans as Instant Downloads and as Custom Clients starting at just $20. And, as a FuelRightBlog reader, get a further discount with coupon code: password-frblog username-reader. I’d love to work with you!
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