If you’re feeling less-than-energetic, or if you’re tired of the same ol’ same ol’ breakfast, you’re in luck. I specialize in improving Nutrition for Athletes, and this week’s Healthy Fuel recipe is made up of 6 Energy All-Stars. And, what better time to eat energy all-stars than first thing in the morning? To be sure, the energy from these bars isn’t just quick and then fading. The ingredient combo provides quick and long-lasting energy, from sources of carbohydrates, medium chain triglyceriedes, easy-to-digest fiber, minerals like copper, and protein. Best of all, they take only 6 ingredients, and 5 minutes to make.
Recipe of the Week: High Energy Protein Breakfast Bar
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 3 Tbsp organic coconut oil
- 1 cup dried tart cherries, apricots, or dried cranberries
- 2 scoops undetatured whey protein or your favorite protein powder (optional)
Instructions: Place all ingredients in food processor, process until smooth. Press into a greased bread loaf pan (if it’s sticky, you can use wax paper to press). Place in refrigerator until firm. Cut into 6-12 equal bars or squares, depending on if you want snack or meal bars. Store in refrigerator.
Makes 6 meal bars or 12 snack bars.
Nutrition (per serving of 6 meal bars): 349 calories, 26 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 20 gm fat, 26 mg sodium
Comments: And now, the Energy All-Stars:
Cashews are special food because they are especially high in copper. Copper is a key nutrient for energy as it supplies a specific enzyme that’s necessary for both energy production and iron utilization. What’s more, copper is an antioxidant and important in collagen health. Click here for more on cashews.
Hemp Seed Hearts are the nutrient powerhouse of the hemp seed. And, the hemp seed is a wonderful source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and ALA omega-3s. Click here for more on hemp seeds.
Chia seeds are one of my favorite energy foods. Like hemp seeds, they are high in fiber, protein, minerals, and omega-3s. And, they make a great breakfast food as they will keep you feeling comfortably full and satisfied throughout the morning due ot their ability to absorb water and “gel.” To take full advantage, make sure to begin hydrating in the morning with coffee, green tea, black tea, or water. Click here for more on chia seeds.
Organic coconut oil is a staple of my recipes and diets. It’s a very special fat. It is primarily composed of medium chain triglycerides, a quick-acting fat that is easily absorbed and used as an energy source by the cells. Read more about organic coconut oil.
Dried Cherries or other fruit choices provide the only significant carbohydrate source in the recipe. Although I recommend less carbs and more protein and healthy fats than what’s in most typical diets, it’s still a good idea for cyclists to have a whole-food source of carbs at breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks.
This will provide the wake-me-up you need in the morning. Undenatured whey protein is a unique ingredient in that it can increase the production of glutathione, a super-antioxidant made by our cells.
But buyer beware, there’s a lot of “junk” protein powders out there and you must wade through to find a “clean” minimal-ingredient undenatured whey protein. You can read all about it here.
Or, if you prefer a vegetarian protein, I recommend a rice/pea blend, or one that uses a variety of plant proteins such as Vegasports Performance Protein.
But what makes this bar special?
What makes it different for every “energy bar” out there? Or, even our Loving the Bite Lemon Energy Bar? More protein, more healthy fats, more fiber, less carbs, and completely whole-food. These are a perfect recipe for Daily Nutrition, but may be too slow-digesting and “heavy” for intense Training.
Bonus Recipe: Turn this Breakfast Bar into a High Protein Dessert
Need a high-protein, low-carb treat to satisfy your sweet-tooth before bed? Cut one of these bars into a third, add just a few 70%+ cocoa dark chocolate chips or shavings, press into the top, and you’ve got a satisfying high protein treat. Before bed, stick to more protein and less carbs to improve ongoing muscle recovery.
This week, I hope these bars offer an easy get-up-and-go breakfast option for you. I know my schedule often demands something fast. But, it can’t be just fast. It needs to be whole, real food. No “junk” ingredients. Even in a rush, you deserve good nutrition and a bar that packs energy to start your day.
Fuel Your Adventure. Nourish Your Body.
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