I have been cycling a lot recently in preparation for cycling from Ottawa to Kingston and back in June. Rob and I have slowly increased our daily distances, and on Sunady we cycled 168km. Terrain around Toronto can be mostly flat, so we have been trying to incorporate hills into our routes. There will be some killer hills en route to Kingston.
Last year, The Toronto Star listed some scenic hills for cyclists and we have been exploring them one-by-one ever since. Two weeks ago, we conquered the brutal hill in Twyn Rivers and this week we tackled the steep and curvy hill at Appleby Line in Burlington. I have to zigzag up the hills because I can’t ride them straight – I just don’t have the gears to go that low nor are my legs that strong! We only have one more hill left on the list (Redway) but it has been fun to see different areas in Toronto.
I have been making tons of different energy bars for my cycling trips and will start by sharing these healthy snacks from the Thrive Diet (original recipe posted here, and video of Brendan making them is here). I like the Thrive Diet because it highlights eating nutrient-dense foods. Brendan just came out with a new cookbook, Whole Foods to Thrive, which I am really excited to explore because the recipes seem much more creative and include a lot of recipes from established raw restaurants including Live Food Bar in Toronto, Gorilla Food in Vancouver and one of my new finds, Thrive Juice Bar in Waterloo (sadly, they didn’t share the recipe for their awesome pad thai).
These are definitely a healthy energy bar, filled with nuts, seeds, blueberries, lemon juice and carob powder. The texture is softer than what I usually expect from my cycling snacks, but Brendan is a big proponent of your mouth and stomach doing the least amount of work while fueling up during exercise. I found them too soft to transport a bunch of them with me while biking, but they are better at room temperature after a work-out or as a mid-day snack when the munchies come!
Thrive’s Carob Blueberry Energy Bars
1 cup dates
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup soymilk powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup carob powder (cocoa powder would be great too for a more chocolaty flavour)
3 tbsp maca, optional
1/2 cup cooked buckwheat
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, divided
1. Process all ingredients until reasonably smooth, except buckwheat and 1/4 cup frozen blueberries in food processor. Knead in buckwheat and blueberries by hand. The mixture will be sticky. Form into balls and freeze until needed. Personally I prefer these warmed to room temperature.
Makes 16 1.5″ balls.