For short runs some emergency sweets or a gel in your pocket will normally do the trick for a quick boost but as you increase the distance, especially if you;re running over a normal mealtime, taking real homemade food is great and you can easily adapt textures and flavours to make food you can easily eat and enjoy on the go. For long runs, eating carbohydrates regularly helps give your body rapid and long-lasting energy, and introducing fat if the distance is longer or its a colder day keeps you feeling strong. Sweet things are always handy to have in your bag for a zap of energy and a mental boost though!
When running from home we tend to take home prepared snacks. As well as being tasty you get the feel-good-factor from preparing your own food from real ingredients. Here are some of our favourite recipes:
Golden Slice (AKA savoury flapjack)
170g grated cheese
170g grated carrot
50g melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
optional: bacon pieces
Just like flapjack, mix all the ingredients, press into a baking tray and bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes depending how squidgy/crispy you like it!
Homemade cereal bars (no bake)
This is a really adaptable recipe so you can add your favourite ingredients and make it your own. Try adding cranberries, freeze dried strawberries, or switching the honey for maple syrup and adding pecans. Also, as it is no bake it is really quick to do!
– 170g butter
– 2tbsp peanut butter (replace with more butter if you don’t like nuts/are allergic)
– 3tbsp honey
– 50g brown sugar
– 2-3 handfuls currants/mixed dried fruit
over low heat until well mixed and butter has all melted.
-250g of oats & cornflakes mix (I go for 200g oats + 50g cornflakes)
– Optional: add a handful of seeds/nuts too
Stir on low heat for 2-3mins until fully coated
Press into a baking tray and put into the fridge to cool and set
I am a chocoholic so I either add chocolate chips after it comes off the heat before I press into the baking tray or I drizzle melted chocolate over the top. Mmmmmm.
Date and cashew power ups
This is a recipe for the basic version but it’s really easy to add your favourite flavours – cocoa powder, orange or lemon zest, vanilla essence, winter spices (nutmeg, ginger etc) and dried berries all work well (although maybe not together!). These are very much like the Nakd bars you can buy but a bit less sticky and a lot cheaper (if you buy dates and cashews in bulk).
1 tbsp water
Pinch of salt
This is easier if you have a food processor but I have made these many times with a hand blender.
- Weigh out equal weights of dates and cashews.
- Chop the dates into pieces, add the water and blend them with a hand blender. Alternatively if you have a good food processor then chuck the dates in there and blitz. You want to end up with a thick paste.
- Crush the cashews into very small pieces (again if you have a food processor this is a good option, otherwise a pestle and mortar is great or, put them in a sandwich bag and bash them with a rolling pin).
- Mix the date paste and crushed cashews together with the salt. If you’re making these for a long run or a run on a hot day I tend to add more salt.
- Add any flavourings you might like, cocoa powder and peppermint essence is a good combo.
- Form into golf ball sized bites by squashing them between your palms – these are perfect to eat in one bite! Alternatively if you’d rather have bars then press the mixture into a loaf tin and slice into bars.
- Optional: Bake at 180C for 10 mins – this just dries them out a bit so they do not stick together so much and hold their shape. Alternatively you can roll them in desiccated coconut or cocoa powder.
Sushi rice (+sushi vinegar, sugar + salt if you want to make the rice tasty)
Nori seaweed sheets
Avocado (cheese works well as an alternative)
Miso paste (optional)
- Cook the sushi rice according to pack instructions. If you have sushi vinegar then mix 24 tbsp sushi vinegar with 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsps salt and pour over the hot rice. Allow rice to cool.
- Chop up your filling into long thin slices. Cheese or avocado work well but experiment and see what fillings you like.
- Take one sheet of nori seaweed. If it has perforated lines on it then orientate the seaweed so these are parallel with the edge of the worktop/table.
- If using the miso paste then spread a very thin layer over the seaweed.
- Spread a few spoonfuls of rice onto half of the seaweed and squash it down with the back of a spoon or your hands. It wants to be about 1cm deep.
- Put you filling in a line along the edge closest to you.
- Carefully roll up the seaweed with filling and rice inside. Moisten the edge with water so it sticks down.
Cream cheese and avocado wraps
Just as good on the go as for lunch at home, wraps are quick to make and easy to eat.
You can use whatever ingredients you prefer in the wrap but one of our favourites is cream cheese, avocado and lettuce. Simply place in the tortilla, wrap and go!