The number of people signing up for Veganuary each year is rising, so we’ve no doubt that some of our readers may be experimenting with a plant-based diet at the moment.
Despite the usual grumblings you inevitably encounter when uttering the ‘v’ word online, a vegan diet is proving to be hugely beneficial to some of the world’s most elite athletes. You just need to make sure you’re eating the right stuff, and enough of it.
While there are plenty of vegan-friendly snacks readily available (hello Clif bars), you can save money and do away with non-recyclable packaging while you’re at it by making your own tasty energy snacks. These recipes are simple, delicious and packed full of natural goodness – perfect for keeping your energy levels up as you ride, whether you’re vegan or not.
To get you started, we’ve partnered with Olive Magazine (also published by Immediate Media) to bring you the very best recipes for cyclists. Olive‘s recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step to create everything from nutritious homemade treats to tasty and hearty post-ride meals.
Coconut butter, date and cranberry energy balls
Try experimenting with different coatings on these vegan energy balls. Olive Magazine / Immediate Media
Creamy and rich in fats, these tasty energy-packed little balls of goodness are based around coconut butter that’s made from the coconut’s flesh.
Oats, dates and cranberries add sugars, and you can experiment with different coatings to provide different flavours and textures. Freeze-dried raspberries or crushed pistachios are our favourite!
Sick of sweet energy products? How about a spicy nut kick? Olive Magazine / Immediate Media
Sometimes we crave something savoury to up our energy when riding, and nuts are a great choice and add a protein hit.
Plus, there’s a zingy flavour hit with this recipe as the nuts are coated in a spicy mix. Pop them in a bag or box, or stick them in your jersey pockets, and away you go.
Cacao, banana, date and cashew bars
Whip up a batch of these tasty energy bars and fuel yourself for a whole week of riding and training. Olive Magazine / Immediate Media
Energy bars are one of the most convenient ways of getting sugars, proteins and other essential minerals into your body to help support it during exercise. However, they can be expensive and the ingredients don’t suit everyone, especially if you are looking for vegan options.
These bars are super-simple to make at home and they’ll keep for up to a week, so you can cook a batch in advance.
More energy balls, 3 ways
If you are a fan of energy balls, then here are three more varieties to try. Olive Magazine / Immediate Media
Energy balls took the internet by storm about five years ago and there’s no letting up just yet. These little spheres of deliciousness pack a punch, and are perfect for storing in a top tube bag for eating on the move.
The lovely folks at Olive have provided three different energy ball recipes, so if you have a preference you can choose between them, or just whip up a batch of each and share them with your riding buddies.
Choose from peanut butter and date, coconut and apricot, and pistachio and goji berry.
Vegan banana bread
Who doesn’t love to snack on banana bread? Olive Magazine / Immediate Media
Banana bread is a classic recipe and makes a scrumptious breakfast, snack, elevenses, dessert… or anything in between. There’s never a wrong time for banana bread.
What’s also great is that you can bake a loaf ahead of time, slice it into your preferred portion sizes (no judgement here) and freeze what you won’t use immediately. Remove from the freezer the night before your next big ride and you’ll have some more lovely banana bread waiting for you in the morning.
They may be indulgent, but surely you’ve earned them? Olive Magazine / Immediate Media
These are pretty indulgent, but if you’re out on a long ride and you need the fuel, whose business is it anyway? Plus, if you’re sharing these beauties with your peloton, you’re bound to be the popular one.
These rich chocolate brownies are delicious, don’t require any specialist ingredients to make, and will prove to be extremely moreish. What’s more, if you’re worried about how portable they’d be, we have an amazing revelation for you: slice them up, put them in the freezer, and grab what you need the morning of. Frozen brownie? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.