When those sugar cravings hit, it can be hard to resist the call of cake, chocolate and other sweet treats. It's also tricky to avoid processed sugar when it comes to mid-ride energy boosts as many pre-prepared options are choc full of the stuff. Happily, we've got a selection of easy-to-make treats that are just the ticket. Tasty, simple, and full of natural sweetness to keep you powered up.
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We've partnered with Olive magazine (also published by Immediate Media) to bring you the very best recipes for cyclists. All the recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step how to create everything from homemade nutrition products to tasty and hearty post-ride meals.
1. Energy balls
These are so incredibly easy to make and once you have the recipe dialled it's easy to start playing with ingredients to make different flavours. These three are a great place to start and combine elements like dried fruit, dates or coconut for a natural sugar hit, plus nuts and oats which provide protein, carbohydrate and slow release energy. They also fit perfectly into pockets and bags, and are great for a pre- or mid-ride energy boost.
2. Blueberry muffins
While shop-bought muffins really pile in the calories and sugar, this version keeps it down to under 200 per portion without losing that indulgent, satisfying taste and light spongy texture. The sweetness comes courtesy of dried apricots and blueberries so there is no added refined sugar, and they'll still give you an energy boost. Plus, they taste great with a cup of tea or coffee for a post-ride treat.
3. Muesli with apple and blueberries
While breakfast is the most important meal of the day (so they say) for those of us who are pressed for time, it's easy to opt for time-saving cereal in the morning. However, many cereals and mueslis are horrifically high in sugar.
Making your own is actually really easy, and throwing in some grated apple and a handful of blueberries boosts the nutritional value of this tasty dish.
4. Fruity toots
These delicious morsels are a fruit-based version of the popular energy balls listed above. Made from dried apricots, dates, raisins and cranberries, they provide loads of natural sugars that are perfect for a mid-ride energy boost, plus stash easily in your pocket.
Make up a load of them in advance then you've got them to hand whenever the sugar cravings hit!
5. Muesli loaf
There are few things as comforting as a slice of toasted fruit loaf and a hot drink. Packed full of oats, dried fruit and nuts, this muesli loaf is perfect for a mid-afternoon snack. The natural sugars will give your energy levels a boost, so you're perky enough to get through an afternoon of work then your ride home.
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