The kids are getting ready to go back to school and you will be back to your whirlwind daily routine. Here are four great quick-grab snack recipes for busy runners which will keep your diet on track.
Mini Egg Muffins
Easy-peasy and so good for you, these mini egg muffins are portable, pack a protein punch and are great to eat hot or cold. Master the basic recipe and adapt it to suit your palate. Not just for busy runners, kids love these savoury snacks too.
Use non-stick muffin cases or a cupcake or muffin pan (we like the individual silicone muffin cases) and spray each one with a little spray oil or smear lightly with butter or coconut oil.
Into the muffin case, sprinkle finely-chopped ingredients of your liking: we're currently loving cooked chicken breast, red onion, bell pepper and fresh sage.
Then add the egg: either whisk the corresponding amount of eggs in a separate container and pour them over, or simply crack one whole egg per muffin over the chopped ingredients.
That's it! You can sprinkle the top with a little grated hard cheese if you like, or top with seasonings.
Bake in a moderate oven (gas 6 or so) for 15-20 minutes - until the egg is cooked through (but not overcooked). Use a knife or skewer to check. Allow to cool before popping out of the cases, or you can refrigerate them in the cases. Grab one or two and go!
No-Bake Energy Bars
Shop-bought energy bars can be expensive! And some of them have less-than-optimal ingredients. Have you ever tried making your own? These are quick and easy, you don't even need to cook them. And you can choose what goes into them, so you can have control over what goes into your body. The basic homemade no-bake energy bar recipe is simple, so tweak it to suit your nutritional needs, and your tastebuds.
Makes 4 Bars
- 100g oats (real oats, not the stuff in individual packets - we're trying to keep this healthy and cheap!)
- 40g dried fruit of your choice
- 40g nut butter (try branching out from peanut butter - you can get all sorts of nut butters! Get one which contains nuts and nothing else)
- 2 tbsp flax seeds or chia seeds
- 2 tbsp honey or 1 mashed banana
- Additional to suit your tastes: cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa powder, a small handful of dark chocolate chips.
Line a square pan or pie dish with baking (parchment) paper. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and press the mixture down evenly. Refridgerate overnight (or for at least 3 hours). Lift the bar mixture out onto a chopping board and slice into four. Wrap, store, grab and go! Great with a cuppa and ideal before or after a run due to the healthy carbohydrates.
Savoury Protein Bars
If you want another savoury snack idea as part of your lunch or for a snack during the day, try these fantastically healthy "bars" ideal for busy runners.
Combine the following in a bowl:
- 500g turkey or chicken mince
- 3 eggs - seasonings and spices (we like black pepper, Himalayan salt, red chili flakes and a fresh herb - whatever is in season)
- 2 grated courgettes (top tip: grate them and then squeeze them in a clean kitchen towel to remove most of the water, then add to the mixture)
Press the combined mixture into a lightly-greased shallow tin. Make sure the mixture is only about an inch high. Bake in a moderate oven for 25-30 minutes, checking that the top doesn't burn (cover with foil if necessary). Once the meat is cooked through, allow to cool before cutting the mixture into "bars" - this recipe should make 6-8 bars.
Wrap them, refridgerate or freeze them then grab and go. Combine with fresh, chopped veggies or a salad for a really healthy lunch which is surprisingly filling.
Make-Ahead Breakfast Pancakes
Who doesn't like pancakes for breakfast? But who prefers to side-step the calorie car-crash that accompanies most traditional pancake recipes? Yep, we do too. That's why we were so pleased to come up with this healthy pancakes recipe for busy runners. What's even better about these is that you can cook up a batch and keep them in the fridge, so you can grab one or two as you head out the door. They're great for eating on the go (and you can certainly have them for a morning or afternoon snack, not just for breakfast!)
In a bowl or blender, thoroughly combine: (per pancake - scale the recipe up to make a batch)
30g oats (large or fine - but just plain pure oats, not the sweetened packaged brands with added sugar!)
- 1/2 mashed banana or 2 tbsp canned pumpkin or 2tbsp apple puree
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tbsp seeds (the smaller the better - try flax seeds, sunflower seeds or a mix like Linwoods)
- A pinch of baking powder (to make them a little fluffier)
- Optional: cinnamon, vanilla flavouring, other spices of your choice.
Heat a non-stick pan and add a little oil (we prefer coconut oil). Drop in the pancake mixture - ideally make smaller, thicker pancakes (so you can hold them in your hand). Cook on one side, then flip and briefly cook the other side. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. You can store these between baking paper in the fridge for a day if you'd like to make some for tomorrow.
You can also eat these warm at home: if you do so, we suggest topping them with a little plain cottage cheese, greek yoghurt or plain, unsweetened yoghurt and some berries. Delicious!
Let us know if you try these recipes - and if you adapt them to make them even better for you and your family's tastes!