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by Anne-Marije Rook
July 17, 2017
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
The more you ride, the more food-conscious (read: obsessed) one becomes. This makes complete sense because you’re burning a lot of fuel, you’ve learned bonking is no fun, and you’re probably always hungry.
From pre-ride fueling to on-the-bike nutrition and post-ride café stops, food is an integral part of a cyclist’s life, and our kitchen cupboards reflect it. Oats, dried fruits, bars, gels, drink mixes, nut butters, protein powders – chances are, your pantry gives away your active lifestyle. And that’s a good thing!
While avocados, chia seeds, almond butter and insect protein (yes, really) are grabbing all the headlines, I think dates are some best and underrated fruit for endurance athletes.
Calorie-dense and packed with glucose and fibre, dates are a simple carbohydrate that easily digestible and a perfect energy food before or during a ride.
There’s a reason so many energy bars use dates as their base, and while it’s easy to grab a couple of bars or gels and shove them in your jersey pockets on your way out of the doors, date-based snacks are super easy and wallet-friendly to make at home.
Here are a few ways to fuel up on dates.
There are over a dozen different types of date, with Noor and Medjool being the two more common ones. I personally like the Medjool variety as they’re fairly large, sweet, moist, and easy to work with.
Many stores will carry dried dates in their produce sections, but be sure to check your bulk section first for wallet-friendly pricing. After sending us some to try, I have grown very fond of Bard Valley’s Natural Delights pre-pitted Medjool dates. Working with dates can sometimes become a bit of a sticky mess, so the convenience of having them pre-pitted and ready to eat, serve or use is great.
Larabar, RX Bar, Natural Delights, Hammer Bar –they’re all simply a take on the classic date energy bar. You start with dates as the base and add whatever seeds, fruits and spices you like. Classic combos include peanut butter and chocolate, almond coconut, and oatmeal -raisins.
Here’s one with a tropical flare, but be sure to play around with flavours to suit your palate.
Coconut Mango Energy Bar
This is super duper easy to make. The dates are the binding factor in this recipe, instead of honey.
As easy as it is delicious. If I’m headed out for an after-work ride, I’ll often eat this before I head out to fuel my ride without spoiling my dinner later.
Date Nutrition facts
For Bard Valley’s Natural Delights Medjool Pitted Dates:
137 calories per 46 grams (about two dates), 0 grams fat, 30 grams natural sugars, 3 grams fibre and 1 gram protein.