Hey hey, we’re back with another recipe! But this time, not so much running-related. >.>
Last month we had an announcement for yet another baking fiesta at work. This time it was for a fund raiser that happens each year within the company to help out employees in need; for $5 you could eat as much of all the baked goods you please. It’s a good way to get a few extra dollars into the fund. Plus, it’s delicious.
Unfortunately I came down with a wretched stomach ache the day of the bake sale, but I brought the bars in anyway (I’d be damned if I was going to leave it sitting in my apartment, calling my name). Luckily I had been able to sample them the previous night; I’d never had a Nanaimo bar before, and I had to make sure I wasn’t going to poison my coworkers (for science, etc).
In fact, Nanaimo bars were something I’d only heard of previously, usual in regards to the confusion about how to pronouce them (it turns out it’s not really that difficult, just easy to mis-pronounce). And as luck would have it, I had already almost all of the ingredients in my pantry (indeed, I live the baker’s life). From Nanaimo, Canada, the middle layer is traditionally flavored with either mint or mocha, neither of which I did this time. Maybe if I make them again!
The recipe is pretty straight-forward and doesn’t require any baking, and for my first try at this I’m impressed! The bottom “crust” layer of graham cracker, butter, and coconut mellows out some of the more intensely sweet middle and top layers. I’d still totally recommend cutting them into small pieces due to the intense sugar, but the layers balance fairly nicely.
Word is that people at work lied the bars too, which I was happy to hear. You may have noticed that the middle layer is tinged a little orange…that’d be because I work for The Home Depot. Ain’t it adorable?
At any rate, here’s the recipe! The only issue I had was with the spreading of the chocolate on the top…I think some water got into it during the melting process and stiffened it up a bit making the spreading difficult. Just an excuse to try it again, right?
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
When it comes to exercising, coming home and being faced with a food decision can be tough. By the time I finish reassuring the dog that I do, in fact, still love her, take a shower, and toss my post-workout duds into the wash, my stomach’s knock-knock-knocking to let me know that I should eat something, and I should eat something like now.
Typically after running or doing some sort of workout I crave healthy foods immediately afterwards, but that’s only helpful if I actually have healthy foods around. If I come home and realize that I have no filling, healthy foods or that it’s going to take me an extra 20 minutes to make something healthy, I know I”m doomed – I’ll reach for whatever garbage I have around and stuff it, sweaty-handed, into my gaping maw. This is an ugly thing to witness.
So if you’re like me, one thing you should definitely try is this: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Bars!
When it comes to great workout food, either pre- or post-run, these bars are really great. In fact, even if I’ve just come home from work and really need a snack between dropping off my bags and running errands, these bars totally hit the spot; they’re super satisfying and are sweet in that natural-tasting way, not the slap in the face a can of soda can be.
These babies have just the right combination of everything you need for your run. There’s oats, a variety of chopped nuts and peanut butter, and a little bit of chocolate to appease your sweet tooth. These food combined contain both complex carbs and protein you need after running and some super-satisfying fats as well. Plus if you cut the 8×8 pan into 10 modestly-sized bars, you’re not going to eat too much of anything, thus completely negating the calories burned by your run.
Besides being chock full ‘o’ the things you want for your workout, the thing I like the most about this recipe is that it doesn’t have any straight-up butter or sugar in it (chocolate chips aside, of course). A lot of recipes for oat bars you’ll find will ask for some amount of brown sugar or half a stick of melted butter. These bars are held together with mashed bananas and peanut butter, nothing to spike your blood sugar (uh again…chocolate chips aside).
I swiped this base recipe from Clockwork Lemon; hers included slightly different ratios of nuts and coconut as opposed to chocolate chips, but had the fabulously soft texture and banana-peanut butter flavor. I’m confident her bars would taste pretty similar; the sweetness of her recipe is be supplemented by the sweetened coconut instead of the chocolate. I plan on giving that original recipe a try. ^_^
Maybe this isn’t the perfect post-run food, but I’ve found these to work pretty well for me! Nice and satisfying, they keep me from reaching for the trash after my runs or prep my body just before starting one. If you decide to give them a try, let me know what you think!
Adapted from Clockwork Lemon
So, last year I ran a marathon.
Actually, as my brother would be sure to point out (all in good fun, of course), I ran 24.2 miles. Because I am by no means a GOOD marathon-runner, I was forced to cut 2 miles out of my run due to slow-pokey-ness. But I still feel okay telling people I ran a marathon because for real, 24.2 miles FELT like 26.2 miles (and seriously if you’re going to judge me on 2 of 26.2 miles, I will push you in your jerk face).
Now, while running a marathon was a totally fulfilling experience and I’m super proud of myself for accomplishing it, it is not something I ever wish to do again. Half marathon maybe – full marathon, no thanks. I do, however, plan to continue running as part of my “be a healthy person” regimen. In fact one of my goals for 2013 is to run one 5k race a month. So far I’ve been close to accomplishing this.
Since I’m no longer hard-core training for big runs, but rather keeping up the exercise for monthly 5ks and an eventual 10, I’m not doing the carb-load before I hit the running paths anymore. Still, I’m always looking for something healthy to eat when I finish my hour of stretching and exercise. I personally always crave healthier food after a run (yogurt, bananas, salad, etc), though I’ve talked to others who felt the opposite. In this spirit (both to make sure I keep it healthy and perhaps to aid those who prefer the opposite) I’ve decided to share some recipes great for your post-run scavenging.
During the course of this “thing” I’m doing, please share your own running experiences, both with and without food! When I get a case of the exercise laziness, it’s good to have encouraging stories and ideas from other people.