By Sarah Bonner
Ever find yourself famished from a training session with no food in the house? Ever go grocery shopping when hungry? Well, we all know how that ends: twice the bill and twice the calories. So there are a few pantry staples I always keep on hand that are healthy, quick, budget-friendly and selected specifically to satiate a hungry cyclist.
The low-budget high-mileage wonder. Oats are low-GI, quick, easy to make (hot or cold, instant or whole), and delicious! You can add cinnamon, fruit, honey, yogurt, milk, seeds, nuts, eat them plain, or add a spoonful of Nutella if you’ve earned it. Oats can be eaten any time of the day and, since they are low-GI, they make a great pre-ride meal because they are a slow-release source of energy. Plus, oats are great to throw into baked goods and can even be used to make your own energy bars.
Tinned Beans and Legumes
Tinned chickpeas, black beans, lentils, or whatever type of bean you prefer should have a permanent spot in your pantry. Since you don’t have to soak them or cook them, tinned beans and legumes are easy to add to a multitude of recipes for a protein boost. Add lentils to tomato sauces or ground beef; chickpeas can be added to curries, salads, or whizzed in the blender for hummus; black beans are great in corn salsa, soups, and even brownies! Once you start using them you will never be without them.
Chocolate Soy Milk
Never be without a recovery drink again! Chocolate soy milk is a common substitute for protein and recovery drinks. It has the necessary carbohydrates and protein to fuel your recovery and it’s affordable, convenient and easy. Thanks to UHT processing (ultra-high temperature processing), you can buy a long-life brand and keep it in the pantry for emergencies.
Another good source of protein and a surefire way to satisfy your hunger, but check for added sugar in the ingredients. You can easily find natural peanut butter now and it tastes better than the brands that contain sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil and other additives. Eat on toast, pita, crackers, bananas, or whatever you can find.
Couscous and Canned Tuna
This powerful protein-carb packed duo is a healthy meal in minutes. A small tin of water-packed tuna (120g, drained) has approximately 32g of protein! Look for tuna packed in water, not oil, to skip the extra fat content. Simply cover the couscous with boiling water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, open and drain the tuna, then stir both together. Add yogurt, smashed avocado, or even light mayo to make it creamy. For a more complete meal, add vegetables like snow peas and tomatoes.
What’s your favourite healthy snack?
Don’t let hunger rule. Make smart choices before you get hungry and have snacks on hand that are healthy and convenient. Try snacks like nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews), sunflower and pumpkin seeds, crackers (healthy ones, like Mary’s Organic), low-fat yogurt, dried or fresh fruit, rice cakes, corn thins, sesame snaps, dark chocolate, hummus, carrot sticks, natural popcorn, etc. Don’t get stuck in a rut either. Rotate your favourites so you choose them over less healthy options that may be lurking in the back of the pantry.
Sarah Bonner has lived and cycled in Canada, Africa, and Europe. Currently, she splits her time between the Netherlands and South Africa where she trains and competes at an amateur level. With a Masters in English and a Diploma in Sports Management, Sarah combines her love of writing and passion cycling to share honest advice and inspiring stories. Follow her at sarahkimbonner.wordpress.com
What’s your favourite snack on the bike? Scroll down to leave a comment.
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