As my training sessions grew longer, I started to realize that the energy gels, chewy things, drink mixes and other forms of over-priced sugar weren’t working out for me. Even with constant refueling, my stomach was always growling with hunger because I was craving real food. Worse yet, I felt like I was going to… ahem, explode… when I had to start running off the bike. So I decided to start eating solid food while riding my bike.
First, I picked up some Picky Bars from Sports Basement to try. It was a smart move by Jesse Thomas to plaster the logo all over his race kit (he’s the company’s CEO) because I never heard of these things until I watched him fly through the finish at Wildflower this year. Picky Bars are made of dates, nuts, chocolate, other yummy things and just the right amount of cinnamon. They made my mouth and tummy happy so I signed up for the Picky Club to receive a shipment of 18 bars every month. I get 9 each of the vegan varieties, All-in-Almond and Smooth Caffeinator (you’re singing Smooth Operator in your head now, aren’t you?).
Then, one of my genius training partners recommended eating potatoes on long rides. I pack 2-3 baby potatoes per hour on the road. I prepare them the night before by boiling in salted water until they’re al dente then I lightly coat them in olive oil and roast them in the oven for a few minutes. Let them cool overnight, throw them in a plastic bag, and you’re good to go.
On a long ride a few months ago, someone mentioned the rice cake recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook. They’re sticky rice based squares, not dry rice cakes you buy in the cereal isle of the grocery store. I did a little googling and found a lot of pages with the bacon and eggs rice cake recipe (no thanks!). Then, I found this apple cinnamon recipe and whipped it up immediately. The result was delicious and easy to eat on the bike. Rice cakes are great because you basically make a pot of sushi rice and throw in whatever you like. I started experimenting in the kitchen and made a batch with coconut butter, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and almond meal that turned out great.
Yesterday, I had the idea to incorporate the Perpetuem powder that’s been sitting untouched for months. Unfortunately, I took the rice off the stove too early and it wasn’t sticky enough so it turned out more like rice pudding. I’m spending a lot of time on the bike trainer these days so I can still eat it while I ride!
Here’s the recipe I used. I hope it will inspire you to come up with your own awesome flavors and share them here!
Perpetuem rice cakes
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
3 cups water
2 tbsp salt
2 cups (8 scoops) Caffe Latte Perpetuem
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts (I used raw, but you can use roasted if you prefer)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 tbsp cinnamon
Rinse rice in a mesh strainer under running water for a couple minutes, until water runs clear.
Combine rice and water in medium sauce pot, over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, add salt, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until water is completely absorbed, about 20 minutes. **Important: make sure all water is absorbed and rice is sticky before removing from heat**
Stir in remaining ingredients. Transfer mixture to a greased 2 qt glass baking dish and spread evenly. Allow rice to cool before cutting into individual pieces.
Check out this video a tutorial on wrapping your rice cakes.