As the old saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It’s true that a balanced morning meal brings about a slew of benefits, including better concentration and more energy. Yet those who are committed to endurance training know that the path to better fitness is smoother when they take their post-workout nutrition just as seriously as breakfast.
With a little planning ahead, you can really improve your recovery immediately after your workout with these pre-made snacks that taste great.
Peanut Butter and Berry Protein Oats
Note: All recipes include substitute dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan ingredient options.
Soaking the oats removes the need to cook them, making this recipe a great option for transporting with you if you’re going to be away from the kitchen after exercise and you don’t want to delay refueling.
Ingredients: 1 Serving, Active time: 10 min.
- ½ cup rolled oats (substitute with spelt, kamut or quinoa flakes)
- ¼ cup plain or vanilla protein powder (substitute with plant-based protein powder)
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cup low-fat milk (substitute with nondairy milk)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
In a wide-mouth half-pint glass jar, layer in oats, protein powder, chia seeds and cinnamon. Stir in milk and vanilla if using. Top with peanut butter and raspberries. Seal shut and chill for 2 or more hours or up to 3 days.
Blueberry Protein Freezer Pancakes
Instantly enjoy a taste of breakfast for your recovery meal by freezing a batch of these protein-rich pancakes.
Ingredients: 7 Servings, Active time: 20 min.
- ½ cup liquid egg whites or 4 regular egg whites
- 1 cup reduced-fat cottage cheese (substitute with plain Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt)
- 1 medium-size banana
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1½ cups oat flour (substitute with spelt flour, whole wheat flour, or a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Place egg whites, cottage cheese, banana, maple syrup, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in blueberries.
Lightly grease a large skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Scoop a cup of batter for each pancake into pan and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing pan as needed. You should end up with about 14 pancakes. Let pancakes cool completely on metal racks.
When cooled, place pancakes on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and place tray in freezer until pancakes are completely frozen (about 4 hours). Once frozen, transfer pancakes to a zip-top freezer bag or other freezer-safe container and store frozen for up to 2 months.
To reheat, stack pancakes on a plate and microwave for 90 seconds, or until heated through. Or defrost and warm them using a toaster. You can also reheat in an oven or toaster oven set to 350°F.
Farro Egg Cakes
These egg cakes/handheld frittatas follow the rules of post-training nutrition, namely teaming up carbs and protein. Enjoy them straight from the fridge, at room temperature or heated for about 30 seconds in the microwave.
Ingredients: 6 Servings, Active time: 20 min.
- ½ cup farro (substitute with gluten-free millet or sorghum)
- 6 large eggs
- 1/3 cup low-fat milk (substitute with nondairy plain milk)
- 1 medium-size red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (substitute with nutritional yeast)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Place farro and 2 cups water in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until grains are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain any excess water.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in remaining ingredients and cooked farro. Divide among 12 standard-size greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding. Keep chilled for up to 5 days.
Turmeric Ginger Tonic
This elixir is a great way to simultaneously rehydrate and tame the flame with its anti-inflammatory powers. You can turn this into a warm drink for the cooler months by heating it on the stove or keep it chilled with ice and a splash of club soda.
Ingredients: 4 Servings, Active Time: 10 min.
- 3- to 4-inch piece fresh turmeric, thinly sliced
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons honey (substitute with agave syrup)
- Juice of ½ orange
Place 4 cups water, turmeric, ginger, honey and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Stir in orange juice and then strain mixture into a glass jar. Chill until ready to serve, for up to 1 week. When ready to serve, place ice in a glass and pour in turmeric drink.