Twin pros Rebeccah and Laurel Wassner dish up their favorite recipes (like this tasty granola) on a blog geared toward athlete-foodies.
New York City-based pros (and twin sisters) Rebeccah and Laurel Wassner are constantly on the go for races and training camps, which makes it difficult to always fuel with healthy foods. Over the years, they’ve used creativity (and some trial and error) to concoct healthy, wholesome snacks and meals—even from a hotel room. On their blog Athlete Food, they’re letting the world in on their secrets.
Athlete Food (which can be found through Wassnertwins.com) is edited by their friend Melissa Lasher, a freelance writer. The blog was launched in January, and it features recipes for pre-workout meals, post-ride snacks and recovery smoothies. “Our recipes focus on healthy food that not only tastes good, but fuels us with enough nutrients for our long days of training and intense races,” Rebeccah says. The blog caters to diverse diets—Rebeccah eats gluten-free, so gluten-free instructions are often provided alongside recipes.
And eventhough none of them is a vegetarian, they also post meatless meals, such as butternut squash ravioli with walnuts and kale.
Lasher and Rebeccah write the recipes, while Laurel, a freelance photographer, shoots the food. Because of a few cooking mishaps—including once setting off a hotel fire alarm while trying to boil some water—Laurel generally steers clear of the kitchen.
So far, the blog has gained some solid traction, mainly through Twitter and word-of-mouth. “People have told us that they love our recipes and also enjoy reading about what pro triathletes eat,” Rebeccah says. The blog has led to invitations to speak about healthy eating at a few different offices, which the Wassners will start doing this summer. “Over the years, we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t and we’re happy to share this with our readers,” says Rebeccah. “We’re really happy that people enjoy what we’re doing.”
The Wassner twins share with Triathlete readers a tasty granola recipe they like to take on the go as they travel the world to train and race. This maple cardamom granola is a spiced-up adaptation of an “oats of the week” recipe published on their blog. “We eat a huge amount of granola,” they say. “We sprinkle it over oatmeal for extra calories before a big ride. We pour it onto yogurt for a post-workout second breakfast. We spoon it on ice cream for dessert. And we always pack a batch (double-bagged) in our gear duffle when we go abroad to race, so we’re sure to have a familiar food on hand.” They especially like this cardamom-spiced granola because it’s a “fun, almost savory departure from the usual sweet power snacks.” They also prefer using large coconut flakes instead of coconut shreds, which usually sink to the bottom of the granola bin.
Maple Cardamom Granola
30 minutes, plus cooling.
Yield: 5 cups
1 tsp olive oil
½ cup Grade B maple syrup
½ cup water
4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes, toasted
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two baking sheets* with ½ tsp olive oil. Whisk together the maple syrup and water (we mix them right in the measuring cup). Combine the oats with the maple syrup, water, cardamom and sea salt in a big bowl. Spread the oats on the greased pans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and stir the oats, pushing them from the edges to the middle and vice-versa. Switch the pan positions in the oven and cook until the oats at the edges of the pans are golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. (One pan might cook faster than the other if your oven heats unevenly.) Cool the granola completely on the pans, then add the coconut, pumpkin seeds and raisins.
Shelf life: Two to three weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature. We store a double batch in the freezer, so the nuts don’t turn, and it keeps for about three months.
*Note: We like the inexpensive aluminum half-sheet pans sold at restaurant supply shops. Their light color cooks food more evenly than darker and nonstick pans. Also, the raised edges on the sheet pans allow you to stir granola without spilling.