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Eat Right: Two Italian-Inspired Snacks

Take your pick of salty or sweet on your next ride with these two Italian-inspired, nutrient-packed snacks.

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Take your pick of salty or sweet on your next ride with these two Italian-inspired, nutrient-packed snacks.

Biscotti for Bikers

Biscotti are traditional Italian cookies that are twice cooked, so they’re extra crispy. They are often stuffed with different nuts and berries, or even chocolate. In this power-packed version, the ingredients are guaranteed to both energize and taste great. The result is a cookie you can nibble on long rides or dunk in your morning coffee.

Ingredients:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup natural cane sugar
2 eggs
1 egg white, beaten
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried figs, chopped
½ cup salted pistachios
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add in the nuts, seeds and fruit. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Make sure it is well-combined and that there are no dry patches. The dough will be very thick, but keep mixing to make sure everything is evenly combined. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into two sections. Using as little flour as possible on your work surface, roll each section into a log that’s about 10–12 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, working out the air pockets as you go. Set the logs on the lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Brush the sides and top with the egg white. Bake until golden brown and firm in the center, about 35 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking process. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. With a serrated knife, slice the logs into ½-inch thick slices, cutting on a bias (slanted). Lay the sliced cookies flat on the baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets if needed. Flip the cookies over and bake until both sides are a deep golden brown, another 10 to 15 minutes. Set the baking sheets on racks to cool completely. Makes about 24 biscotti.

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Rice Balls Carb-onara

I’ve modified a traditional carbonara recipe with a mind toward energy, portability and flavor. Its savory saltiness (hello, bacon!) will keep you happily biking the extra miles.

Ingredients:
1 cup short-grain (Arborio) brown rice
2 eggs
4 strips thickly sliced bacon
Pinch of salt
Breadcrumbs (omit for a gluten-free recipe)
Plastic wrap

Directions:

Cook the rice according to package instructions, adding a pinch of salt. While the rice is cooking, place the bacon on top of a few paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave the bacon on high for two minutes. Blot the bacon with paper towels to remove excess grease, and continue cooking at 1- to 2-minute intervals until the bacon has reached desired crispiness. Chop the bacon into tiny pieces and place in a large bowl. Crack two large eggs in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Heat a small, lightly oiled skillet (you can use cooking spray) on the stovetop over medium heat. Scramble your two eggs, breaking them up into small bits. Once the rice has finished cooking, add it to the bowl with the bacon, then add the scrambled eggs. Mix well to evenly distribute all the ingredients.

Assembly:

Scoop a tablespoon of the rice, bacon and egg mixture into a square of plastic wrap. Form the rice mixture into a ball by closing up the plastic wrap and twisting it at the top. The rice is sticky, so it will stay together. (You can add a few drops of cold water to the rice to make it even stickier.) If desired, roll the balls in some breadcrumbs for added carbohydrates.

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