Post ride indulgences

Classic treats with a healthy twist by Rapha ambassador and culinary director at GreenGurus, Chloe Lasseron @chloebullets

For nine years of my life I was a pastry chef which, although fun and exciting, was not the healthiest of lifestyles. Now, as a recipe developer and avid cyclist, I get to intertwine my profession and my passion. My favorite rides are long adventures in uncharted territory. My most memorable meals have taken place atop mountains, in remote villages, and where I’ve arrived hungry and beaten by hours in the saddle.

But as the weather worsens and the days shorten, I find myself having cakes, chocolates and sweets waiting for me at the end of my ride. During the winter months ninety percent of the time I get off my bike I want to eat everything I can find in my cupboards, the other ten percent of the time those cupboards are empty and I have nothing to eat. Sometimes the only thing getting me through the last hour of a hard, cold effort on the bike, is the food waiting for me at home.

Having quick, healthy treats to hand is the best way to avoid the temptation to overeat post ride. Your body needs food to recover, rebuild muscle and to replenish your energy stores but it’s easy to eat the wrong things. Here are three recipes for classic treats with a healthy twist, so you’ll feel less guilty about indulging after all that effort.

Protein Hot Cocoa

(pictured above)

Is there anything better than hot chocolate in the winter? This recipe uses protein powder and almond milk to help your muscles recover. You can also add raw cacao powder for additional antioxidant benefits. And to give your immune system a boost, top it off with coconut whipped cream, a healthy, plant-based fat that is rich in essential minerals because the last thing you want is get ill after a winter ride.

Serves 2
Ingredients

  • 470ml almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp (9g) vanilla protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp (13g) cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) maple syrup
  • 1 small can (160ml) of coconut milk placed in the fridge overnight
  • 1 pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Combine the almond milk, protein powder, cocoa powder and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Whisk the mixture together or use a hand blender to blend smooth.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. When the milk mixture is hot, carefully pour into 2 mugs.
  3. Open the can of chilled coconut milk. There will be a firm, waxy layer on top. Scoop out this layer but stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can; don’t include anything but the solid cream. (You can save the water to use later in a smoothie.) Place in a clean bowl and whip with a whisk.
  4. Top the hot cocoa with the whipped cream and sea salt and enjoy!
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25 minute Apple Crisp

Apples are at their best in autumn and winter. This quick apple crisp is a lot easier to prepare than a traditional apple pie and has far fewer calories. Turmeric and cinnamon both have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and apples are naturally high in fibre, which can improve digestive health.

Serves 1
Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • A pinch of Ginger powder
  • A pinch of Turmeric powder
  • Squeeze of Lemon juice

Topping:

  • ½ cup (25g) oats
  • 2 Tbsp (20g) brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) coconut oil
  • A pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/395F. Peel and chop the apples. Toss the apples with maple syrup, lemon juice and spices.
  2. Place the apples in a frying pan over medium-low heat and saute, stirring frequently until the apples soften, about 10 minutes.
  3. While the apples are cooking, mix the oats, brown sugar, coconut oil and salt in a medium sized bowl. Spread out over a baking tray in an even layer.
  4. Bake the oats for 10 minutes, until bubbly and brown.
  5. Place the apples in a small bowl, top with oats. Serve alone or with a drizzle of honey and a scoop of ice cream if you’re feeling extra indulgent.
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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

New Year’s Day is always a ride day for me. For the past few years, some friends and I have gone out for a short, but frosty, late morning spin knowing that the rest of the day was ours to relax. These sweet potato cinnamon buns have become part of that tradition. I prepare the sweet potato puree in advance and make the dough in the morning before the ride. I let the dough rise while we are out and then bake the rolls while I have a hot shower. The added sweet potatoes contain complex slow-release carbohydrates, so you won’t get a sudden blood sugar spike.

Serves 3-5
Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/2 (113g) sweet potato puree *see note at the bottom
  • 2 heaped cups (160g) all purpose flour/ plain
  • 1 packet (7g) of active yeast
  • ½ cup (130ml) almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) coconut oil

Filling:

  • ⅓ cup (80g) sweet potato puree
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) coconut oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Optional:

  • Maple syrup or honey to glaze

Method

  1. Warm the almond milk and scatter the yeast over the top. Allow to activate for about 10 minutes, or until frothy (you may need to help out the yeast a bit by gently pushing it into the milk, but don’t stir the mixture quite yet).
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the brown sugar and flour in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the sweet potato puree and coconut oil. Add in the almond milk and yeast mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients and mix together. You can use your hands to properly mix the contents until a thick dough forms.
  5. The dough should be pretty sticky. Dump out onto a floured countertop and knead a few times until it forms a ball.
  6. Place the ball of dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel and place in a warm spot to rise. It should take an hour or so for it to double in size. Make sure you wait until it has completely doubled. Now is a great time for a short ride.
  7. Punch down the dough and on a lightly floured surface then roll out in a rectangle about the size of a piece of printer paper (A4).
  8. In a small bowl mix the filling. Combine the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, coconut oil and cinnamon. Spread evenly over the entire rectangle.
  9. Carefully and tightly roll up the dough, making sure the filling doesn’t come out at the sides. Cut the dough with a sharp knife into 3cm slices.
  10. Set the rolls in a lightly greased baking dish and once again cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 200C/395F. Once the rolls have risen, bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Carefully remove from the oven and top with maple syrup or honey.

*Note: For the sweet potato puree poke holes all over the sweet potato using a fork or knife. Wrap it in foil and bake for 45-60 minutes at 180C/370F, depending on the size of the sweet potato. Leave to cool, peel the skin, and mash until smooth.

Throughout winter I’ll be riding towards spring. Taking every meal as an opportunity to help my body be at its best, I’ll be swapping out traditional grains for an extra serving of veggies and adding anti-inflammatory foods to my post ride meals. A new season brings new adventures and new opportunities to push the boundaries.

For motivation to get outside on miserable days, read our feature The Mindful Cyclist by Emily Chappell.

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Chloe Lasseron is a Rapha Ambassador from California, currently living in Berlin. She is culinary director at GreenGurus, Berlin @chloebullets