What to eat as an athlete?
My foodblog
Oatmeal breakfast with plum compote for a cold winter morning
People ask me quite often; "Do you really feel like going for a bike ride every single day? Don't you ever have one of those days when you have to drag yourself out of bed to go for your training ride?" I have to say that it doesn't happen that often. I just really love cycling. But when the weather is really bad and I'm curled up in my warm bed whilst listening to the splashing rain against the window, I sometimes think: "maybe not today". But that feeling always disappears when I prepare this mouthwatering oatmeal breakfast! This recipe gives me so much energy that I feel strong urge to get on my bike that day. Especially this variant with a spicy plum compote as a topping gives me such a blissful feeling.. Then I just want to ride my bike a.s.a.p!
Do you have a tough day ahead of you soon? Try this porridge and it will be a fantastic day! :)
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Pumpkin focaccia
Before I start with the description of the recipe, I want to go into a few important details when making focaccia that might be obvious to an Italian, but certainly not to anyone else.
Focaccia dough resembles the dough of a pizza base. It is made with very fine flour, yeast and water. The small difference, however, is that pizza dough never contains olive oil. The focaccia dough on the other hand gets its specific flavour due to the addition of olive oil! And additionally a focaccia dough takes much longer to rest than the dough for a pizza.
To make the perfect focaccia I would like to give you some tips for the ingredients you should use. Always choose a light type of flour. The Italians use the term 00 to indicate this grinding degree. In most countries you’ll find this in your store. If you can't find it, also pizza flour will do the trick. In addition, opt for dried yeast and preferably a little tartaric baking powder to make it easier to rise (this is not traditional, but for me it is a handy trick to get a good and airy dough). Now it's a matter of rolling up your sleeves, getting to work and above all… waiting! :) Have fun and good luck making this delicious Italian treat!
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spiced cauliflower couscous
The Dutch are not innate veggie eaters. In the past we daily savoured a meal consisting of potatoes and meat along with a little bit of vegetables. The latter undoubtedly took up the smallest one third of the surface of the plate. I dare to say that this applies for more nations than just the Dutch!
Fortunately, our foodtradition changed a lot in the recent years. Not only did 'foreign cuisine' become increasingly popular after the Second World War, we have also become more aware of healthy food.
Nowadays an average Dutch person eats about 130 grams of vegetables per day, of which 83% is consumed in the evening. Seems quite a lot, doesn't it? Well, the advise is to eat at least 250 grams of vegetables per day. So, I'm going to give you a hand!
This dish has a Middle Eastern flavour and is jam-packed with vegetables. It is a cauliflower couscous and is very tasty either for dinner or lunch. This way you can increase the intake of vegetables throughout the day. Tasty and simple!
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Actually there is too much to tell about this dish in this short blog post. When I write this, I have just returned from an altitude training at the border of Switzerland and Italy. Livigno will sound like music to the ears for top athletes. It is the place where they gain more red blood cells, walk up a mountain out of breath or can be found in the bike park on the day of rest. But most of them will not know the valley called Valtellina which is not far from there. When you cycle over the pass from Livigno and then descend towards the town of Poschiavo, you should really put your nose in the air. Can you smell the "Pizzoccheri"? You may think "smell what"? Well make the recipe, put your nose in the air when you are in Livigno and you will understand me.
Pizzoccheri is a hearty pasta meal that you will only find in this region. It is an ancient, hearty farmer's dish of local regional products. The basis is the buckwheat pasta. The finishing touch of this dish is a local cheese from the Valtellina valley and sage butter. But how can you make this dish with these Italian products abroad? I have the solution for those at home who will miss Italy this summer holiday. In this recipe I will teach you how to make buckwheat pasta yourself. Moreover, I have replaced the other Italian ingredients into products that you will also be able to get in your country. With these few minor adjustments I can promise you that it will taste just as good at home as in Valtellina itself. You will be able to taste Italy from your own garden!
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Spinach ommelet role
The photo above is almost reminiscent of still life. But I have tasted this still life and despite the bright green and red color I am still alive. It even tasted delicious. According to research, this dish should be much tastier than the exact same dish, but in boring, flat colors. You actually taste partly with your eyes.
When you walk through the supermarket, you probably have the impression that many colored foods have a lot of chemistry added to make them more attractive to the consumer. Sometimes this is the case, such as the synthetic dye Brilliant Acid Green (E142). But sometimes the dyes just come from nature and there is nothing wrong with it at all. I can tell you that my recipe also contains a delicious portion of food coloring! In this dish, we are dealing with the pigment called Betanin, a dye that occurs in high concentrations in beetroot. In addition, the dye called Chlorophyll is extracted from green leaves such as spinach. And now let this recipe mainly consist of beetroot and spinach! So, do you also like a nice color palette on your plate and a taste explosion in your mouth? Then you are in the right place with this recipe.
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Rusks: the south african buttermilk cookies
This recipe cannot be missed on a food blog for athletes; what is the best thing to eat during a workout? I realised that I had never touched on this topic before, so it is high time to introduce you to an inspiring cookie for during sports. Frankly, I don't often bake bars or snacks for on the bike. Why not? Well, the ready-made bars and drinks are actually there for the taking and so it is just very easy to quickly stuff something in the pocket of my cycling shirt for a long workout. But honestly, I don't have a hard sweet tooth and I prefer to have control over how sweet I make something. That is why I got the idea , while I was on a training camp in South Africa, to change this. Once at home I dove into the kitchen to bake a real traditional South African biscuit; the so-called 'buttermilk Rusks' but slightly different. The result is a firm biscuit based on buttermilk. Sweetened with a little sugar, cranberries and raisins. It is a real treat for during or after exercise.
Before you get started, I would like to mention that these cakes do not require much active cooking time, but they do require a long time in the oven. After you have baked the batter into a cake, it should be sliced ​​and then left in the oven for another 3 to 4 hours to dry out. Not difficult but you should not be hungry and put the cakes in your mouth before they are actually ready. Patience is a virtue!
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Courgette pancakes with polenta
These savory vegetable pancakes are very suitable for lunch or perfect when you need a light evening meal. They are not very rich in carbohydrates but do contain a lot of good nutrients for recovery. Perfect for the quiet training days. Moreover, the pancakes are easy to freeze, making them ideal to take to work or to enjoy on a travel day. Nice to share or, if you change your mind after taking your first bite, to keep it all to yourself.
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Vegetable garden on the moon
The name of this dish may surprise you. But when you prepare it and see the result, you will understand the title. Then you will think that it actually looks like a real moon landscape! The recipe is derived from an English dish called 'Toat in the hole', where small meatballs hide in the holes. My version of the Toad in the hole is vegetarian. The vegetables I use rise because of the heat and fill the craters on the moon.
This is by no means a difficult recipe. The basis is a simple pancake batter and is filled with various vegetables (which you can vary as desired). The secret of the recipe lies in the timing. It is crucial to have the baking dish sizzling hot when the cold batter is poured into the dish. In this way, the batter rises very nicely and the vegetables that first lay on the bottom of the dish come up. So follow the steps in the recipe and you will enjoy this light meal.
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Royal salad (with asparagus, citrus and goat cheese)
This salad is fresh in summer and is deliciously crunchy! The creamy taste of goat cheese and the sweet and sour of the small kumquat fruits are perfectly in balance.
The kumquat is relatively unknown. It is a small, cute citrus fruit that is eaten with the skin. And the funny thing is; the skin is actually sweeter than the flesh and packed with vitamin C and potassium. You might not immediately think of it, but it is ideally suited for the presentation of this tasty summer salad. If you don't find them, the grated zest of an orange is a good alternative. However; now that king's day is coming, I would really go for these mini orange hats on your plate.
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