Food

3 On-the-Go Recipes for Sustained Energy

Get a variety of carbs in for level energy throughout the day.

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Carbs can get a bad rap, but the truth is, they’re a runner’s best friend and are necessary for performing (and feeling) your best. Simple ones, like fruit or sugar, provide quick hits of energy and can replenish tired muscles. Complex carbs, like oats, deliver consistent energy for fewer spikes and slumps during the day. These three bake-and-take recipes (perfect for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks) will help keep your energy levels steady both pre- and post-run in a delicious way.

RELATED: A Female Runner’s Guide to Eating for Energy

Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Chocolate hazelnut muffins in a pan
Photo: Karolina Wiercigroch

Servings: 12

Say goodbye to dry, bland gluten-free baked goods: These muffins are rich, moist, and flavorful thanks to the full-fat yogurt and chocolate-hazelnut spread. Bake this recipe the night before for breakfast on the go.

1¼ cups gluten-free flour
½ cup cacao powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain full-fat yogurt, room temperature
6 oz. pitted dates (about 1 cup)
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
3 Tbsp. hot water
⅓ cup low-sugar chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)
⅓ cup hazelnuts, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-count muffin tray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine butter, vanilla, yogurt, and dates; blend until smooth. Blend in eggs. Pour into bowl with flour mixture. Add the hot water and stir until just combined.
  2. Divide batter among muffin cups. Place 1 heaping teaspoon chocolate hazelnut spread on each. Using a paring knife or toothpick, swirl spread into batter. Sprinkle hazelnuts on top.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

Whole-Wheat Hummingbird Muffins

Hummingbird muffins on a cooling rack

Servings: 12

Toasted pecans offer some crunch and healthy, satiating fat to these muffins, which are naturally sweetened with pineapple and mashed banana.

1¾ cups white whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup drained canned pineapple chunks, divided
¾ cup roughly chopped toasted pecans, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 12-count muffin tray. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; whisk to mix well. In a large bowl, whisk oil, maple syrup, and eggs until combined. Whisk in bananas. Add flour mixture and fold together until nearly combined.
  2. Roughly chop two-thirds of the pineapple and fold in. Fold in two-thirds of the pecans, stirring until all flour is incorporated (do not over-mix).
  3. Divide batter among muffin cups. Top with remaining pineapple chunks and pecans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

Chocolate Almond Butter Granola Bars

Chocolate Almond Butter Granola Bars on parchment paper with chocolate drizzle make a good breakfast on the go recipe
Photo: Darren Kemper

Servings: 12

These crunchy bars pack in whole-grain oats and almond butter to keep you satisfied long after snack time. Rolled oats also aid in healthy digestion and contain a form of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has been found to lower total blood cholesterol.

2 cups rolled oats (such as Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal)
¾ cup chopped raw unsalted almonds
¼ cup ground flaxseeds
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ cup creamy almond butter (such as MaraNatha Organic)
¼ cup coconut sugar (such as Now Real Food Organic Coconut Sugar)
¼ cup raw honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup (1½ oz.) chopped dark chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment and mist with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Place oats and almonds on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until nuts are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; add flaxseeds, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine almond butter, coconut sugar, and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until well combined. Let cool for 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared baking dish and press down firmly with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool in baking dish for 1 hour. Cut into 12 bars.
  5. In a heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate over bars. Let chocolate cool before serving.

These recipes originally appeared in Clean Eating Magazine.