Having a substantial breakfast before a long hike (or any work out) can be a game changer. The biggest challenge is to eat something that won’t leave you feeling too full or not full enough. This molasses muffin with flax and dates can fit that bill!
Given one muffin is only 165 calories, it won’t stick with you through a 3.5-hour hike, but the muffins are easy to pack as mid-hike snacks. Their carbohydrate helps maintain blood glucose levels, preventing you from feeling lightheaded and will help you go that extra mile. Their protein and fat help provide sustained energy, given protein and fat digest slower than carbohydrate.
The muffins are super simple to make. All you have to do is throw the ingredients together in a bowl, mix them with a spoon, bake them, and enjoy as is or with a smear of peanut butter. Yum!
This is one of many sport food recipes from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.
Recipe for Molasses Muffins With Flax and Dates
Flax is rich in substances that have been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer. It has a very mild taste and is good mixed into muffins and breads as well as sprinkled on cereal. This flax muffin recipe is one way to add a daily tablespoon of flaxseed to your breakfast and snacks. These muffins are remarkably sweet and moist, despite having no added fat. (The 3 grams of fat per muffin are from the health-protective fats in the ground flaxseed meal.)
Flax seeds have to be ground up in order for your body to have access to the nutrients embedded in them. If ground flax seeds sit for too long, they lose their nutritional benefits. That said, instead of purchasing ground flax seeds, purchase whole flax seeds and grind them up yourself (using a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor) in batches so they’re not sitting in their ground up state for too long.
1/3 cup (115 g) molasses
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar)
3/4 cup (120 g) ground flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (175 g) chopped dates
1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour, preferably half whole wheat and half white
1 teaspoon baking soda
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C), and prepare 12 muffin cups with papers or cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg, molasses, buttermilk, flax, and salt, and add the dates to the batter.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda (and cinnamon).
- Gently stir the flour mixture (and orange rind and vanilla) into the egg mixture.
- Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Yield: 12 muffins
Nutrition information: 2,000 total calories; 165 calories per muffin; 30 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 3 g fat
Written by guest blogger and Simmons University nutrition student Amber Nobbs.