Is that a hint of sun I see? Is that the sound of birds chirping in the morning? Did I just see a cyclist pass by without looking miserably cold? (I'm a self-admitted cold weather wuss). Spring, is that you?

Begrudgingly, sometime this winter I set up my bike trainer in my attic, and hopped on it to get some exercise, as I wasn't allowed to run for 6-8 weeks thanks to a small fracture – total bummer. I sat and spun up there watching the rain (or more recently, snow!) fall outside the increasingly foggy window. And you can bet I often thought to myself, “Man, it would be nice to bike outside.”

But my insides are made of fluffy cotton candy and I chill quite easily (plus, snowstorms in March??) So, no, I haven't made it outside on my bike yet. Running? Sure. I’m an all-weather runner. But the bike is a new level of cold weather toughness.

However, in preparation for one of the largest multi-sport relay races coming up – our Vancouver Island Snow to Surf Relay – I know I need to get back outside. I'm doing the bike portion of the event this year, which means it's time to make some snacks to take on the road.  

My friend and I have organized the Bella Bicicletta for the past two years. Fortunately, with Powered by Chocolate Milk as one of our sponsors, we've been able to fuel our riders out on course and afterward – talk about #sportsrecovery! One of our biggest hits for food on course has been a recipe I found in Feed Zone Portables – delicious rice bars filled with refreshing (or indulgent) flavours!  They get eaten up like hot cakes (or rice cakes, really!)

I love the original blueberry chocolate, but I've also adapted the recipe with other fresh ingredients, like mint and raspberries. Yum! The nice thing about these bars (or balls – whatever shape suits you) is their high water content thanks to being made with real food. A standard bar can take a whole water bottle to dilute to digest properly, and while that’s fine nutritionally, it's sometimes hard to pack (or find) that much water when you could easily be eating foods that help hydrate as well and nourish.

Which is why I'm sharing their recipe! We get a lot of asks for these once the ride is done so give them a try, share some with your friends and don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours!  

 

Blueberry & Chocolate Coconut Rice Ride Bars

Ingredients:

3 cups uncooked sticky rice

4 ½ cups water

¾ cup coconut milk

¼ to ½ cup raw sugar to taste

juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt, or to taste

6 ounces chocolate chips (half of a regular bag)

1 pint fresh blueberries

 

Steps:

  1. Combine rice, water, and a dash of salt in a rice cooker and let cook.
  2. Transfer cooked rice to a large bowl and add coconut milk. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  3. Stir thoroughly and salt to taste.
  4. Let rice cool then spread half onto a 9” x 13” baking pan. Press flat.
  5. Sprinkle chocolate chips and berries evenly over the rice.
  6. Gently press the remaining rice over the berries and chocolate.
  7. Let sit for 5 minutes, cut into squares and wrap.

Nutritional info per serving:

Energy 249 cal, Fat 6 g, Sodium 194 mg, Carbs 45 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 4 g, Water 65%