In the words of everybody's mother - breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you are planning a long day in the saddle.
Getting breakfast just right though can be a tricky business. You need to make sure you take on board slow-burning carbohydrates that will keep you feeling comfortably full over a long period of time and will not leave you feeling over-full, sluggish, or worse still - with hunger pangs.
My favourite breakfast is homemade granola served up with Vanilla Greek-style yoghurt and a generous helping of blueberries. Unlike shop-bought versions, it is sugar and additive free and you can tweak it to suit your mood by adding a different array of dried fruits, nuts and seeds each time you make it.
- 300g honey
- 170g dried cranberries
- 150g pumpkin seeds
- 100g sunflower seeds
- 200g cashew nuts
- 700g rolled oats
- 2 tblsp rapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees
Pour the oats, seeds and nuts into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Lightly heat the honey and rapeseed oil in a small pan - a couple of seconds will suffice. Pour the honey and rapeseed over the oats gradually and mix together until all of the oats are covered.
Spread the oats evenly about an inch thick on an oven tray. Place in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Toss the oats every five minutes to ensure the oats do not burn.
When the oats are golden brown, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool. Then add your dried cranberries or any other dried fruit of your choice (goji berries are a favourite of mine).
The Healthy Bit
- Oats are low in saturated fat, high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. They also contain numerous phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage. Consumed an hour before a long bike ride, they are a perfect breakfast choice as the soluble fibre they contain releases energy slowly which keeps you fuller for longer.
- Nuts and seeds are concentrated sources of protein, fats, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and other minerals.
- Dried cranberries are a powerful anti-oxidant and also help with cardiovascular and liver function