Fuel Up: 5 of My Favourite Homemade Ride Snacks

May 17, 2019
by Sarah Moore  



I always have homemade snacks on the bike. It's cheaper, they always taste fresher, and the recipes are super adaptable so you don't get sick of them like you do with store-bought bars. Plus, it's fun sharing homemade treats with friends on a ride. Here are a couple of my favourites. All you need is 20 minutes and kitchen equipped with a Vitamix or food processor (I got one for $10 at a used store!) and you can make any one of these recipes.





Energy Bites
Gimme Some Oven


Honey, peanut butter, shredded coconut with chocolate chips thrown in... The mixture can be a bit sticky when you roll it together so I find keeping your hands as clean as possible and washing them halfway through helps them stick less. Keep these in the fridge for a delicious ready to go snack! (Click here for the recipe.)





Homemade Lara Bars
Power Hungry


Lara Bars are one of my go-to bars since they don't have a heap of unpronounceable ingredients in them and I usually buy a bunch when they're on sale. The beauty of the homemade version is that you can make them a gazillion different ways, to suit your tastes and what you have in the cupboard. Just throw everything in the food processor and you're three-quarters of the way there! When using dried dates, it's good to soak them for 10 minutes ahead of time to make the mixture stick together better. (Click here for the recipe.)





Adventure Bars
Run Fast. Cook Slow.


I'm obsessed with Elyse Kopecky and Olympian Shalane Flanaghan's cooking books, Run Fast. Cook Slow and Run Fast. Cook Fast. East Slow. Their blog has a few recipes on it, like these Adventure Bars made with fruits and nuts, but I highly recommend buying their books if you're looking for easy, fast, nutritious recipes to keep your energy up on the bike. Pro tip: Don't try to double the recipe unless you have an extra powerful food processor! (Click here for the recipe.)





Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Detox Inista


All you need to make these are a bowl, a spoon and 6 ingredients. If you're someone who likes to eat peanut butter (or almond butter, hazelnut butter, almond-hazelnut butter, cashew butter etc.) by the spoonful, these are just the ticket. If you're not, move along. (Click here for the recipe.)





Allen Lim's Rice Cakes
Skratch Labs


You'll need to cook rice for these, so they have the biggest time commitment. But are they ever worth it! Allen Lim is the founder of Skratch Labs, which you're probably most familiar with for their energy drinks, bars and chews, but for day to day activities, he advocates for eating real food over the packaged stuff. He's worked with tons of top road athletes and found success feeding them these rice cakes for long days on the saddle. I had a taste of a version with bacon at Sea Otter this year and was instantly cooked. He has an entire cookbook, Feed Zone Portables, if you want more recipes. (Click here for the recipe.)




What are some of your favourite bars and bar recipes?


180 Comments

  • + 97
 Chocolate salty balls by Chef (Southpark)
  • + 4
 Old episodes was the best : D
  • + 6
 Why was this also my first thought?

All together now:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3RgXpIl8XM
  • + 1
 Comments of the day right there!
  • + 8
 "stick em in ur mouth n suck em"
  • + 2
 @BenPea: this made my day!!! Merci
  • + 0
 @audric: Parker and Stone 2022. Make it happen America.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: This is fantastic!!!! Big Grin
  • + 2
 @bman33: Yes it is.
  • + 4
 @merlin33: Ha! Country specific copyright laws and imposition can suck my schweedy balls.
  • + 1
 @merlin33: everyone loves my schweddy balls
  • + 2
 i prefer Glennwads
  • + 51
 Pah! I laugh at your trail snacks! I will continue to ride incorrectly fuelled, bonk fast and hard, drag myself to the nearest eatery with an all consuming hunger never before experience in my lifetime and proceed to order almost everything on the menu and successfully eat about a third of it. True story...
  • + 16
 Add beer and that may be life story...
  • + 10
 ... And fall asleep with a headache and reflux
  • + 2
 Guilty as well.
  • + 28
 Not sure if there is anything more annoying that recipe websites. Click the link looking for a recipe and you have to scroll through a novel before they tell you how make the fucking things.
  • + 26
 first, let me tell you about how my grandparents fled the war torn eastern block which inspired the creation of this recipe
  • - 8
flag BenPea (May 17, 2019 at 10:36) (Below Threshold)
 That's a hell of a generalisation.
  • + 18
 amen, the absolute worst.. recipes are just a gateway drug to lifestyle blogs...
  • + 15
 Dates, almonds and cashews in a food blender, roll into small energy balls with damp hands, refrigerate, works for me every time Been doing this for a couple of years, saves loads of money and the best thing is you know exactly what's in them and you can experiment with different ingredients, there's no right or wrong
  • + 1
 Sounds good, how long do they keep for? I can see myself making too many and having to bin them!
  • + 18
 @davidarthur: I just have a bag of nuts and a banana (no pun intended), and eat them raw.
  • + 19
 @Milko3D: this is pinkbike....too late for no pun intended
  • + 5
 Yeah, there are a million variations to make on those adventure bars. I use

1kg dates (dried, no kern)
1kg figs (dried)
800g oats
400g nuts (whatever you have, cashew and walnut makes them more greasy, almond a bit drier)
400g rasped coconut

As described in the article:
First chop the oats, nuts and coconut in the foodprocessor until it is fine.
Then mix with the dates and figs until they don't stick that much anymore.
Then chop everything together in the foodprocessor until it becomes one clay-like mass.
Put it in a rectangular silicone oven shape and press and roll it until it is level and even.
Put in the fridge for at least two hours to stiffen up.
Remove from the silicon shape and cut in bars.

I don't necessarily store them in the fridge or freezer. They keep up nicely. It is just nuts and dried fruit after all. I don't bother with wrappers. I just take them in a steel or plastic box. Much more convenient than having to deal with all those wrappers. Of course if you need to go full enduro, you'll make the so that they fit in your crank axle, steerer tube, SWAT box or you'll find a way to tape them to your frame.

Also, my foodprocessor doesn't accept the 3.6kg of ingredients mentioned there, so I do this in four separate sets. So 250g dates, 250g figs etc. I still dump the whole lot together in the fridge though. Also, when you first start to cut the dates and figs, hold the machine as it may wobble, bonk and jump a little. That stops after a few seconds. If it is too tough for your machine, you could cut the figs and dates in smaller pieces first.

My machine is a Magimix 4200.
  • + 1
 My wife has been doing this same thing for me for years. She’ll also throw in hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. It’s amazing how well the dates hold everything together.
  • + 3
 I do the same! Best combo. High GI dates and low GI nuts with fats provide short and long term energy. So much cheaper as the manufactured equivalent as well!
  • + 2
 @MarcHenry: Yeah, I think oats works as a buffer, which is why I put that in there. Not sure what my stuff costs me to make, but 3.6kg of material from Clif bar would be over 66GBP. And then you'll have to dispose of all those wrappers too.
  • + 10
 how does this save money since dates, almonds and cashews cost $1 million to buy.
  • + 2
 @youknowitsus: I think it saves up to 50% or so. But you're usually tempted to use better ingredients than what the mass producers use. But yeah, it is hard to beat their volumes and efficiency. Just like when making your own furniture vs getting something from Ikea. They're process is so much more efficient (CNC routers etc) and they're cutting corners in such a clever way that you often end up spending more and putting in a lot of time. It is good fun though. But yeah unlike when making furniture, you don't really end up with scrap material, you don't need to nest cutting plans etc. So I think you still save money. But don't expect to save up to 90%. The fun is though that you can experiment and you can make something exactly the way you want it.
  • + 2
 roll in shredded coconut and BAM! Good to go and less sticky on the hands
  • + 1
 @Altron5000: tbh I’ve no idea, I usually eat them in a couple of days they’re so yummy, ideal for afternoon snacks too Wink
  • + 2
 @youknowitsus: have you seen how much raw date energy bars cost? Yes bags of dates and almonds pricey but the resulting energy bars or balls are way cheaper
  • + 16
 Very disappointed that this isn’t Levy describing how to modify donuts to make them more camelbak friendly
  • + 7
 We just jam Timbits in the SWAT box.
  • + 8
 I like how Lärabar (learning bar in Swedish) are sold in Sweden under the name Rawbite... and I strongly suggest against them if you don’t have disposable teeth hnless you want to chew slowly. The amount of nut shells in them is appalling.

Also fat and protein rich stuff like these is cool if you do long rides and chew them early enough. Otherwise they will get into your system after you come home/ hit the wall. All sweet, love that kind of food. However for emergency refuel you better fix yourself something with more quick carbs and apply often in moderate amounts. I find it funny to see folks show up to a 2h ride with a bag of cashews appearing woke and informed and looking down on folks with snickers or corny.
  • + 12
 waiting for the keto crowd to bash your comment with their "InSuLiN sPiKeS tHoUgH" BS yadda yadda
  • + 6
 @colincolin: Bring on the angry Ketons and interminently fasting Paleo warriors!

I will throw all the high-carb studies at them that I found on instagram accounts of countless influencers! Even cupping won't save them...
  • + 5
 Here's a fun fact I finally figured out what's with youhttps://www.pinkbike.com/photo/17221730/
and here I thought you were just full of nut shells
@WAKIdesigns
www.pinkbike.com/photo/17221730
  • - 16
flag betsie (May 17, 2019 at 5:22) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns:
High carb is great for getting fat. Especially if you don't exercise enough to burn those carbs off.
High carb... the thing America gave us.


Do what works for you and your goals I say.
  • + 25
 @betsie: Wait, what? America has done a lot of shitty things but making Scotland fat isn't one of them. Pretty sure American's aren't responsible for putting a fry shop on every goddamn corner of every city and town in your country.
  • - 29
flag oldtech (May 17, 2019 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 @Rucker10: preach it brother. All these pathetic countries always want to bash Americans but when it's time for HELP financially they're always there with their hands out.
  • + 4
 @betsie: you do realize I was talking about mid ride snack? And then did a cynical joke? Where do you find insta influencers preaching high carb diet? They are all on keto, low carb mumbo jumbo. Also at 13% body fat at 78kg I have big problems finding those drawbacks you speak of in my 50% carb, 30% protein, 20% fat diet... I am still waiting for the imminent diebetes, liver damage and ass cancer. Will wear my colostomy bag in forward facing fanny pack.
  • + 8
 @oldtech: I’m fine with international aid programs, personally.
  • + 1
 @oldtech: you were not the smartest kid in the school isn't it? Unless your school was outside of the city and quite a few kids had similar nozes and eye color... this was a bike cousine thread mate.
  • + 3
 Occasionally I’ll take some boiled lightly salted fingerling potatoes on days where I’m expecting a little bit more of a sustained effort. Does the trick . About as simple and quick of a carb that there is. Plus they taste pretty ok and it’s something different than the usual sweetness. Salty is nice occasionally and forces more water uptake
  • + 4
 @RyRy77: A wee dab of high-quality salt crystals forces water into your system like there's no tomorrow, so I guess salty is the way to go.
Also, the worst food for someone glued to a couch can be the best for a poor bastard who's dragging themselves up a mountain on a 15kg piece of wheeled joy. Kind of Waki's point I think. Btw, where's this learning bar you mentioned? Sounds like an oxymoron.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: word up
  • + 4
 @BenPea: I've learned many things in bars.
  • - 4
flag oldtech (May 17, 2019 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: can't we just hug and share contact information
  • + 0
 @Rucker10: if by Aid you mean education than great
  • + 2
 @oldtech: In part, certainly.
  • + 3
 @Rucker10: is there actually going to be a foreign aid discussion under this salty balls article? Is there really?
  • + 3
 @BenPea: Discussion? I doubt it. Random old man yelling at clouds? Absolutely.
  • + 1
 @ReddyKilowatt: 1-2% of that lasts beyond the next morning.
  • + 0
 @BenPea: "high-quality salt crystals"

NaCl = NaCl = NaCl = NaCl = NaCl every day of the week, whether it's "Himalayan" pink, ocean blue, or snow white.

I don't think anyone's selling or eating "discount, low quality salt crystals".
  • + 1
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: Don't ask me, that's what my missus calls them.
Although most of what I use is KCl
  • + 2
 @oldtech: as if the US were giving away money for free... do you really know that little about how the world works?
There's always something juicy in echange, my man
  • + 10
 In the next installment @mikelevy ‘s power donuts!
  • + 1
 the pinkbike recipe book?
  • + 8
 I prefer the fresh blood of a Himalayan Sherpa mixed with some testosterone. Works every time. That or Richie Rudes' "Special" RhinoPower blend.
  • + 8
 If you don't like eating peanut butter by the spoonful you can gtfo.
  • + 8
 Beer?
  • + 6
 Tried it. Doesn't work. It's really hard to get motivated to do a long ride after a few pints.
  • + 13
 @DarrellW: Ya doin it backwards mate.
  • + 3
 I'm a huge fan of Scratch Labs and the Feed Zone. Who wouldn't want real food when riding?! They even break the science down to why most people cannot eat certain things when working at an aerobic (or higher) heart rate... eg: Maltodextrin = GI distress! Well worth buying their books, especially if you're racing!!
  • + 2
 I recommend that book, more for the nutrition advice than the recipes. Much of the stuff in the book doesn't keep long and particularly without a fridge. It's a great book for someone running a team, less good for race day, where you're camping in a field.
  • + 3
 I like making flapjacks now and then for riding (weirdly, it turns out north americans have no idea what these are)

Mix oats with liberal amounts of either honey or golden syrup, until super sticky. Cinnamon is good in there too. Mix in any extras you might like - nuts, dates, chocolate chips. Layer into the bottom of a baking try. Bake for maybe 45 minutes-ish or until the top is golden and slightly crispy. Cut into squares. Job done.
  • + 9
 Sounds like bear bait to me.
  • - 4
flag CheddarJack46 (May 17, 2019 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 Flapjacks = pancakes. What you've described is not pancakes. Turns out you have no idea what they are.
  • + 4
 @CheddarJack46:
Flapjacks are most definitely not the same thing as pancakes!
  • + 2
 @sam264: In North America flapjacks are pancakes and what you are describing would be an oat bar or something.
  • + 0
 @shami:
Google "flapjack" and tell me what you see Wink
  • + 1
 @sam264: Later, flapjack would be used to describe something similar to an apple flan, but it is not until 1935 that the word is first used to describe a food made of oats.[1] While in the UK this usage has mostly superseded earlier recipes, in North America, "flapjack" still refers to pancakes.[1]
  • + 0
 The English language is fun, isn't it. Basically any word means, whatever a group of people decides/agrees it means.
  • + 6
 @JDugan:
I figured it was better than arguing about seat tube angles and shock lockouts for a change! Wink
  • + 1
 @sam264: it was definitely better than arguing about politics.
  • + 1
 @sam264: That it was. Now I'm up trying to figure out if I can incorporate oatmeal into pancakes, lightly cook some rolled oats add cinnamon and maple syrup, mix into pancake batter.
Ehhh, will probably turn out bad, but I gotta try.
  • + 6
 Sourpatch Watermellons FTW
  • + 2
 Maynards fuzzy peaches are my personal fave.
  • + 3
 Nice article. Thanks. I still think its easiest to throw peanuts and raisins in a plastic baggy. Real hard to beat for ease of prep, taste, and energy, and shelf life, and does not melt.
  • + 1
 My personal favorite is rice bars with cinnamon, roasted almonds and cream cheese.

It's quick to make (might need cooling overnight) and can be easily tuned into sweeter or savory snack to your preference. Also, it's not mouth-drying, and can be plenty nutritious.

It's from the Velochef (which is an awesome book) that I got for birthday 3
  • + 1
 Sounds like a great combo! I'll have to check out the Velochef cookbook - thanks!
  • + 5
 Biltong It will rock your world
  • + 3
 Biltong is the polar opposite of all of this, but given how much saucisson gets eaten mid ride in this country, I can't condemn you for it.
  • + 1
 I'm married to a girl from Zim so totally on board with this one Beer
  • + 2
 this makes zero sense from a performance standpoint. you want fat and protein outside of sports but not in between.
  • + 3
 @colincolin: Yes... but biltong makes me happy... Riding makes me happy... I want to be happy and these will make me happy... Plus biltong goes well with beer... Beer at the end of a ride?


Guess what...


...that makes me happy
  • + 1
 @Spark24: sounds like you‘re a happy guy. Went riding on a local pumptrack with a mate from ZA. No beers. Guess what? Still happy
  • + 5
 Pffft. Jaffa cakes. Food of champions!
  • + 3
 More articles on nutrition/fitness please. Doesn't even need to be fancy recipes, just want to know what people are eating out there in general.
  • + 4
 just eat animals and plants and you're gold
  • + 2
 Something I am curious about as well... More in the works! Let me know what kind of rider's nutrition you're most interested in.
  • + 1
 I eat granola bars, cliff gummies, bananas and sometimes pepperoni stuffed cheese bread sticks or baked goods for some extra boom on a long ride. I once took a sandwich on a really long ride but the ride got cut short and I never got to eat it. And those rice cakes are good.
  • + 2
 You can have your eco bird food. I'll stick with a snickers bar, beef sticks, chips and salsa, apples, oranges, water, and gator aid. After ride its beer and taco's.
  • + 4
 What about packaging these? Ideally in an environmentally friendly way.
  • + 2
 reusable plastic bag?
  • + 40
 Zip-loc bag used/cleaned carefully can be reused. If not a small tupperware tub. Or into an empty water bottle. Or ram it all down your fork steerer tube and push out the bottom using a One-up multi tool like a sausage making machine.
  • + 9
 Beeswax wraps.
  • + 5
 One Up makes a reusable Tupperware pedals now so you can stash tools or snacks.
  • + 1
 Corn husk? They’re biodegradable
  • + 1
 These recipes all look great. How long do you think they would last in a pack for a week long canoe trip? Would they be good to eat on day 4 or 5 during the summer without refrigeration?
  • + 3
 I've been wanting to do this for awhile. I'll give one of these recipes a try. Thanks.
  • + 1
 You're welcome! Let me know which one you try! Enjoy.
  • + 4
 Trailmix never lets me down
  • + 1
 Toss in a handful of sweet salty nuts and you're good to go!
  • + 1
 Never? I've definitely reached into a bag of trail mix before and gotten a sticky surprise. But maybe I'm a bit too liberal with the chocolate chips and yogurt-covered raisins!
  • + 2
 @sarahmoore: cmon Sarah, everyone knows it never gets above 0 degrees on this side of the Rockies
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy
www.ewg.org/childrenshealth/glyphosateincereal

Looks like farmers can bring crops to market faster by spraying fields with Round-up to accelerate the natural die off process. The oat industry is the biggest offender.
  • + 2
 @Squarejumper: Do you eat meat or consume dairy?
  • + 0
 If you are getting fat from riding your bike you are doing something very wrong & fast food American style is a problem that is easy to solve by not going there every day, that some people do not seem to understand, but riding bikes makes it easy too exercise & explore sitting down!
  • + 1
 candy and weed for less than 2ish hr rides, longer than 2 hr rides english muffins with nutella,peanut butter, banana slices, or honey/jam or some mixture of all that.. also more weed.. like lots more weed
  • + 4
 Chocolate spread and peanut butter sandwiches all the way.
  • + 2
 you know it!
  • + 3
 This is such a good combo. Pretty much a Reese's PB Cup in a sandwich!
  • + 4
 Sugar on trails...beer n burger after...cliche, simple but it works.
  • + 1
 I prefer a baggie full of 5 cent candies. Good for the quick fix and if I’m on a long ride I’ll through in an energy bar.
  • - 1
 So many food ,how many km and ascend do you folks ride and what average speed you do on that ride ?i can do a 80km ride with 1000/1200 meters ascend with an average speed of 17 km/h,and not even taking breakfast,but yes drinking water and sometimes stoping to fueling with a beer or two
  • + 3
 You ride outside?
  • - 2
 yes I do, always,I do not know anything else
  • + 3
 Thank you for not promoting the usual muck full of nasty ingredients.
  • + 2
 The key is just the right amount of endangered spotted Owl
  • + 2
 dried apricots. 25g carbs per serving, plus potassium.
  • + 2
 Magic mushrooms in woods?
  • + 2
 I like to grind my dried mushrooms in a "hand grinder" then mash em into date chews from the store, the dates don't upset my stomach and give me energy for the following 6 hours of not wanting to eat.
  • + 1
 Honey Stinger waffles, gels and chews. And a dark chocolate, almond butter crack bar back at the car!
  • + 2
 AWESOMENESS, been wanting to do this for a while
  • + 1
 ....there is no better joy than opening a melted Snickers bar on the trail, and having to lick it out of the wrapper.
  • + 1
 I make those protein balls. Use almond butter though. So good. Kids love them for snacks in their lunch too.
  • + 2
 Why do I gotta be allergic to peanuts and peanut butter? Frown
  • + 0
 You can sub in almond butter in any of the recipes if that works for you! Or any nut butter really.
  • + 2
 Doesn't anyone drink Badger Milk anymore? Or am I just old school?
  • + 1
 that looks surprisingly good
  • + 1
 I've done something similar with gram (chickpea) flour and a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe.
  • + 2
 The bacon and egg Skratch rice cakes are off the hook
  • + 3
 Make sure you eat them the same day tho! Ugh, learned that one the hard way!
  • + 1
 @skelldify: yes, absolutely made that same mistake
  • + 2
 @RyRy77: Same here. Either of you tried freezing them? Wondering if that would work.
  • + 2
 @drgnarswag: planning on going out and hitting this weekend, I’m going to knock out a batch and throw a few in the freezer . I’ll give ya a report
  • + 1
 The rice cakes are amazing. I eat them at a 12 hour race I do and they keep me alive.
  • + 2
 Peanut butter and honey sandwhiches!
  • + 2
 PB+honey+banana sandwiches!
  • + 2
 all these are great if you dont have a nut allergy, Epipen at the ready
  • + 1
 Rice cakes for the gluten-free, nut-free win!
  • + 2
 Way too much pesticides on you so called homemade snacks!
  • + 1
 But organic?
  • + 1
 Banana? Sandwich? Joint? The best snack is water, you can easily ride 4 hours without food, then lunch and repeat
  • + 1
 Beast Energy Cookies are so good and the caffeine boost it gives you helps riding all day!
  • + 3
 What about doughnuts...?
  • + 2
 I ll go for a triple cheeseburgers
  • + 1
 Flour Tortilla with Banana, Peanut butter and Jam (Jelly). Stolen from Seth's bike hacks.
  • + 5
 meh how is that better than a PBnJ sandwich. we're not astronauts after all
  • + 5
 Check out this pretentious set up. Roasted almond butter and fig jam with real blueberries lovingly cast upon it held fast between two slices of fresh country harvest bread.
  • + 1
 @rkstar: sounds like an m&s advert
  • + 1
 @dubod22: Funny. I had to search M&S. I always thought they were department store.
  • + 1
 @colincolin: speak for yourself
  • + 1
 I forgot,I ride a bike with dhf and dhr 2,30 maxxterra
  • + 1
 LOVE this article, more content like this!!
  • + 1
 Beer? I think you forgot to mention beer.
  • + 1
 nah, I prefer alec baldwin's Schweddy balls.
  • + 1
 Drink beer. Ride. Repeat.
  • + 1
 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp honey, mix with water. Simple energy boost.
  • + 2
 Hard to go wrong with maple syrup!
  • + 1
 @sarahmoore: Love it! I'm grabbing some coconut after work and making those energy balls! Realized I already have everything else on hand.
  • + 1
 hey sarah, will i see an increase in my "agileness"?
  • + 1
 Me staring at the 3rd photo: “space cake” Smile
  • + 1
 Peanut butter and banana bagels
  • + 1
 Kate's Bars are my go-to. They are now at REI! katesrealfood.com
  • + 1
 Bananas from Madeira island
  • + 1
 monstera deliciosa's fruit from Madeira island...3
  • + 1
 No mention of "Pete’s Shweddy Balls"
  • + 1
 All of the recipes forgot the cannabutter.
  • + 1
 Guinness Stout. Knock one back at the top .
  • + 2
 Ganja goo balls
  • + 1
 Giant dusty muffins
  • + 0
 Bananas are the perfect (and imo only) trail snack you need.
  • + 2
 They are a great trail snack, but their calorie to weight ratio isn't as good as bars and then there's the dreaded smoosh-factor... So good to have a couple other options in your ride food arsenal!
  • + 0
 Lärabars are bad enough already don't need to make then myself.

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