Onigiri Endurance Booster

Onigiri are a great, easy and healthy snack for athletes and especially good for endurance sports. They are popular among many ultra athletes and provide easily portable and digestible energy for long days out on the track.

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Onigiri are very common as a lunch or snack in the Asian countries. The main ingredient is rice, so there is lots of easily digestible carbs. Onigiri are eaten cold which means the rice has a greater resistant starch content. Warming and then cooling has this effect on rice’s nutrition profile. Resistant starch helps you to maintain your fluid balance during exercise as it gives your body a sort of a extra reserve of water and electrolytes. It is also one of the rare prebiotic fibers that is tolerable for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or have a sensitive stomach.

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Plain onigiri are just rice and seaweed, but to make them even more interesting we make onigiri with fillings. By changing the choice of filling you can play with different flavors and add protein, fiber and fats to meet your needs. The seaweed wrapping is a package of many nutrients; Seaweed contains protein, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals and vitamins. It also contains lots of long chain n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are highly under consumed among vegan athletes and an important factor in the diet.

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Here we provide recipes for two different variations of onigiri; one with tofu and avocado filling and one fried version with sweet potato purée inside. Both recipes are vegan, gluten free and contain low FODMAP ingredients.

Onigiri in two ways

For the base

  • 4 dl sushi or porridge rice

  • 6 dl water

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Nori seaweed for handle

For avocado filling

  • 1 avocado

  • ¼ tsp wasabi

  • 2 tbsp soya sauce

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

  • 1 block of tofu

  • 1 tbsp soya sauce and 1 tbsp oil for frying the tofu

For the sweet potato filling

  • 1 sweet potato

  • 1 tbsp soya sauce + extra soya sauce for frying

  • Oil for frying if needed

Start by cooking the rice according to the instructions. Then when ready, add vinegar, sugar and salt. Set the rice aside to cool while preparing the onigiri fillings. Wrap your tofu in a paper towel and place under a weight to dry. In a bowl mix together avocado, soya sauce, wasabi paste, lemon juice and vegan mayonnaise. Slice the tofu and fry in oil and soya sauce until golden and crispy. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes and boil in a pot until soft. Smash the sweet potatoes into a puré and flavor with soya sauce.

To assemble the onigiri take plastic foil on the palm of your hand and take 2 tablespoons of rice and form to a cup. Place ½ tablespoon of avocado spread and a slice of tofu on the rice cup and add more rice until the spread is hidden. Form into a triangle using your hands with the help of the plastic foil. Unwrap from the plastic and add a piece of seaweed for a handle!

For the sweet potato version place ½ tablespoon of the sweet potato puré on the rice cup, add more rice and form into a triangle. Then place the onigiri in a pan and fry until the rice has a golden color. When the onigiri are almost done add soya sauce for more flavor. Add a seaweed handle if needed.

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Average nutritional value for avocado version

per 100 g

Energy 261 kJ / 62 kcal

Fats 5 g

Of which saturated 0 g

Carbohydrates 4 g

Of which sugars 4 g

Dietary fiber 1 g

Protein 1 g


Average nutritional value for sweet potato version

per 100 g

Energy 160 kJ / 38 kcal

Fats 1 g

Of which saturated 0 g

Carbohydrates 7 g

Of which sugars 5 g

Dietary fiber 0 g

Protein 0 g

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Spicy Carrot Granola

This low FODMAP, gluten free and vegan granola is a great add on to after-workout protein smoothie.

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Breakfast is widely considered the most important meal of the day and the thing that can kickstart your day in the right direction. What you choose to eat first thing in the morning plays a great deal in whether you have enough energy to keep going all day. Granola, the chunkier and richer version of muesli, is one of our favorite choices for the breakfast table. It contains lots of different healthy ingredients and combining it with a source of protein like soya yogurt, guarantees that you will stay full and moving wherever the day will take you.

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Our version of granola reminds your taste buds of carrot cake, imitating the flavor with sweetness from banana, carrot and maple syrup and a cozy combination of different spices. Toasted oats and nuts give it a nice crunchy texture. Carrots have aromatic compounds that are also found in ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. The flavors support and enhance each other and work well together! What would be a better way to kick in the new day?

It goes great plain with different plant yogurts or milks but we like to combine it with toppings like fruits, a favorite nut butter, flaxseed powder, cranberries or raisins for a more varied breakfast. Did you know that flaxseed powder is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and lingan for vegans, contains protein, vitamins, minerals and adds great fiber to your diet? You can find out more about important nutrients in vegan athlete diet here

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Our carrot-granola is also a great topping for smoothie bowls for example after a training session for a full package of fulfilling ingredients. We especially like the combination of lingonberry-protein-smoothie with this granola.

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Spicy carrot granola

Vegan, gluten free and low FODMAP.

Makes one tray.

  • 4 dl rolled oats

  • 1 banana smashed

  • 1 big carrot grated

  • 100 g walnuts

  • 2 tbls maple syrup

  • 2 tbls oil

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp cardamom

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • 2 cm cube of fresh ginger grated

Start by peeling and grating the carrot and ginger. Smash the banana and coarsely chop the walnuts. Add to a bowl and mix in the rolled oats, oil, maple syrup and spices. Spread on a baking tray and bake in the oven in 200C for 20-25 minutes stirring every 5 or 10 minutes so that the granola cooks evenly. It is ready when golden and crispy. Let cool and dry on the baking tray before moving to an airtight container.

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Average nutritional value per 100 g

  • Energy 1456 kJ; 344 kcal

  • Fats 18 g, of which saturated 2 g

  • Carbohydrates 35 g, of which sugars 9 g

  • Dietary fiber 6 g

  • Protein 9 g

Low FODMAP Banana Bread

Looking for a performance enhancing, delicious snack? Our banana bread is just the thing for you! This recipe is vegan, gluten free and tummy friendly, containing only low-FODMAP ingredients.

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Banana bread has been my favourite snack ever since childhood. This recipe has been modified, tested and changed many times over the years and this recipe was originally inspired by My New Roots. It is a balanced combination of healthy, nutritious ingredients and a cozy taste of sweetness and spices. It contains lots of bananas to give it a tender and moist structure and a deep flavour. This banana bread is so delicious that it could be served as a dessert, but it has great nutrition for athletes as well. It contains many health beneficial and performance boosting ingredients.

When eating banana bread (or any form of bananas really) before a longer race or training session, it pays off to choose unripe bananas. These greenish ones are not so commonly used in baking, but they contain resistant starch which can be of benefit in long bouts. Resistant starch helps you to maintain your fluid balance by storing water and electrolytes in your large intestine. This way you have a “secret” water reserve to keep your body hydrated during exercise.

Resistant starch also acts as a prebiotic in your gut releasing beneficial short chain fatty acids which promote a healthy colon. Unlike most prebiotics, resistant starch is well tolerated as it is slowly fermented over time. The gradual release of gas does not result in bloating and discomfort as with FODMAPs. Also, unripe bananas have a lower fructose level than ripe ones. Read more about resistant starch in here and here.

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Unripe bananas and oat flour contain good carbohydrates and fiber which give you energy and keep your gut healthy. Maple syrup has a FODMAP-safe sugar profile having more glucose than fructose. It is also a mineral rich sweetener choice and has flavour that balances out the chalkiness of the bananas. Nuts and nut butter add healthy fats and protein along with some texture to the bread. Cinnamon and ginger have compounds that play a role in inhibiting unwanted muscle contractions and cramps during exercise. So these spices are a great add on to fuels during a race or exercise. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols which decrease the oxidative stress in the body and increase the nitric oxide activity in the body which is believed to have a beneficial effect on athletic performance. But hey - most of all it is a sure-shot taste combination with bananas!

We have enjoyed this banana bread before, during or after training sessions. Wherever the path takes us, banana bread surely will give a yummy energy boost when it is needed. Also, with a cup of sleepy infusion tea, banana bread is a great late snack before going to bed.

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Banana bread (vegan, gluten free, low-FODMAP)

Makes 1 loaf

  • 5 unripe bananas

  • 6 tablespoon canola, coconut or rapeseed oil

  • 6 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/2dl plant milk

  • 5dl wheat free flour (we use a gluten free mixture of oat and potato flour)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate

  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Additional:

  • 100g dark chocolate chopped

  • 1dl raisins

  • 1dl chopped walnuts

  • 1dl blueberries

  • peanut butter or almond butter to swirl on the top or spread on the bread

  • 1 banana for decoration

Start by mixing bananas, oil, maple syrup and plant milk in a blender until smooth. (If you don’t have a blender, you can smash the bananas with a fork and combine together with your wet ingredients).

In another bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and combine until all is mixed together well. Add the chocolate, chopped nuts, raisins, nut butter and/or blueberries according to taste. For decoration slice one banana in half lengthwise and place on top of the bread.

Bake in a bread or cake form at 180C for 30-60 minutes checking regularly until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!

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Average nutritional value per 100 g

Energy 779 kJ, kcal 184

Fats 6 g, of which saturated 0 g

Carbohydrates 30 g, of which sugars 8 g

Dietary fiber 2 g

Protein 3 g