The Boilermaker is coming up this weekend…the most wonderful road race of all time in my book. A 15k on the hottest, most humid, blessed day of the year, packed to the gills with runners and spectators, ending with a kick-butt post-race party at the Saranac Brewery in Utica, New York. Where I grew up, it is sort of a big deal…like, the biggest deal. It is the race I go back to again and again, no matter how hard it is or how much I curse it during the hills, the heat, or the last mile (which is the worst part of all, I think).
The miles have been adding up the past couple of weeks, which means the hunger has too. So this week I made these awesome trail mix bars, which we have referred to as marathon bars, post run bars, granola bars, or just awesome bars. My mother made them for me a few years back when I was training for my first half-marathon. We have been making them ever since when the runs get long.
These are packed full of all kinds of goodies to fill the void right after a long run…some sugar, some carb, some protein, some fat and other good-for-you things. And they wash down fabulously with ice cold water. Or coffee.
Post Run Fuel (aka Trail Mix Bars)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped almonds
3/4 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the edges.
In a medium bowl, mix the butter, honey, and lemon juice until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oats, and wheat germ. Stir into the honey mixture. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas and remaining dry ingredients, stirring until well blended and all of the dry ingredients are coated. Spread over the crust in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or freeze for later enjoyment.
Consume immediately after your workout with lots of water. Then, after you have stretched, top it off with an ice cold beer…icing it from the inside. Yes.
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