We live on a canal, well more on the edge of a canal, on land, not actually in it…..and I love to sit outside just watching and listening to life over on the other side. The footpath across the water is pretty busy and these days the majority of traffic seems to be runners. I reckon a runner flies past every 5 minutes, some huffing and puffing, others lightly gliding and many in groups chatting loudly. I love watching and whenever I see them I alway get a pang of jealousy that it’s not me running along, even if I’ve ran that day! Is this weird? I thought this was a normal feeling that all runner’s experience! I just truly love running, actually we have a love and hate relationship but there’s way more loving than hating.
So these simple corn and chia based bars are a celebration of my morning jog in the form of a pre-run energy boost. Because…….apparently, chia will boost my performance so naturally I’m in. I believe anything plant based will increase both performance and recovery but I do love a good theory and there does seem to be some interesting chia data out there. So, chia seeds = faster running, increased stamina+ quicker recovery times. Good job I love these little treasures.
I first read about the running and chia connection in the book ‘Born to Run‘, which runner or not is a fascinating insight into the Tarahumara tribe and the powerful effects of food on performance, specifically chia seeds – a runner’s good friend. The Tarahumara people from northwestern part of Mexico are famous for their impressive long distance running abilities and chia seeds mainly in a liquid form formed a significant part of their diets. To me this is bigger than ‘running and chia seeds’ but highlights more generally just how powerful food can be and what a radical effect it can have on our performance and day to day wellbeing. It was ‘Born to Run’ that first spiked my interest in chia and how plant food in general could in fact help me perform better – aka, a sub 3 marathon. Shame this was after I’d run a couple of marathons…….but now i’m kinda tempted to run another as part of my plant food effects on running performance curiosity. An experiment of sorts.
Well maybe but you don’t need to be a runner to enjoy some good, clean plant powered snackage so in the meantime i’ll enjoy these gluten free, dairy free, chia studded energy bars inspired by No Meat Athlete’s pinole recipe. They have a soft and bendy texture that and holds together well in a chia + corn bar sandwich, definitely good snacking material for when you’re on the go.
Chia + corn bars are the perfect canvas for nut butters, jams, fruit or dipped in sticky syrup. Great as post or pre workout fuel for some light but nutritious energy.
Chia + corn bars
1 cup organic corn meal
1/3 cup chia seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple syrup /agave
Water (enough to create an oatmeal consistency)
1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC. Toast the cornmeal for 10 minutes until fragrant. Combine with the chia, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup. Add the water until an oatmeal consistency is achieved.
2. Pour into a greased 8″ x 12″ baking tin and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Slice and store for up to a week. Top with copious amounts of nut butter.