Holiday Gift Ideas: Yummy Sports Foods

Gifts that money can't buy are often the nicest gifts: breakfast in bed, a special dessert, a nice dinner, a sweet treat. If you are looking for a simple, yet special, gift for your running buddy, teammate, or active friend, enjoy making one of these recipes for a sports food that will be sure to please any hungry athlete! The recipes are from my Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 4th Edition.


The pancakes are light and fluffy prizewinners, perfect for brunch after a hard workout, or breakfast in bed on a recovery day. For best results, let the batter stand for five minutes before cooking.


  • 1/2 cup uncooked oats (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, buttermilk (or milk mixed with 1/2 tsp vinegar)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon oil, preferably canola
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, as desired
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour, preferably half whole-wheat and half white
  • Optional: dash cinnamon


  • In a medium bowl, combine the oats, yogurt, and milk. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to let the oatmeal soften.
  • When the oatmeal is through soaking, beat in the egg and oil and mix well. Add the sugar, salt (and cinnamon). Stir the baking powder into the flour; then add and stir until just moistened.
  • Heat a lightly oiled or nonstick griddle over medium-high heat.
  • For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Turn when the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked. Turn only once.
  • Serve with syrup, honey, applesauce, yogurt, or other topping of your choice.

Yield: Six 6-inch pancakes                    
Total calories: 1,000
Calories/serving (2 pancakes): 330       
57 g Carb; 10 g Pro; 7 g Fat


Who doesn't enjoy a ready-made dinner that won't expand the waistline?! Here's a pleasing pasta meal that is low in fat yet rich in flavor. For added color and nutrition, top the pasta with diced tomatoes, peppers, steamed broccoli, or other colorful vegetables.


  • 8 oz. pasta, such as corkscrew, penne or shells
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese, preferably lowfat
  • 1 cup milk, preferably skim or lowfat
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, cut in pieces (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, as desired
  • Optional: 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, dash of chili pepper


  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  • In a blender or food processor, process cottage cheese, milk and garlic until smooth.
  • Add flour, lemon juice, basil, mustard, salt, pepper (and chili pepper if desired); process until well blended.
  • Pour into a saucepan; (add the parmesan cheese); cook over medium heat until thickened. Do not boil.
  • Mix into the noodles; serve with colorful veggies; enjoy!

Yield: 3 servings                                      
Total calories: 1200
Calories per serving: 400                          
70 g Carb; 25 g Pro; 2 g Fat

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