Holiday Gift Ideas: Yummy Sports Foods


This prizewinning recipe, courtesy of the Peanut Institute, offers a yummy alternative to commercial energy bars. They are perfect for hikers and bikers, as well as for a satisfying afternoon snack. They are relatively high in fat--but it's healthful fat from peanuts and sunflower seeds.

For variety, you can make this recipe with cashews and cashew butter, and/or add a variety of dried fruits (cranberries, cherries).


  • 1/2 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels (or more peanuts/other nuts)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 2 cups uncooked oatmeal, old-fashioned or instant
  • 2 cups toasted rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, crunchy or creamy
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla             
  • Optional: 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ


  • In a large bowl, mix the peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, oat-
    meal, and toasted rice cereal (and wheat germ). Set aside.
  • In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and stir until blended.
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients; mix well.
  • For squares, spoon the mixture into an 8"x 8" pan coated with cooking spray; for bars spoon it into a 9" x 13" pan. Press down firmly. (It helps to coat your fingers with oil or cooking spray.)
  • Let stand for about an hour, then cut into squares or bars.

Yield: 16 squares or bars                           
Total calories: 3,600
Calories per serving: 225                           
30 g Carb; 6 g Pro; 9 g Fat


This brownie pudding is a low-fat yet tasty treat for those who want a chocolate-fix. It forms its own sauce during baking. If you need to rationalize eating chocolate, remember it does contain some health-protective phytochemicals...


  • 1 cup flour, preferably half white, half whole-wheat
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dry cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably canola
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dry cocoa
  • 1-3/4 cups hot water                   
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350? F.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt; add the milk, oil, and vanilla (and nuts). Mix until smooth.
  • Pour into an 8" x  8" square pan that is lightly oiled.
  • Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, and hot water. Gently pour this mixture on top of the batter in the pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Yield: 9 servings                                        
Total calories: 2,100
Calories per serving: 230                           
46 g Carb; 3 g Pro; 4 g Fat

Nancy Clark MS, RD counsels casual exercisers and competitive athletes at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill, MA (617-383-6100). Her NEW 2008 Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook 4th Edition, and her Food Guide for Marathoners and Cyclist's Food Guide are available via 

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD  Nov 2009

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