Friday, June 22, 2012

Runner's Bread

I've run three marathons.  Mind you, this sounds like I'm a stud.  I am not.  I don't run fast.  I do a run-walk the whole time and usually complete a marathon in around 5 hours.   Still, finishing my first marathon was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.  I always remember the feeling I had as I crossed the finish line.  I was so impressed with myself and so happy that it was OVER.  I felt like, if I could do that, I could do anything.  I know a lot of people say that but they say it because it's true.

One thing that people who run marathons know is that, when you are training it is as much about running as it is about food.  When you are running for 5 hours, you get hungry.  You burn massive amounts of calories and you loose electrolytes as much as you sweat.  Before any run, I eat toast and peanut butter with sliced banana, a cup of coffee (which I know is not good, thank you) and a big fat bottle of water.  Most runners actually eat while they run.  It's totally counter intuitive to the old adage that was drilled into us as kids to "wait 20 minutes after eating before you exercise."  But when you run a marathon you have to learn to eat while exercising.  I eat a power bar, 2 goos, a banana, pretzels and anything else, my family and friends bring along the way.  When I am done with a run, I want to get something in my body right away.  I always crave savory foods after a long run, like a chicken sandwich and of course a ton of fluids.

In between marathon day and the beginning of training, there are a lot of medium runs.  I like those runs the best.  They are work but without the extreme physical burden of race day.  My favorite of these runs is the 7 mile run.  This is because I live 7 miles from the beach.  There is a bike path that takes you down to the ocean along the Ballona Creek (which, thanks to the army corps of engineers, is now a huge concrete drainage basin).  At no point do you cross traffic just the occasional cyclist, so it is the perfect 7 mile run for me.  When I get down to the ocean, it's so rewarding.  The marina opens up and the ocean breeze rushes in, cooling me off and telling me that I am almost done.

I haven't run a marathon in 4 years.  I remember asking The Husband (when he was still The Boyfriend) if he would wake up early on a Sunday morning to pick me up at the beach after one of my runs.  It was sort of a litmus test for our early relationship, and of course it worked out just fine.  I would ask him to pick me up in the little town of Playa Del Rey at a coffee shop where I finished my runs.  I would stretch and go inside for a huge glass of ice water and a muffin.  They served these insane muffins there that I called "Everything Muffins" because they seemed to have every kind of fruit, veg and nut inside them that you could imagine.  They were so hearty and delicious that I remember feeling like no muffin had ever been more delicious that they were.  Of course, endorphins will do that to you but still they were pretty damn good.

I have been thinking about training for a half marathon recently maybe in the fall and I thought that I would attempt to recreate the Everything Muffin on my own.  Also, I have a surplus of zucchini in my garden and it's a good way to use them up.

I've modified a few recipes to create this one.  Muffins seem fussy to me unless I'm cooking for a party so I made bread.  The bread is very hearty and dense.  It's more "healthy" than the original Everything Muffin.  If you wanted to add 1/4 cup more sugar and use white flour instead of white/wheat they would probably be more like the original.  And I'm sure it would be even better with cream cheese frosting but that's more like cake at that point.  Here is the version that I like.  It's good for an every day breakfast or for an post-run recovery snack.

Runners Bread

3 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 t Salt
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
3 t Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Milled Flax (I have one with dried blueberries from Trader Joes that I like)
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut (I used unsweetened but it doesn't matter either way)
1/2 nuts (I prefer walnuts but used almonds because that is what I had)
3 eggs
1 Cup Grape Seed Oil
2 t Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cup Turbinado Sugar
1 Heaping Cup Grated Zucchini
1 Heaping Cup Grated Carrots
1/2 Cup Yellow Raisins

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,  flax, coconut and nuts and set aside.  Then in a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar whisk together.  Add zucchini, carrots and raisins to wet mixture.  Add dry ingredients to wet.  But into a parchment lined bread pan and bake on 350 degrees for about an hour.

White whole wheat is a great substitute for regular white flour.  You usually don't have to modify the recipe like you do with whole wheat flour and you still get some fiber.
Combine dry ingredients.  My dry ingredients included flax seeds with dried blueberries.  I bought it on accident and it was a great mistake.
Oil and eggs.
Add vanilla and sugar.
Add in the vegetables and then the dry ingredients.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Fill loaf pan with batter.  Slam down on the counter a few times to get the parchment in it's proper place.
Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees.  Use the ole toothpick test because it can take as little as 50 minutes depending on the oven.
Enjoy (with or without the run).

No comments:

Post a Comment