Fuelling cycling on a vegan diet

05 August 2022

Blogs

Good nutrition is one of the most important pillars of a healthy life, especially when it comes to training. It plays a huge part in enabling effective recovery and also in fuelling performance.

Liv Ambassador and adventure advocate, Laura Kennington, has packed this blog post full of tasty and healthy vegan recipes that she turns to when fueling her cycling trips!

Breakfast:

 ● Overnight oats

This couldn’t be easier and it’s often my standard breakfast for when I’m away from home, too  (I use ready made cartons of soya milk when travelling as they don’t need to be refrigerated).

Ingredients: 40g of oats, 20g of vegan protein powder, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed, non-dairy milk. I’ll often also add a chopped banana/strawberries/blueberries to this and drizzle over some maple syrup in the morning!

Method: Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add just around ½ cup of non-dairy milk. Enough to soak through but not so much that it’s overly runny! You can always add more the next morning to mix through.

Comfort food/carb-loading:

 ● Vegan Carbonara 

I love pesto pasta as much as the next person but this is my go-to recipe for when I want to have something creamier. Works with most vegetables and although I generally avoid overly processed meat substitutes, this is nice with vegan bacon sometimes, too!  I generally make enough to serve 2 (either sharing with someone else or I have leftovers for lunch the next day!)

Ingredients: 180g pasta (I use tagliatelle), 200g sliced mushrooms, 1 leek, 1 clove of garlic, 80g of vegan bacon, and a generous handful of kale. For the sauce: 1 large tablespoon of flour, 1 large tablespoon of vegan butter and 200ml of non-dairy milk. 30g of vegan cheese, grated.

Method: Cook the pasta, drain and put to one side.  Add the butter and flour to the pot and slowly cook together until it’s a paste - then add in the milk and gently simmer until all mixed through. From there, I add in the other ingredients and cook on a low heat until the vegan bacon/vegetables are cooked. Stir in the pasta and serve with salt and pepper to taste!

On the bike:

 ● Baked Oat Cookies

Although for longer efforts I’ll often include some liquid calories, for shorter training rides I try to stick to “proper” food on my bike as much as possible. I find that gels really don’t agree with me and that I also quickly tire of sweets, really craving some decent nutrition instead. These oat cookies are incredibly easy to make and work a treat!

Ingredients (makes 6): 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1–2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, 1–2 tbsp cacao powder, 1/3 cup of plant milk (I use oat)

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 190º. Mash the banana and mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Spoon the mixture on to a baking tray covered in baking paper. Ready in about 15 minutes!

For after training:

 ● Tofu scramble

An alternative to scrambled eggs, this was one of the first meals that became a staple for me when I first turned vegan in 2004. Again, very simple to make but also provides a decent serving of protein - important for muscle recovery. You can use any vegetables you have for this so it’s great for when you need to use up any odd bits in your fridge, too!

Ingredients: Whatever vegetables you have (aubergine, courgettes, red/yellow peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn, spinach are often included in mine!) 200g firm tofu (i.e. roughly half a pack of Cauldron tofu) - drained/squeezed to get rid of the excess water, bread, vegan spread, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1-2 cloves of garlic. I sometimes throw in some other herbs to mix it up and if you have any leftover stuffing mix then sprinkling a bit of that in can add some nice flavour, too. The key to getting tofu to taste nice is to realise that it soaks up seasonings/flavours like a sponge! Optional: Nutritional Yeast flakes to sprinkle on top.

Method: Fry up the veggies (alternatively I often cook mine in a little bit of water and bouillon stock powder), crumble in the tofu using your fingers to break it up, add the turmeric/spices and simmer. Serve on toasted bread. Great with added guacamole, too!

Now, who’s hungry?! We hope you enjoyed reading all about these delicious vegan meals and snacks. If you do decide to make some of these, please do take some snaps and tag us and Laura in your uploads!

Laura Kennington is a British adventure athlete, author and speaker with a passion for the endurance capability of the human body. A strong believer in the positive impact that adventure and sport can have on children and adults alike, Laura uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and encourage others to get outside.

Website: www.laurakairos.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/laurakairos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/laurakairos

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kairoslaura

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LauraKennington

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