One would think that when biking in France you would never need to worry about food. That is true to some degree, unless you get caught between hours.
Breakfast in France is straightforward; coffee, baguette and sometimes les viennoiserie (croissants and pain au chocolate). Be aware that as the morning wears on, you are more likely to eat stale baguette, than the fancy pastries. This meal is not one that will keep the energy stores high for a long bike ride.
Lunch starts around 12:30 and runs until 2pm. However, typically the traditional (“non-tourist”) restaurants actually do not want to serve much beyond 1:30pm. Then again, do you seriously want to eat a multi-course meal before that next big hill on your bike? In theory, you could always stop at a boulangerie for a quick bite. Technically, yes but Ginger and Nutmeg have been caught numerous times in small villages where the bakery is closed at 12:30pm, until well into late afternoon.
This next fact will be surprising to remarkably few readers, Ginger and Nutmeg tend to operate at slightly different speeds. Nutmeg’s preference is an early start and finish. Ginger prefers the other end of the timescale. So the “compromise” usually falls right over the lunch hour. So what to do? Take supplies, just in case.
Nutmeg would like to share this recipe, which, is not remotely Française and certainly would be considered highly unappealing to any self-respecting French person. However, this simple no-bake combination is perfect for biking, hiking or other outdoor activities. These Sunflower Seed Balls are extremely easy to make, last for a long time, do not melt and they are healthy. The best part is you can alter the ingredients, to suit your taste. The version in the photo below included cranberries.
- 2 Cups Pitted Dates
- 16 oz Sunflower Seed Butter (you can use other nut butters)
- 2½ Cups Oat Flakes, quick cooking version
- ½ Cup Sunflower Seeds, unsalted and toasted
- 2-3 Tablespoons Boiling Water
- Put dates into a food processor with a few tablespoons of boiling water
- Blend until they turn into a paste
- Add sunflower seed butter and mix until smooth
- Transfer to a large bowl and add the oats, one cup at a time, mix well after each addition
- Form 2cm balls by rolling with your hands
- Place the balls on a plate and roll in the sunflower seeds to coat
- Cover and refrigerate
Fuel up, no biking in low gear!