You guys!! I ran my goal half marathon for the year and only took one lousy picture…
I had such a great race! I kind of surprised myself because I wasn’t feeling super great the week leading up to the race, my legs just felt heavy, I was super nervous, and we got a bunch a rain the day before (the race was on trail). But the weather turned out to be perfect, I fueled properly, and my legs felt great!
Now that my goal race is over, I am planning on keeping up with my mileage to do the Denver Rock n’ Roll half marathon on October 19th to see if I can do a road half in under 2 hours. This weekend I ran 10 miles in Redstone Canyon, and I plan to do a 3 week build from 12 to 14 miles before tapering until the race.
All this running has me thinking a lot about carbohydrates. With all the hype around low-carb and Paleo diets it is important to remind ourselves that carbohydrates are the primary, most efficient fuel source for our brain and muscles. For optimum performance and recovery it is important for athletes to consume a diet rich in carbohydrates primarily from sources such as grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, and legumes. However, if you are concerned about your carbohydrate intake or interested in losing weight, being strategic about when you choose to eat your carbohydrates may still allow you to achieve your goals while still fueling your workouts.
I like baked goods (who doesn’t?!), but the flour, sugar, and fat content makes them something that should be enjoyed occasionally and in moderation. However, strategically eating them around workouts that last longer than an hour can allow us to have them more often. With that in mind, when I made this zucchini bread, I kept the sugar, cut about half the fat, and used unbleached all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat…making it an excellent high carbohydrate, low fat, and low fiber snack for before/during/after a long workout.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 50-60 minutes | Total time: 60-70 minutes
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
3 cups (360 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 g) canola oil
1/3 cup (81 g) unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9”x5” bread pan lightly with spray oil.
- Wrap shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out excess water over the sink. Place towel and zucchini over a bowl to rest until ready to use.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined, batter may be thick. Gently fold in zucchini and walnuts (if using). Transfer to bread pan.
- Bake 50-60 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the bread pan then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Keep in a sealed container on the counter for about 2 days, in the fridge for about 7 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
Tip: Freeze leftovers in slices or as a whole loaf. Pull slices out about 30 minutes before ready to eat (or heat for 10-20 seconds at a time in a microwave until warm) for a quick snack.
If you freeze the loaf in slices, pull one out before your workout and bring it with you. It should be nice and defrosted by the time you are done and ready to devour it…like I did on the drive home from my 10 mile run…
What is your favorite baked good?