Nutrition: Cycling Puddings

Puddings are a treat, right? Well we all need a bit of a treat sometimes, and sometimes those treats can actually do us and our cycling good.

The four puddings below are examples of these; they all have different merits and nutritional benefits.


Full of low GI oats and with a good portion of fruit per serving, crumble ticks more than one box as a healthy dessert; ideal for replacing lost calories after a long ride, or topping up the carbo-loading pre-ride.

Recipe (Serves 6):
Fruit e.g. cooking apples (peeled, cored and cut into 2cm slices); cooking apples and blackberries; rhubarb (cut into 2cm chunks); gooseberries; plums (stoned and halved); pears (in 2cm slices); blackcurrants
100g jumbo oats
100g plain flour
100g butter, softened and cut into small chunks
100g Demerara sugar

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
2. If the fruit is fresh rather than frozen/from a jar or tin, bring to the boil in a centimetre of water and simmer for a couple of minutes, then drain. Spoon into a heatproof dish. If frozen, leave to thaw at room temperature.
3. Ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, extra sugar and sultanas/raisins can be added if you like, depending on the fruit – nutmeg and sultanas go well with apples; cinnamon with apples or plums; ginger with rhubarb, gooseberries or pears.
4. Crumble the oats, flour, butter and sugar between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Spread over the top of the fruit.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
6. Serve warm or cold with custard, cream or ice-cream.
The crumble will keep in the fridge or in a cool place for 2 days or so. It can also be frozen.

Bread and Butter Pudding

High energy, high fruit and high protein. Again a great pudding for recovery or carbo-loading, it contains simple carbohydrates that are easy on the stomach pre-race and to add to that it's got plenty of the super-liquid included that is milk!


Possible variations:
- Instead of 50 sultanas: 25g sultanas, 25g raisins
- Instead of whole milk: semi-skimmed milk
- Instead of cinnamon and nutmeg: one vanilla pod/few drops vanilla extract. If vanilla pod is used, place in the pan with the milk and cream

For a hot cross bun pudding: Steps 1, 2 and 3 as above. Add 3 eggs to half a pint of milk, whisk, and pour over the bread layers. Sprinkle with nutmeg (no need to add sugar or to leave to stand). Bake as above. 

French Toast

A tasty carbohydrate rich pudding, relatively low in fat, and with the benefits of anti-oxidants from the berries in the compote or jam.


You could add a few drops of vanilla extract or cinnamon when frying the brioche, and it could be served with vanilla ice cream or custard. Instead of raspberries, you could use some or a mixture of strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, tayberries, loganberries, blackberries, cherries and blueberries. Stewed apricots or plums also possible.
If necessary, add a bit of sugar to the fruit. The jam works best if it has a high fruit content and is not too set. Blueberry or strawberry jam could be used instead of raspberry.

Or you could make a compote:
100g fruit, 1 tbsp caster sugar, squeeze of lemon juice.
Heat gently in a pan until the fruit starts to burst, then simmer for 2 minutes.

Other types of French toast:

Summer Pudding

Simple carbohydrates and berries again make this a great pud for a cyclist; ideal pre-race to keep the sugar levels high.


Possible variations: Instead of a large basin, small moulds can be used.
These fruits can also be used: tayberries, loganberries, blackcurrants, cherries, blueberries.
Serve with whipped or clotted cream.


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