Last week I announced my “kinda like the Julie and Julia project, but different” contest and asked for creative names for my new project. Thanks to Christine and Matt Frazier for writing Fuel Your Run the Tarahumara Way, I am cooking my way through chia and pinole recipes and getting insight from friends and family about what they think of the results.
You came to me with more than 20 comments and 30 suggestions. It was so fun and inspiring to see your ideas. In the end, The Chia Chronicles were born.
I’ve got two camps taste testing recipes. The insiders and the outsiders. The insiders include anyone who is related to me, and may potentially be swayed by my reactions. This week, that includes my husband, who cycles 50 miles “for fun” and races cyclocross. The outsiders are friends that won’t see me working hard to cook and blend, and they don’t care about pleasing me! For today’s review, the outsiders are a good friend and her group of firefighter friends, who run 50 mile unsanctioned races through the Wasatch mountains (at night). Please remember that the purpose of The Chia Chronicles is not to make health claims, or tell you that you will run faster or be lighter by eating chia seeds. The purpose is to have fun, get to know The No Meat Athlete a little better, and just enjoy.
I made the muffins first because they are most like cupcakes, and I love cupcakes. As I mixed the ingredients, I thought about adding a cup of sugar to the recipe, and then remembered that I was cooking for good energy, not a sugar induced stupor. It took me less than 10 minutes to get the recipe together and another 12 for the muffins to come out of the oven.
- Husband: (eating one right out of the oven): not very sweet but they are “ok” (not really a raving endorsement) I really like them warm with earth balance.
- Me: I think they are great, could be sweeter, but then it would be a cupcake.
- Husband: (end of day) usually I am really tired after a 40 or 50 mile ride, but I have had good energy all day even after riding this morning. (superfood or superhuman?!)
- Friend & Firefighters: (via text) wanted to let u know, we ate muffins before run last night. We had so much energy…we were one with the Tarahumara. (and then, the friend begged me for the recipe)
Buckwheat Pionole Panckaes
The pancakes were very easy to make and smelled so good while they were cooking. I did have a hard time getting them to cook evenly, but I think that was because I don’t have a great pan. You need to have really even heat to make these cook properly. The recipe called for honey or agave nectar, and I used honey. Between the honey, applesauce and vanilla, these cakes were sweet, but not bring you up so you will come crashing down sweet.
- Daughter: (not on the review panel but does venture into the test kitchen): why do they look just like the muffins but flat?
- Me: I love, love, love these pancakes with pure maple syrup. I ate three and never felt really full or had a sugar low, like I do with regular white flour pancakes.
- Husband: (shook his head when I put the first round on the table) This is definitely better than your “green juice” phase. (it wasn’t a phase, I just hate to clutter up the counter with the big clunky juicer). Wow, these taste pretty good. (and then he ate 4, which screams success)
Note: Friend and firefighters did not get to try these. They will likely only try the recipes that travel well.
I might make the muffins again, and the pancakes will be a regular addition to my recipe repertoire. In addition to these recipe reviews, I promised more from my interview with Matt Frazier, the No Meat Athlete. Because I am really new to running, I asked him what advice he had for new runners like me. He said:
“Go slow but take a lot of steps. Run at a pace that’s way slower than what you think you’re capable of while your new, and you’ll avoid injury and probably realize that you don’t hate running quite as much as you thought you did. There’s no rule that says you have to run as fast as you’re capable of running for a given distance. But turn your feet over quickly—shoot for around 180 steps (90 each leg) per minute. It seems really fast at first, but you can get used to it. This is the turnover rate that most top runners have, and by shortening your stride you’ll force yourself to run more like you would if you were running barefoot.”
My brain isn’t really registering how I will run slow, but turn my feet over quickly. I am going to give it go Saturday morning, but I don’t get it. (yet). Matt, I might be calling for help!
I am looking forward to bringing you more reviews. There are a few recipes that call for raisins, which is the one non-meat food that I cannot even think about eating. I know I sound like a big baby, but raisins really gross me out. The flavor, the texture, all of it! I’m not sure how I am going to get through it, but I made a commitment and I am going to stick with it!! Stay tuned for creative substitutions.
If you purchase Fuel Your Run the Tarahumara Way, ($11.95) please weigh in with your book and recipe reviews along with any health or fitness benefits you experience! Congratulations to RD for coming up with such a creative name for my project. I will be sending you a copy of Fuel Your Run the Tarahumara Way.