Let me be clear, I'm no baker. I don't do breads, cakes, pastries or pies. That whole genre of cooking is just not my forte.
Still, I'm always on the hunt for alternative snacks that can be used both on and off the bike.
My criteria - easy, time-efficient , tasty, nutritional, good balance of macronutrients and savoury. After all, we've usually got sweet covered.
Oh and It needs to hold its form wrapped in foil in a back pocket or handed out of a crew car into a sweaty hand.
These mini muffins tick all the boxes which makes this non-baker relieved to have one more bite-sized, savoury option that works equally well on 2-wheels as well as on 2-feet.
Savoury Mini Muffins (serves 12)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and diced into small pieces
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds (optional)
3-4 rashers smoked bacon, grilled to crispy and crumbled
300g wholemeal self raising flour
1tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
(feel free to alter ingredients to suit taste - you could try grated cheese and 1 tsp mixed herbs)
Preheat the oven to 180º fan/200ºC/400ºF and oil a 12-hole shallow muffin tray or use parchment paper/paper cases.
Grill the bacon rashers and set aside to cool. Crumble.
Saute the red pepper over medium heat for 4-5 mins. Add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds for a minute or two. Add the crumbled bacon for the final minute.
Combine milk, egg and 2 tbsp of oil in a bowl and whisk.
In a second bowl, combine flour, smoked paprika and salt.
Add the red pepper, nuts and bacon to the bowl with milk, eggs and oil. Stir to distribute.
Gently fold this mixture into the flour mixture. Take care not to overwork it. Fold only as much as is necessary to thoroughly mix the batter.
Spoon into muffin tin. Sprinkle with extra seeds, bacon bits or grated cheese and bake for about 20 mins until browned on top or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
They are fantastic on the bike providing much needed healthy fats, complex carbs and electrolytes. Just wrap them loosely in foil.
They are also great to share, with a skim of butter, sitting around the kitchen table.
A snack truly worthy of 2-wheels and 2-feet.
(Note: please recycle your foil, we endurance cyclists and teams need to do our part for the environment too.)