Apple-Sweet Potato Race Fuel

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This may be harsh, but I hate every pre-made, processed energy pouch I have seen. Many people swear by them, and I accept that they have their place in the fitness world, but I steer away from them for two main reasons:

  • Every one that I have tried does not sit well in my stomach. I have found some that I can cycle and use them, but running is a different story altogether.
  • I am an advocate in my “real life” for whole food based eating, so why should my training be any different?

And as much as I put in the miles to get myself ready for race day, I also need to train my stomach, and put in the time to make sure I fuel properly. So, I started to experiment with making my own fuel over the past year. I have always struggled with getting sufficient calories, but even if I didn’t, I would have to fuel over the course of my training and racing. Making my own fuel lets me customize my race and training nutrition to make sure that I am putting in what fits my body the best!

The bike portion of the Ironman alone (112 miles) will take somewhere in the ballpark of 7+ hours. If my training is a good estimate, I should burn approximately 5500-6000 calories for the bike portion of the Ironman. So, I should aim to take in about that much to give me ample energy for the run. Now I’m not one to count calories, and have always gone more on “feel” that “fact” but I have found myself to feel better and recover faster when I fuel with this amazingly simple (and tasty) recipe. I make a big batch and portion them out in refillable pouches, which I simply freeze and then just pull them out of the freezer the night before my long bikes/runs to let thaw.

Also, can we talk for a second about how stinking cute these refillable pouches are?! Just like I am committed to using whole foods in my everyday life and have cut out most processed foods from my diet, I also am committed to keeping to my values of sustainability and low-waste in my training, to mirror what I aspire to in my everyday life. I see so many athletes ditch the plastic straws and jump on the reusable shopping bag bandwagon, but have no problem throwing trash away from their training runs and rides. (The triathlon world is known for its pack-in-pack-out rules, so I’ve always been one to use reusable packaging as much as possible in the triathlon world if I’m holding on to it anyway. But I do wish more runners carried that same mentality over to their road races.) But on to the recipe for today!


  • They are super fast and simple to make! Chop, steam, blend. We can all do that!
  • They’re jam-packed with on-the-go nutrition! Chia seeds are known for their high-nutrition content, apples are an easily digested great natural sweetener loaded with fiber, while sweet potatoes are probably my favorite thing in the world (besides bananas), rich in carbohydrates for sustainable energy.
  • The mixture stays fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days! That means you can plan out your training fuel as easily as you plan out your training sessions. Grab and go when you’re ready to rock!
  • You can put the mixture in individual servings that easily freeze for up to 3 months! Just make sure to cool completely before freezing and allow time to thaw before your workout.


Chop sweet potatoes and apple into medium-sized cubes.

Steam using your method of choice. I add the cubes to the stove-top steam-basket, making sure there is ample water in the underneath pot. Bring water to boil.

Steam over medium-high heat, covered, until sweet potatoes and apple are soft. I use the “fork-test” to make sure all pieces are nice and soft.

Use an immersion blender or your method of choice to blend until mixture is pureed, like the consistency of applesauce or baby-food. You want a nice, smooth consistency without any real chunks to make it easier to eat while training.

After blended, mix in maple syrup, chia seeds and salt to taste. Mix until evenly distributed and well-mixed. I just continue to use my immersion blender.

Allow to cool completely before filling your pouches or other containers.


YIELD: 30 OUNCES (fills 6 — 5oz reusable pouches)

These easy pouches will keep you fueled for your bike, run, or other workout. They are the perfect salty-sweet combination that your body will crave. Chia seeds boost your energy, and the sweet potatoes are a great source of sustainable energy. I find them to be easily digested and super tasty!

– 1 large apple
– 2 medium sweet potatoes
– 3 tablespoons chia seeds
– 2 teaspoons maple syrup
– Kosher salt

1. Cut apple and sweet potatoes into medium-sized cubes
2. Steam cubes until soft, approximately 20-25 minutes
3. Blend until mixture is an even and smooth consistency.
4. Add chia seeds, maple syrup, and salt to taste.
5. Continue to mix until evenly combined.
6. Cool completely before filling pouches or other containers.

Get fired up! Did you try this recipe? Comment below, or tag @firedupfemaleblog on Instagram using #firedupfemaleblog


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