The chef : Pastry chef and five-time marathoner Gesine Bullock-Prado recently completed her third cookbook Bake It Like You Mean It (£18.99, Stewart, Tabori & Chang) – and then signed up for a half marathon. ‘By the time I finish any baking book, my weight takes a hefty surge, and I’m ready to get back on track by training,’ she says.
Active ingredients: With any fuel you take in close to your run, the key is keeping the fat and fibre down so your digestive system isn’t taxed as you run. Here you get a carb hit, and using cancer-fighting dates keeps the cookies moist without the need for butter or oil. Pre-run caffeine (from the coffee) boosts performance and lowers your perceived exertion, while ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds.
PER COOKIE: 66kcal, 14g carbs, 1g fibre, 1g protein, 0.5g fat
Ingredients (makes 30):
- 180ml hot coffee
- 160g chopped pitted dates
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- 60ml organic blackstrap molasses (goodnessdirect.co.uk)
- 190g wholewheat flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp each of salt, cinnamon and ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 40g chopped crystallised ginger
- 55g brown sugar
- Heat the oven to 180C. Combine the coffee, dates and bicarbondate of soda. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix in a food processor until nearly smooth.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs and molasses, gradually adding the date mix.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt and spices. Stir into the date mixture, then stir in the ginger pieces until just combined. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Using a teaspoon, drop the dough into little mounds, a few inches apart, on a lined tray. Bake for 10 minutes (until they spring back when gently poked).