My husband and I have been huge fans of soccer and the World Cup since we started dating back in 1998. Sure, we enjoy many other American sports — but soccer is the official sport of bonding between the two of us. We go into a sort of “World Cup trance” for a month until the tournament is over. This year is no different.
I was thrilled to hear that the U.S. men’s national soccer team has a registered dietitian making sure they are properly fueled for optimal performance. Danielle LaFata, MS, RD, CSSD, has been working with the team since 2012, and she's in Brazil with them at the World Cup.
As you can imagine, these players have high-calorie needs in order to meet requirements for intense practices, games and recovery time in-between. Meals are usually a minimum of 800 calories and snacks around 400 calories. Their snacks also need to be easy to grab and eat so they can get back to training.
With snacks of that magnitude, Danielle must get creative: Enter her Peanut Butter Flaxseed Power Bites. One small portion is 120 calories, and is chock-full of nutrient-rich calories and electrolytes. A player only needs to pop three or four of these in his mouth and he can easily jump back on the field for more work.
Go Team USA!
Peanut Butter Flaxseed Power Bites
Recipe developed by Danielle LaFata, MS, RD, CSSD
Feel free to customize this with other nut butters or switch out the cherries for your favorite fruit. And remember, this is not a low-calorie food.
1 cup natural peanut butter
⅔ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup mini chocolate chips ½ cup dried cherries
- Mix peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract together well.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Using a #40 scoop (0.75 oz), pack mixture into the scoop to create bite-sized pieces.
- Refrigerate and store in an air-tight container.
Nutrition Information: 120 kcal; 7g fat, 3.5 sat fat, 13g carbohydrates, 3g protein