If you're a runner, then you're probably familiar with energy gels and blocks — those sweet, gooey snacks that give you a burst of energy on long runs. But, did you know that you can make a healthier version and that it's totally easy? These homemade energy gels are made from frozen fruit, dates, and sweet rice flour, also known as mochiko. Not only will they give you the energy you need to get through your run, you can customize the flavor with your favorite fruit.
Homemade Energy Gels [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 pound frozen fruit
- 1 cup pitted dates, packed (about 22 dates)
- 1 cup sweet rice flour
- Dump the frozen fruit and the dates in a big saucepan. Cover and set over medium heat. Cook for about 20-22 minutes, giving a quick stir every 5 minutes to make sure nothing's sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the fruit-date mix from heat and purée until smooth. Let the purée cool for about 10 minutes. Gradually stir in the sweet rice flour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch glass pan with parchment.
- Transfer the fruit mix to the pan and smooth it out with a spoon or spatula.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes. At around the 10-12 minute mark, gently score the top of the mix with a knife. You'll notice a skin has appeared over top of the mix, and scoring it will allow for even cooking throughout.
- Once the gels are baked, remove from oven and immediately transfer to the refrigerator. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Now it's ready to cut. Dip a pair of kitchen scissors in hot water and cut six equal strips. Cut each strip into 5-6 smaller cubes.
- You can leave them like this if you're just going to eat them at the gym or on the bike trainer. If you plan on taking them on a run or bike ride, toss them in a light coating of sweet rice flour so they won't stick to each other.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer.