When I wrote the Crushing article, I promised to share a few of my favourite crag treats to help woo your crush(er). Without further ado, here are a few goodies that are all super yummy, super nutritious, and above all, super easy to make.
Budlina’s Bliss Ballz
This recipe is a bit like bouldering – you can eliminate anything you want to make a creation more to your liking! It really is pretty foolproof. If you can’t produce something edible after having a decent crack at this, you may want to rethink your life and perhaps ask someone for some basic cooking lessons #doyoueventoastbro?
1 cup crushed walnuts
1 cup pitted chopped dates
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup sultanas (optional)
1 -2 heaped tablespoons coconut oil
1 – 2 heaped tablespoons tahini (I use unhulled)
Big handful of shredded coconut
½ – 1 tablespoon raw cacao
Grab your blender. Throw everything in. Blend at high speed. You may have to keep scraping the sides every so often so it mixes properly. I know this is really tough so far, but stick with it…
After that, use a tablespoon to portion out the mixture and, using clean hands (no chalk or tape please!), roll between your palms to make a ball. Now for actual hard part… resist the temptation to eat them immediately! They turn out better if you pop them in the freezer for a bit.
I have been known to make a monster Bliss Ball Cake for one lucky gent’s birthday, so choose whatever size ball is appropriate for your crag buddies. Although I’ve never had these treats left uneaten after more than a few days, I’m sure they will last a week or so in the fridge. They are packed full of energy and goodness, so they’re the perfect fuel to send your next project!
Massive Gainz Muesli
Ok, so there isn’t actually a heap of protein in this muesli, so you’re unlikely to get swole… but it is a great way to start the day, especially if you pair it with your favourite type of yoghurt (coconut for me!) and some stewed pears or apples. YUUUUMMMMMMMM. Similar to Bliss Ballz, this recipe is adjustable depending on whatever is on sale at the supermarket/wholefoods place/dumpster/mum’s pantry.
2.5 cups rolled oats
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pepitas
1/3 cup sesame seeds
½ cup chopped walnut
½ – 1 cup chopped dates
½ -1 cup dried cranberries or sultanas
1 -2 fist jamBs full of shredded coconut
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
¼ cup tahini
1 – 2 cups water
Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl (nobody said this would be easy). In a saucepan on medium heat, dissolve the honey into the water and whisk in the tahini. Once it all looks smooth, mix really well into the dry ingredients bowl. Place the mixture onto a baking tray or dish and toast in the oven on 150⁰C for about 15-20 minutes or until brown. In the meantime, I recommend giving your coffee pot a wash and preloading it for next morning, and/or stewing some fruit to go with the muesli. When the muesli mixture is all nice and toasty let it cool for a while and then pop into a container to keep fresh.
This stuff gets the system going and soon you’ll be feeling as light as a feather… what a perfect way to start a day at the crag or on the trail! It can also be eaten straight out of the container or ziplock bag if you can’t be bothered having a proper breakfast or can’t find your bowl and spork.
Gnarly No-sauge Rollz
If you know some folks (both big and small types) who are resistant to eating vegetables, this recipe is guaranteed to win them over. These are better than proper sausage rolls. Legit. Below is a photo of Tassie crusher Nick Grant after being given a sample of my patented No-sauge Rollz. And I promise they will make up for all the protein you didn’t get from the Massive Gainz Muesli.
1 cup crushed walnuts or pecans
300 grams firm tofu
1 small grated carrot
1 small grated zucchini
1 small onion finely chopped
2 cloves nice garlic finely chopped (not that bleached shit from China please!)
3-5 tablespoons soy sauce
A big handful of parsley
A splash of oil
Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste
3 – 4 sheets of puff pastry (you can get it without butter if you are vegan/dairy-free)
You don’t need to grate the carrot, zucchini and onion separately if you have a half-decent blender which can handle the mix altogether. If not, blend them separately, then throw it all together with blended tofu and walnuts. Mix well with all the other ingredients in a big bowl (or the blender).
Scoop and spread this delicious mix onto the pastry, forming a line about an inch high and wide (0.5 Camalot/#1 Friend), then roll over once so the there is a double layer of pastry on bottom and single on top. Cut your rolls into 2 inch lengths (#2 Camalot/#3 Friend) and place on an oiled tray. Cook at 180⁰C for approximately 20 minutes or a quick hangboard/foam roller session. Serve these babies up at any temperature – they are good to go, either hot or cold! To increase the rating to “Mega Classic”, pair these bad boys with Nana Elsie’s Tom Sauce.
BONUS ROUND – Nana Elsie’s Tom Sauce
I was lucky enough to grow up with homemade everything, including Australia’s favourite condiment – Dead Horse AKA Tomato Sauce. This classic is from my Nana’s recipe book. I have never attempted this without my Mum or Nana in the kitchen, so I would suggest contacting your favourite maternal figure to assist on rainy/scorching day when it’s too hot/wet to climb and the tomatoes are in season (summer in most parts of Australia).
This recipe is adapted from the 1940’s Department of Agriculture Victorian Bulletin No 43. and has been converted to metric measurements (sorry USA folks, get with the times). The price of the Bulletin was one shilling. You can pay me in trad gear if you want.
4.5 kgs tomatoes, chopped
0.75 kg cored, peeled, chopped apples
0.75 kg raw sugar
40 gm salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
500 ml malt vinegar (good quality)
15 gm whole cloves
15 gm whole black pepper
15 gm whole allspice
15 gm garlic peeled and crushed
Place tomatoes in preserving pan and bring to the boil. Continue boiling for half an hour. To quell your anxiety about WTF you are going to do next, crack a beer. Put the mixture through a strainer or mouli and return to the pan (get help for this bit to stay sane). Bring to the boil again and add apples, sugar, salt cayenne pepper, vinegar and garlic. Tie whole spices in a muslin bag and add to pan.
Boil sauce until it reaches desired consistency, about 1.5 to 2 hours. Have a nap to prepare yourself for the bottling stage, but also start sterilising your bottles if you haven’t already. When ready remove spice bag and pour sauce into hot, sterilised bottles and cap immediately (get help for this bit too). Give yourself a pat on the back and fear not that these bottles of goodness don’t need to be kept in the refrigerator until opened. I can assure you this stuff is the absolute best!
P.S. To sterilise bottles, make sure they are clean by giving them a good scrub or put them in the dishwasher if you are lucky enough to have one. Then remove lids and place bottles in a hot oven at around 200⁰C for at least 10 minutes. Be sure not to burn those precious fingertips when pulling out of the oven J
Eat well, climb hard!