5 warming winter breakfasts for cyclists


Turn up the heat before a cold winter ride with these body-warming breakfast recipes

A cold bowl of muesli or some chilly fruit and yoghurt from the fridge is not going to warm you up on a freezing cold winter morning. Before a winter bike ride, you need something hot and tasty in order to warm up your body and turbo-charge your motivation.

We reveal five hot breakfast recipes, masterminded by some of the best cycling chefs and nutritionists in the world, to help crank up your inner thermostat and boost your spirits this winter.

Oat Pancakes

By Anita Bean (www.anitabean.co.uk)

These delicious warm oat pancakes are a seriously satisfying winter warmer, created by experienced nutritionist Anita Bean, the author of The Vegetarian Athlete’s Cookbook. “These pancakes are far healthier than ordinary pancakes as they are made with oats and bananas instead of flour so they contain more protein and fibre,” she explains. “Make a batch, freeze and thaw in a microwave for a quick breakfast when you’re pressed for time.”


Makes approx. 8
100g rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 banana, peeled and mashed
2 eggs
150ml any milk of your choice
A little light olive oil, rapeseed oil or butter
200g blueberries

Optional toppings: crushed pecan nuts, honey or maple syrup, blueberries and banana slices


In a bowl, mix together the oats and baking powder. Mix the mashed banana with the eggs and milk. Then mix the banana mixture into the ‘flour’ mixture. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat, add a little oil or butter. Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the pan and cook until bubbles form and the edges are cooked. Scatter over a handful of blueberries and flip the pancake over.

Cook for another couple of minutes on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes topped with crushed pecan nuts, a little honey or maple syrup, or some extra blueberries and banana slices.

Recipe from Anita Bean’s The Vegetarian Athlete’s Cookbook, www.anitabean.co.uk

Super Porridge

By Nigel Mitchell (www.globalcyclingnetwork.com)

This body-warming winter porridge will keep you feeling toasty and energised deep into your ride. It is the creation of Nigel Mitchell – a highly-experienced nutritional consultant for pro cyclists, and the author of GCN’s (Global Cycling Network’s) popular The Cyclist’s Cookbook.

“It’s warming, comforting and provides ideal slow-release carbohydrates,” says Mitchell. “You see it on the breakfast table of nearly all professional teams.”


Serves: 1
50g porridge oats
Half a chopped apple, pear or banana
Pinch of cinnamon
10g (1 tbsp) chia seeds
10g (1 tbsp) quinoa
10g (1 tbsp) coconut oil
75ml water
75ml semi-skimmed milk


For best results, soak the quinoa, chia seeds and oats overnight with the water and milk in a microwave container. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and cook in the microwave for two minutes. Stir again and cook for a further one to two minutes. Leave it to stand for a minute and then give it a final stir. If you like thick porridge, add less water. If you like it runny, add a little more water.

Recipe from Nigel Mitchell and GCN’s The Cyclist’s Cookbook (www.globalcyclingnetwork.com)

Breakfast Burrito

By Kitty Pemberton-Platt (www.kitchenpress.co.uk/portfolio-item/eat-bike-cook/

This is one hugely satisfying winter breakfast dish, devised by Kitty Pemberton-Platt, author of Eat, Bike, Cook. In fact, if you make it, you’ll probably have some left over to heat up for a post-ride snack too. “Don’t be tempted to overfill it and create an out-of-control monster burrito – this is one of those times when you really do have to follow your head over your heart,” she says. “The zesty, fresh pico de gallo gives the eggs in this a feisty kick.”


Serves: 1

4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Large handful of coriander, chopped
½ a mild red chilli such as Serrano, or to your taste
Juice of ½ lime
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Sea salt to taste


1 large tortilla or wrap
1 quantity scrambled eggs
½ red pepper, chopped or sliced
20-30g cheddar, grated


To make the pico de gallo, simply combine the tomatoes, spring onions, coriander, chilli, lime juice, garlic and salt in a bowl and mix (this can be prepared the night before). Place the tortilla in a dry frying pan and soften it by heating it for about 30 seconds on each side, then transfer it to a flat surface such as a chopping board.

To assemble the burrito, layer the warm scrambled eggs, red pepper and grated cheese in the centre and spoon over as much pico de gallo as desired. First, fold in the sides, then fold the bottom edge up over the filling and tuck it under it. Finally, roll the burrito away from you to make a leakproof parcel. Feel free to add slices of smoked streaky bacon, sautéed mushrooms or fried onions.

Recipe from Kitty Pemberton-Platt’s Eat, Bike, Cook (www.kitchenpress.co.uk/portfolio-item/eat-bike-cook/)

Bacon and Goats Cheese Frittata

By Will Girling (www.willgirling.com)

This indulgently tasty winter warmer is the creation of nutrition and performance coach Will Girling, who has worked with professional Tour de France cyclists and Olympic athletes. “It is quick, tasty, easy and you can take it anywhere,” he says. “You can fill it with what you want and make hundreds of varieties to keep it interesting.”


Serves: 1-2
6 eggs
1-2 rashers of bacon
50g goat’s cheese
½ red pepper
Spring onions
Handful fresh basil


As you fry the bacon in a pan, slice the red pepper and chop the spring onions and basil, then add these ingredients to the pan. Cook until the veg is tender and the bacon is crispy. Cut the bacon into smaller pieces and add back into the pan.

Beat the eggs in a bowl, add pepper, then add the eggs to the pan. Heat for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle goat’s cheese on top, and grill for 4-5 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with gooey melted cheese.

Recipe from Will Girling (www.willgirling.com)

French Toast

By Dr Gemma Sampson (www.gemmasampson.com)

This amazing mood-boosting breakfast recipe was created by Dr Gemma Sampson, an advanced sports dietitian based in Girona who regularly works with elite cyclists. French toast is perfect feel-good fodder for a cold winter’s day.

“Not just a breakfast or brunch staple, I think French toast has to be one of the best ever recovery meals for cyclists and triathletes,” she says. “The beauty of French toast is that while it looks really fancy to serve, it is super quick and easy.” Perfect for a cold winter’s morning.


Serves: 1-2

2-3 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
Stale bread slices
Greek yoghurt
Honey or syrup


Whisk the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture, allowing it to soak through into both sides. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and cook the toast until it is golden. Flip and cook the other side until it has cooked through.

Serve warm with Greek yoghurt, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon and fruit. You can also add a dash of vanilla essence to the egg mixture for extra sweetness.

Recipe from Dr Gemma Sampson (www.gemmasampson.com)