Over the past month or so, I have heard numerous runners talk about or tweet about Cliff Shot Bloks. After finding out what the were, I decided I could make my own raw homemade version of them. What I developed was based on the energy gels and drinks I have seen in Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Diet, but I went the extra mile with mine and added chocolate flavoring!
What I developed was a calorie rich droplets that provide carbs, protein and electrolytes. Each droplet contains: dates, agave nectar, cacao powder (for a yummy chocolate flavor), chia seeds (for a longer release of energy and protein), lemon and lime juice, and ground sunflower seeds for their anti-inflammatory effects. The dates are a good source of carbohydrates and are also high in calories. The chia seeds help slow down the break-down of glucose, thus giving you longer lasting energy, the lemon and lime juice assist in replenishing electrolytes. The sunflower seeds were sort of added on accident because I didn’t have pumpkin seeds, but I’m thinking the sunflower seeds were the better option because they are high in protein and have anti-inflammatory properties.
I used the shot bloks the next morning on my 10 mile run. I didn’t cary any energy gels, just the bloks and a raw energy drink I made. I felt pretty charged the entire run, I think things really started kicking in around mile five; at this point I had consumed around five of the ten bloks I carried with me. I brought 10 bloks with me, but probably only consumed eight of those ten because I dropped the bag I was carrying them in at some point.
The only draw back I found was that the bloks mash together fairly easily. I had placed them in the back pocket of my bike jersey that I wore for the run and ended up sitting back on them on the drive to the trail, what I ended up with was shot mush instead of bloks, but they were still fairly easy to consume. I would suggest dehydrating the blocks for longer so they harden up a bit more than they did for me, but also proper storage will help keep your blocks in tact.
These tasty little treats would be great for taking on long runs and even climbing trips. I plan on making another batch on my next trip to the crag coming up here in March. The cost to make these is pretty low too. Eight dates will run about about $1.67, the other items are bulk items (aside from the lemon and lime) so the cost there is very minimal. My guess would be that 24 bloks will cost you around $2.75.
Directions: Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until thoroughly mixed, scrapping the sides of the walls periodically. When finished you should have a fairly thick consistency, if not, add a couple of more dates. Once you have a thick consistency, using a spoon, dish out small dollops of the mixture onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet, you should be able to get about 24 shot blok size drops. Once you have the dollops on the sheet, wet your fingers and shape into squares as best you can.
After you have shaped your bloks, place in the dehydrator at around 110 degrees for 12-20 hours. I pulled mine out at around 12 for my morning run, they probably could have been left in a lot longer. These should keep well for several days, but I recommend using them as soon as possible, so if you are not going to use all of them in a few days I would cut the recipe in half.