Recipe: Climber-Friendly Energy Bowls

Get all-day power or quick recovery with this simple, healthy meal

This story originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of our print edition.

Rock Climbing Food Energy Bowl Nutrition

Photo: Andrew Bydlon

Cereal doesn’t have to look like a bowl of Skittles or come with a toy. In fact, if you’re an athlete, it shouldn’t. A whole-grain cereal is the perfect fit for any climber’s menu, and this Cinnamon-Raisin Wheat Berry Bowl tops the list. Thanks to protein from milk, a high concentration of complex carbs (the good kind!), and fiber, climbers can get a great ratio of protein to carbs for muscle recovery after training, as well as a hefty dose of slow-burning energy before a big day out. Plus, the fiber keeps blood sugar levels consistent and maintains regular digestion. A wheat berry is the entire kernel of wheat, and if you grind them down to a fine powder, you’d end up with whole-wheat flour. Because the berries aren’t refined and still contain the bran, germ, and endosperm, they have all the benefits that nature intended, and this recipe helps bring out their delicious and nutty flavor. 


  • ½ cup wheat berries, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup
  • 1% milk (or any milk alternative)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 
  • 1½ cups water 
  • 1 cup 1% milk (or any milk alternative) 
  • ¼ cup raisins 
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)  


  1. In a dry saucepan, toast the wheat berries over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring carefully so they don’t burn. They’re done when you smell them.
  2. Add water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 45 minutes or until berries reach a good texture.  
  3. Drain the liquid from the saucepan. Add milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins.     
  4. Stir frequently to keep the milk from scalding. Continue cooking until the milk thickens and the raisins get plump, about 5 minutes. 

Stir frequently to keep the milk from scalding. Continue cooking until the milk thickens and the raisins get plump, about 5 minutes.


  • Any milk works in this dish, but nutrition will change.
  • Add nuts for more protein, dates instead of raisins, granola for crunch, or other sweet spices.
  • Cook a big batch of wheat berries and drain, then refrigerate or freeze them to heat up and eat later.
  • The key is not scalding the milk, so pay attention and
    stir regularly.

Nutrition Facts
Energy: 300 cal  • Carbs: 59g • Fat: 3g • Fiber: 6g • Protein: 12g

Recipe republished with permission of VeloPress from the Racing
Weight Cookbook. Try more recipes at