Matt Kadey’s Beet Pistachio Bars


Power Up with Pistachios

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a casual yogi, what you eat to fuel your workout can make a difference between an epic day or an epic fail. But how do we know which foods will best nourish our bodies when there are so many options? From sports drinks to energy bars, it seems there are endless possibilities that claim to make us better, faster and stronger. Our bodies need the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals both pre- and post-workout to be feeling our best and decrease risk of injury.

With key nutrients, electrolytes and antioxidants, pistachios are a natural way to fuel fitness. A serving of roasted and salted pistachios provides 310 mg of potassium and 160 mg of sodium with only 2 g of natural sugars. Compare that to popular sports drinks which contain about 45 mg of potassium, 160 mg of sodium and whopping 21 g of added sugars per 12 oz serving.

With 6 grams of energizing protein and 3 grams of fiber, pistachios will fill you up without weighing down your gym bag. Enjoy them on their own, mixed with dried fruit and dark chocolate chips for a salty and sweet trail mix, or atop these power-packed Beet Pistachio Bars (recipe below).

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey. Courtesy VeloPress


Looking for more ways to fuel your workout? Check out award-winning registered dietitian Matt Kadey’s new book, Rocket Fuel. Rocket Fuel offers 126 ideas for power-packed foods that are delicious, creative and best of all, convenient. Visit for more information.


Matt Kadey’s Beet Pistachio Bars

Juice isn’t the only way to get your pre-workout beet power. Thanks to a carefully planned combination of ingredients, these tender bars aren’t overly beety, making them a bright addition to your sports-nutrition plan. The scattering of pistachios on top offers up great crunch and added nutrition.

Dairy-free, Freezer-friendly, Gluten-free, Vegan or Vegetarian

Servings: 9

Active time: 25 minutes

1 pound beets (about 4 medium-sized), peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons canola, grapeseed, or light olive oil

½ cup low-fat milk

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Zest of 1 lemon

2 large eggs

1 cup brown rice flour

¼ cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

½ cup unsalted shelled pistachios

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place beets in an 8 × 8–inch square baking pan and toss with oil. Roast until tender, about 35 minutes.

Place roasted beets, milk, sugar, coconut oil, and lemon zest in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Blend in eggs.

In a large bowl, stir together rice flour, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently until everything is moist. Fold in chocolate chips, if using.

Line the square baking pan used to roast the beets with parchment paper so there is at least a 1-inch overhang. Place beet mixture in pan in an even layer. Sprinkle pistachios on top and press down gently to help them adhere. Bake for 30 minutes, or until batter is set in the middle. Let cool completely in pan, then lift out using parchment overhang and slice into 9 squares. Keep chilled for up to 7 days.


Game Changers: Replace milk with a plain nondairy milk such as almond + Swap out brown sugar for coconut or turbinado sugar + Use orange zest instead of lemon


Republished with permission of VeloPress from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Matt Kadey, RD. See more recipes at