Climber's Kitchen: We Tried Making Famous Climbers' Favorite Recipes.

Ever wondered whether the meal recipes famous climbers swear by in magazines, on social media, or on their blogs actually taste good? Well, when goEast recently tasked us with finding out, we dug into some well-known climbers’ kitchens to discover what they’re eating, tried out their recipes, and taste-tested them. Our verdicts are below, along with some beta in case you want to try making these meals yourself.

Alex Honnold’s Breakfast Smoothie

When Alex Honnold raved about his green breakfast smoothie in a recent Men’s Journal article, we just had to try it. Here’s his recipe: Add almonds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, frozen berries, a banana, a scoop of protein powder, and a couple handfuls of spinach to a blender and mix.

Beta: While Honnold has this recipe so dialed that he just eyeballs the proportions, your blender is gonna get the Elvis Leg unless you add a little water to ease the blending process.

Difficulty: Ingredient guesstimates may cause on-sighters to pause, but with a little experimentation, even kitchen novices can suss out every move on Honnold’s breakfast smoothie.

Taste: Climbers with sensitive palates will immediately notice the banana overtones. If that’s a turnoff, consider reducing or replacing the banana.

Verdict: Packed with nutrients, Alex Honnold’s high-calorie breakfast smoothie will fill you up, but probably won’t help you free solo your project.

Steph Davis’ Vegan Blueberry Muffins

In a February 2021 blog post, well-known climber Steph Davis claimed her Vegan Blueberry Muffins are “Good for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.” Here’s the recipe: in one bowl, mix apple cider vinegar (2 tsp) and soy or almond milk (1 cup), then let sit for a few minutes while it curdles. In a second bowl, mix canola oil (1⁄3 cup) and a sweetener (½ cup of maple or coconut palm sugar). Add vanilla (1 tsp), lemon zest (optional), and the apple cider-almond milk blend from the first bowl. Stir in organic unbleached flour (1 ⅓ cups), baking powder (1 tsp), baking soda (¾ tsp), and salt (½ tsp). Add blueberries (1 cup). Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes, then cool in pans for 5 minutes.

Beta: Don’t let this recipe description deter you—it sounds harder than it is. Also, if you don’t have almond milk, you can always make your own.

Difficulty: Preparation is relatively straightforward, but it’s unlikely that most climbers will have all these ingredients on their pantry shelves. Plan on a trip to the store before attempting to onsight this recipe.

Taste: Like blueberry muffins with a lemon kick. That said, we did go a little heavy on the optional lemon zest.

Verdict: Good… but not good enough to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Sasha DiGiulian’s Raw Macadelicious Bars

Sasha DiGiulian makes a variety of energy bars, as she detailed in an Outside piece. For our project, we decided to make her Raw Macadelicious Bars. Here’s the recipe: blend macadamia nuts (2 cups) and oats (2 cups) in a blender until it turns into a flour-like consistency. In a separate bowl, mix dates (1 cup) and honey (1 cup) together, then blend with the oat-nut mixture. Add coconut flakes and cranberries (½ cup of each) and blend again. Finally, stir in 2 cups each of coconut flakes and chocolate chips, spread onto a cookie sheet, and cut into bar size. Freeze to harden.

Beta: A food processor aces all the blending this recipe requires.

Difficulty: After finding the mixture a little crumbly when we tried to cut it into bar size, we swapped the two final steps and froze before slicing.

Taste: Great, if you like macadamia nuts. Consider substituting almonds or cashews if you don’t.

Verdict: If you’re interested in making a ProBar-like energy bar at home, this is a great base recipe for you. It’s also easy to envision ingredient swaps that suit your personal preference.

Beth Rodden’s Potato Leek Soup

We struggled finding a dinner recipe until we stumbled upon Beth Rodden’s recipe for Potato Leek Soup. Here’s how to make it: Slice 2-3 leeks, then sauté in olive oil over medium heat until the leeks are soft. Add garlic (4-6 cloves, chopped), sauté for 3 minutes. Add salt (1 tsp), potatoes (1 lb), and broth (4 cups). Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add leafy greens (1 head) and thyme (2 tsp) and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and blend.

Beta: An immersion blender makes quick work of this recipe’s final step.

Difficulty: Not overly difficult, but between chopping, sautéing, simmering, and blending, this was the most time-intensive recipe we tested—it’s no wonder Beth likes big wall climbing. Plan on devoting at least 60 minutes to preparation.

Taste: Unlike so many of Rodden’s leads, we needed to add some red chili pepper flakes to spice it up.

Verdict: There are plenty of better dinner options out there, but bookmark this one for when your CSA box has leeks.

Beth Rodden’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

With Rodden’s Potato Leek Soup leaving us a little hungry, we decided to make her Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were a major hit! Rodden’s recipe: Mix natural peanut butter (16 oz), white sugar (¾ cup), brown sugar (“generous” ¾ cup) in a bowl. Stir in eggs (2), baking soda (2 tsp), salt (pinch), and vanilla (1 tbsp). Add chocolate chips (½ cup to 1 cup, depending on preference). Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 9-10 min. Allow to cool.

Beta: Unless you want a chocolate peanut-buttery choss-fest, let these cookies cool for 30+ minutes before transferring or serving.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy. Most can have these in the oven in less time than it takes to set up a top-rope to try some famous Rodden line.

Taste: Perfecto (if you like peanut butter and chocolate combos, of course).

Verdict: Delicious! Even your gluten-free friends will enjoy injecting this peanut butter-sugar-chocolate combo right into their veins.