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Preparing for the biking season the Dutch way

 We all know the Dutch are avid cyclists, and they have the strong legs to show for it. But all of this cycling activity has to be fueled by something, and we’ll let you in on a secret: It’s the traditional winter foods that have them biking year-round — rain or shine. So if you want to prepare for the biking season the Dutch way, then make sure you try out these three traditional dishes to stay warm and fuel those cycling legs this winter.

Hearty hutspot — the winter warmer

The basic recipe for hutspot requires potatoes, onions, and carrots. It’s easy! Simply boil them all and then mash them together. Add some pepper, salt, nutmeg, butter and milk while mashing for a richer taste. It’s traditionally served with grandma’s meatballs and some gravy.

There are also endless variations you can try:

  • Substitute the humble potato with sweet potatoes
  • Mix it with shawarma (rotisserie meat) for that extra bite
  • Add garlic, bacon bits or crispy fried onions
  • Fry the onions and carrots instead of boiling them
  • Boil the potatoes, onions, and carrots in broth instead of water

Hutspot with pork chops

Boerenkool stamppot with rookworst

While kale (boerenkool) has recently gotten itself a reputation as a superfood, Dutch people have been eating it for decades! You can eat it with mashed potatoes, gravy, and rookworst (a Dutch smoked sausage that you should definitely pick up the next time you’re here).

Cut the kale and boil it together with the potatoes. When they’re done, mash it with pepper, salt, butter, and milk. Heat up the rookworst in the microwave (still inside its packaging) for two and a half minutes, or add it to the pan with the kale and potatoes for the last 20 minutes. You can add bacon bits, grandma’s meatballs, mustard, and gravy if you like.

Boerenkool with sausage

Savory snert soup for winter bike touring

Snert is satisfying pea soup, and it’s both easy to make and delicious to eat. The basic recipe calls for dried green split peas, onions, carrots, leek, potatoes, pork chops and rookworst. You can add extra kinds of veggies, any broth you like, herbs and spices ranging from cayenne pepper to thyme, meats like ribs and bacon, and much much more.

Boil the split peas, broth and pork chops in a large pot. Stir occasionally and skim off any froth forming on top. Boil it for about 45 minutes. Then, take out the pork chops, debone and slice the meat and set this aside. Add the veggies and leave to simmer for another 30 minutes. Add some water if the soup starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the rookworst for the last 15 minutes (if you have it), add the pork chops at the end and enjoy!

Bonus tips: Make it the day before you want to eat it, as snert is much better the next day! And if you need to keep warm on a winter bike tour, take some with you in a thermos.



More favorites for the colder months

We have to admit: The Boat Bike Tours team is looking forward to the first frost and cold bike rides, just so that we can then come home and eat some of these warm, satisfying dishes. And if it means that we don’t have to worry about losing our biking muscles before our tulip tours commence in the spring, then all the better for it!

If you have any questions about these tasty winter warmers, please let us know and also feel more than free to share your favorite variation of these dishes or other dense and delicious seasonal treats! We’re always open to trying something new.

Eet smakelijk (bon appetit)!


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