It is that time of year again when everyone will be making New Year's Resolutions to lose weight or workout more.  It is the same reason why my mailbox is full of coupons for free monthly trials at all the local gyms.  Normally working out for me includes laundry lunges, wriggling toddler arm curls, and the occasional yoga or Tai Chi video.  However, for some reason around this time (probably thanks to subliminal messages) I find myself interested in more conventional muscle building workouts.  I have lately been interested in spinning classes or possibly even picking up one of those P90X workouts.  

    So when engaging in serious workouts you need a serious snack to go with either your water, smoothie or fresh juice after a nice cool down.  Why not treat yourself a little with an extremely healthy but still really yummy chocolatey treat.  I actually just read that cherries and chia seeds are really great to eat after working out because their anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce muscle soreness.  Nuts are also great because they have vitamin E that helps to repair the muscle damage done from working out.  These bars are so much better than any of the packaged energy bars you find in the store so the effort required to make them is well worth it.  I also like to have these when partaking in the occasional Raw food or juice cleanse because, for me, working out is really more of a winter sport. 

Chocolate Walnut Cherry Bars (RAW, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

makes 8-12 bars

1 cup packed pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup Raw cacao powder
1/3 cup whole chia seeds
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup organic sprouted quinoa (I use TruRoots brand or you could even use fresh sprouts)
seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean
Raw Homemade Coconut powder * OR you could use Raw Coconut Flour from Coconut Secret for dusting

    Soak the quinoa in enough warm water to cover it for about 35-40 minutes.  Drain the water from the quinoa.  Puree the dates and cherries in a food processor until they form a nice paste.  Add the cocoa powder, chia seeds, raw walnuts, sprouted quinoa and vanilla bean seeds (half the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife).  Pulse all the ingredients together until everything is well incorporated.  Place the mixture inside two sheets of wax paper and roll it out into a rectangle that is anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick.  Seal up the rectangle by crinkling the sides of the wax paper to make sure it is covered completely, lay it flat in the freezer and let it chill overnight.  Take the rectangle out of the freezer and dust each side with coconut powder or coconut flour.  Cut out 8-12 bars depending on how big you want them and either wrap them individually in waxed paper or place them in a sealed container and store them in either the freezer or the refrigerator. 

*Recipe for coconut powder to follow soon!


You are right! Tons of anti-inflammatory properties and Omega 3! Great recipe - I will definitely be trying this in the future. Pinning!

01/03/2013 2:50pm

Hope you enjoy them! I just love when food tastes great and is super good for you too :)

01/04/2013 4:47am


01/04/2013 6:39pm

Thank you

01/06/2013 6:16am

Thanks for a great recipe, these look phenomenal! I would like to give them a go, but - I don't know how to get my hands on the sprouted quinoa. I've never sprouted anything before, and I'm not sure if I'm able to find a ready-sprouted product here in Finland (Europe). So if it's possible to sprout the quinoa by oneself and you have some tips, I would be more than happy to hear them :) Or if you have some substitution recommendations for the sprouted quinoa, those advice would be also appreciated :)

01/06/2013 8:57pm

Hi Pipsa,

Your question is a great one! You can definitely get quinoa seeds and sprout them yourself, it is actually very easy. BUT you will need to find a supplier of sprouting seeds (sprouting seeds are very different then the quinoa seeds you find packaged in the store) If this is the way you would like to go, I would check online to see if you could find a supplier of sprouting seeds.

If you can find some sprouting quinoa seeds, you could check out this website called, it is the BEST resource I know of. Check out this how-to on sprouting quinoa.

If sprouting doesn't work out then you could try some of these options:
- Just leave out the quinoa all together
- Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of Raw Protein powder. (I like to use a Raw Organic Rice Protein powder).
- Or if you don't really care about keeping the recipe Raw you could try using regular cooked quinoa. Just make sure that it is completely cooled down before using it.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions! (The recipe is actually quite adjustable, you just have to make sure that you don't make it too wet, otherwise you will have a mess on your hands that won't roll out into a rectangle.)

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