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)
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!