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Chewy Chocolate Strawberry Recovery Bars

Chewy Chocolate Strawberry Recovery Bars

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Who doesn’t love a good reward after some hard work? That’s kinda what these bars are all about. They are a delicious way to wrap up a great, challenging workout. Nutrition after exercise aims to rehydrate, refuel muscle energy stores (glycogen), and rebuild muscle fibers. This all helps you recover from training and prepare for the next session. More recovery nutrition info over here.

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Lots of research (this paper is a great protein info resource!) has clued us into what optimally refuels and rebuilds muscle in terms of amounts, kinds, and timing of foods. In general it’s recommended to go for about a 3-4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Around 20g high quality protein is a good target for most people. This after workout nutrition should be lower in fat and fiber to allow for quick digestion so nutrients can get to muscles ASAP to get the recovery process going. Whey protein has consistently proven to be the best choice when it comes to quick digestion and providing greatest amounts of the amino acid leucine, which stimulates muscle growth. Other protein powders are definitely useful as well, but when compared it seems it’s whey all the way.

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These bars are simple to make, can save you some money on pricey post-workout nutrition bars and drinks, and taste yummy too of course! They are rich, chewy and have awesome chocolate-peanut butter-strawberry flavors happening. Freeze dried strawberries are super cool if you haven’t had or worked with them before. They are crispy and flavorful, and blend up to a magical hot pink strawberry powder. You could flavor smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, baked goods, or bars like these with their powder. 

Whip up a batch of these guys in a few minutes and have your recovery nutrition taken care of for the week ahead! Hope you enjoy and happy (re)fueling!

Each bar has: 22g protein, 70g carbohydrates, and 7g fat.

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Chewy Chocolate Strawberry Recovery Bars

Makes 6 bars

 

1 cup (20g) freeze dried strawberries

20 dates, pitted and rough chopped

¼ cup (65g) peanut butter

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbs. cocoa powder

7 scoops (about 1 ¾ cup or 175g) chocolate protein powder

2 tbs. water

 

In a food processor, blitz ½ cup of the strawberries until powdery. Remove and set aside. Back in the food processor, add the dates, peanut butter, and vanilla. Blend until paste-like and forms a big clump. Add in the cocoa powder, pulverized strawberries, and half the protein powder. Blend, pushing down as needed with a spatula until the protein powder is well combined in the mixture. Add the rest of the protein and the water. Blend again, pushing down as needed, until a homogenous ball comes together. (If you have a small food processor, doing this all in two batches is probably best)

Line a container with parchment or plastic wrap. Dump the bar mixture in and press firmly to create an even layer. Pour the remaining ½ cup freeze dried strawberries on top and press in firmly. Cover the surface with plastic wrap or parchment. Refrigerate to chill through- at least a few hours. Then remove from the container and wrap and cut into 6 equal bars. These will keep wrapped and covered in the fridge for at least a week.

Notes: I used medjool dates which are a bit more expensive, but much fleshier (and more flavorful in my opinion) than deglet noor dates. You can use deglet noors here, but will probably need to increase them to about 25-30 each to get the same consistency. You can use any type of protein powder you want. I used whey here, which is reflected in the nutrition-other types of protein may result in slightly different nutrition.

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