Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats

If you ever get chocolate cravings like me, then I have found the perfect recipe to use so you don't resort to some 2 year old milky way bar sitting in your freezer that you and I both know will end up being a disappointment after you eat it. After running the Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving, I wanted to have something ready for us to eat that would quickly replenish what was lost and set a good stage for the rest of the food-filled day. We had plenty of Cliff Bars to pass around, but I wanted something more unique and simple. These chocolate treats are low in sugar, have a lot of potassium and a broad range of amino acids and essential fatty acids from the hemp protein. Did I mention that this recipe may also help with muscle recovery after a hard work out or whenever you need an extra protein boost? My favorite part about making them is that it takes only 10-15 minutes to put together, and no baking is required! Check it out below:

Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats
  • 1/3 Cup Non-dairy dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Banana, mashed
  • 2Tbsp natural peanut butter (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice crispies
  • 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp Hemp Protein Powder (10g protein!)
  • 1/4 Cup whole grain flour (I used Amaranth, Spelt would also work)
  • Shredded coconut flakes to garnish

Directions: First, mash ripe banana in a medium sized bowl (some chunks are okay). Melt chocolate chips, and coconut oil over the stove and stir until smooth. Add chocolate/coconut oil to banana and add vanilla extract. If you want an extra peanuty taste, add the peanut butter now. Next, add remaining ingredients, walnuts, oats, salt and flour. Disperse mix into muffin pans and sprinkle with shredded coconut for that extra "wow" factor. Freeze for about 20-30 minutes before serving, or place in the fridge overnight to have your treats ready to go in the morning! This recipe will make about 8-10 large treats, or 16-18 mini treats, depending on your muffin pan size.

Here are a few fun facts to note in case some of the ingredients seem foreign to you. Amaranth flour is an excellent replacement of whole wheat, not only because it is gluten free, but because of it's super high protein content (more than whole wheat and any other GF grain!) and high levels of lysine (an important essential amino acid). It has a mild flavor, and so far I've found it to bake similar to any other flour I've used, except brown rice. Bananas are a super high source of potassium, which we already know is important for muscle recovery and proper sodium-potassium levels in our bodies. Check out this recipe to learn more! The chocolate chips are probably not the healthiest ingredient to use, but it really helps give them that extra "fudge" texture. You could probably substitute the chocolate chips with raw cacao powder and a low glycemic sweetener like brown rice syrup to make the recipe more medicinal.

Walnuts are the way to go whenever a recipe calls for chopped nuts, since they are antioxidant-packed and can help reduce inflammation from the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Other properties include high mineral content of manganese, copper and magnesium and long lasting energy to help the body repair itself properly. Click here to read more.

Since I had some extra help with this recipe, I wanted to make a personal shout out to my friend Zach and let you all know that he has approved this recipe and will hopefully be rating it on his famous blog "The Taste of Zach". I strongly suggest you check it out and read up on all his beer reviews!

Here's a snapshot of the generous notes Zach took while I was experimenting:

More bushels of love, and less yelling? Hahaha, really Zach?

I'll leave you all with a few pictures from my Thanksgiving in Dallas and a preview of the next recipes that I'll be posting.. get pumped.

My parents,brother Andy and I after running the Dallas Turkey Trot

Who's that?? ;)