We are well in to 2012 already, can you believe it? Doesn’t time fly? We know that a lot of people plan to start going to the gym as one of their New Year’s resolutions. So we thought we would collaborate with our friend, Peter Wilson, who is a fitness trainer in Belfast, and provide you with the perfect Fruit and Nut post-workout bar to replace all that energy you use while working out in the gym.
The recipe is extremely simple and we have written this recipe keeping in mind that you will probably want to make these a bit ahead of time and either freeze them or store them away in an air tight container. There is nothing worse than having to make your workout bar straight after a long and tiring gym session.
Here comes Peter’s input:
Your post workout meal is one of the most important times to eat during the day. The aim is to provide the body with the nutrients needed to start the recovery process. I asked BakingBar to write me a simple recipe for a convenient bar and they have created a fantastic, delicious and nutritious product.
What I love about these bars is not only the simplicity of making them but in these tough times they are much more cost effective than any manufactured bars. Nutritionally, most of the bars you can buy are loaded with sugar and trans fats. The beauty of making your own is that you can choose your own ingredients and know exactly what you are putting in them and in what quantity!
Each bar contains a combination of high and low Gi carbs, protein and a little healthy fat. With the amount of false information these days, many people would run for the hills at the thought of eating high Gi carbs and fat, especially in the one meal. However there is method in the madness.
Our primary source of protein is from the whey powder. The market is saturated with brands, however, I’ve found one of best quality and tasting of these is Pharma Whey from PHD. Other sources of protein are the peanut butter and the sesame seeds. The chunky peanut butter is a brilliant addition to the bars as they provide flavour and an extra satisfying crunch.
Protein is the primary nutrient to repair the body; however we also have to replace the energy used during training. For this, we need carbohydrates. Initially the honey and dried fruits will provide natural, high Gi carbs as sugars. (As these are needed after a workout, they will be used rather than being stored as fat). These will actually work with the protein, pushing it into the muscles quicker than by eating protein alone. As this bar is meant to provide nutrition until your next meal, we also needed some slower release carbohydrate. This is where porridge oats are perfect. Not only do oats supply carbohydrates, but they are loaded with antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals which help fight off cancer. This is why they are classed as a Superfood!
For those of you with a sweet tooth, or anyone wanting to make the bars into a treat I would recommend using cocoa nibs from Naturya. (Available from Holland and Barrett). Cocoa nibs are coarsely-ground cocoa beans, harvested on Peruvian plantations. They are unspoiled by sugar or sweeteners making them a healthy addition to the bar without feeling guilty.
Fruit and Nut Bar
6 TB natural honey
130 grams natural chunky peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
120 grams oats (porridge oats of rolled oats)
120 grams raisins or other dried fruit
1 TB sesame seeds
2 TB sliced almonds
2 TB unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 scoop protein powder
2 TB chocolate chips from health/natural food shops such as: http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?PID=3741&CPID=4333&searchterm=nibs&rdcnt=1
- Preheat oven to 170c
- In a heatproof bowl above a saucepan of simmering water melt the peanut butter, honey and vanilla together until combined.
- In a separate large bowl mix together all the other dry ingredients.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the peanut butter mixture.
- Stir well until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Line a 6 x 10 inch baking tray or similar size. Smooth out the mixture so it is flat and about 1 inch high.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins. When it comes out it will be quite soft but don’t worry it does harden up a bit. Wait until completely cool before slicing.
- You can then wrap them up separately or store them away in an air tight container.
**TOP TIP – You can also crumble up some of the bars and use as a granola type cereal, its delicious. Try adding a dash of cinnamon if doing this. Yum! **