Getting enough protein as an athlete can be tough, especially when you’re always on the move. This month we’re sharing a recipe that combines dark chocolate with multiple protein sources for a satisfying but sweet treat that’s perfect for a day hike with the ones you love! Fudgy Nutty Protein Bars are a filling grab-and-go source of antioxidants and nutrients that will help round out your protein intake when in the backcountry.
Fudgy Nutty Protein Bars
Make 12 bars
- Dark chocolate is packed with numerous antioxidants, rich in iron, zinc and magnesium. It improves memory and focus, improves mood, and relieves stress. What’s not to love!
- Dark chocolate is great for your spring training! It dilates your blood vessels to increase blood flow for better performance of the heart. Cocoa increases the calming brain chemical serotonin, which combined with the caffeine in chocolate, gives a calm energy to help focus on your training. Dark chocolate also helps reduce inflammation, so it assists with your recovery.
TIP: You can use any nut or seed in any combination for these bars. We love pistachios, pecans, walnuts, chia, sunflower, and hemp seeds. Tapioca syrup is used in this recipe for its low glycemic properties, but honey is an easy and delicious substitute if you’re having trouble sourcing the syrup. We prefer our homemade Almond Milk, but commercial nut milk can be substituted.
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup tapioca syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange oil
- 2 tablespoons whey or vegan protein powder
- 1 cup chopped nuts and seeds (your own mixture)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
In a food processor, add the dates, cocoa powder, tapioca syrup or honey, almond milk, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and orange oil. Pulse until blended thoroughly. Add the whey powder to the bowl and pulse a few times until just incorporated. Turn the machine off and remove the blade. Add the nut and seed blend and the chocolate chips and fold in until well combined. The dough will be stiff, so use some muscle and fold, fold, fold!
Scrape the paste into a loose rectangular on a large piece of parchment paper Cover with another piece of parchment and press down to spread out the paste a bit. Using a rolling pin, roll the paste into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cut into 12 evenly sized pieces.
The bars will keep at room temperature for a couple of weeks or can be individually wrapped and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
NUTRITION FACTS (PER BAR): Calories: 348, Calories from fat: 82, Total fat: 11 g, Saturated fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 39 mg, Potassium: 507 mg, Total carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 22 g, Protein: 30 g
Meet The team
CHEF MARIA HINES
Eddie Bauer Field Expert
A James Beard award-winner for Best Chef Northwest, Maria blends her commitment to seasonal, local, and certified organic ingredients with her high standards for impeccable service at her restaurant and catering company, Tilth. Open 2006 – 2020, Tilth was named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Frank Bruni of the New York Times.