Since Moms RUN This Town and Green Plate Rule have teamed up to host the Heart Healthy 5K / 10K / Half Marathon virtual race this month I thought it would be good to talk about foods that are important for fueling your body before and refueling your body after a strenuous workout or run. I quickly learned while training for the marathon what foods I could and could not eat the night before a long run and the morning of my long runs. I avoid anything heavy, processed, and fried and stick to simple foods that provided me with lots of energy. While I think the food you eat is very important, staying hydrated is just as important for performance during workouts.
These quinoa protein bars are so simple to make and store. This bar has four superfoods for runners. The combination of quinoa, chia seeds, peanut butter, and banana makes this the perfect thing to eat before or after a long run or workout. And a little chocolate flavor and hidden green in the Barlean’s Chocolate Silk Greens never hurts. These bars are full of fiber, which will help you feel full longer along with other benefits , and protein, which helps the muscles repair and recover.
- Bananas have lots of sugar and potassium, both of which are needs to fuel, refuel and prevent muscles cramps.
- Quinoa has a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is the optimal ratio for recovery, and is high in lysine, which helps the body absorb calcium and promote tissue growth and repair.
- Chia seeds, like quinoa, are a complete protein, meaning it provides all the amino acids our bodies need. The Aztecs knew chia seeds as “running food”. These tiny seeds are full of protein, calcium, omega’s, antioxidants, and fiber to keep you going strong. They also can hold up to 10x their weight in water which will help you stay hydrated over a long period of time.
- Peanut Butter is always a favorite among runners for pre-race, and post-race meals. It’s tasty, and high in protein and fiber, all of which are important.
Even if you are not a runner, this is a great snack that will help you stay full, fill you with nutrition, and help satisfy any sweet tooth cravings. I have made them several ways. The first couple of times I made these I poured the mixture into an 8 x 8 dish and then after freezing cut into squares. I tried evenly distributing the mixture into 12 muffin tins and then froze and individually wrapped. And finally, my personal favorite, I rolled them into balls, placed them in the freezer on a cookie sheet and then once frozen stored them in a zip-lock bag. I like them rolled into balls because it’s the perfect size quick bite. Three powerful, nutritious, chocolatey bites of goodness. They need to stay in the freezer since they are raw (with the exception of the quinoa), but you will be surprised how quickly they soften after removing from the freezer. I usually eat mine within minutes of taking it out. If it comes to room temperature completely they will get a little sticky but still a great flavor. So I would recommend eating them within minutes of removing from the freezer.
Your kids will love this for a snack too. My girls have been enjoying these at snack time with a piece of fruit.
|Quinoa Protein Bars||
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 large banana, peeled
- 2 pitted dates
- 2 scoops of Barlean’s Chocolate Silk Greens
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp agave (optional)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- In a food processor, add peanut butter, banana, dates, Chocolate Greens Powder, and agave (optional). Mix until smooth.
- In a medium bowl add the cooked quinoa and peanut butter mixture together. Add chia seeds and chocolate chips and mix well.
- Line a 8×8 baking dish with plastic wrap and pour mixture into dish.
- Spread until evenly distributed
- Freeze until firm, about 2 hours
- Then remove from the dish and cut into squares
- Wrap individually and put back in the freezer until ready to eat
If you do not have Barlean’s Chocolate Silk Greens Powder you can substitute 1 tbsp cocoa powder, but make sure you add a tbsp of sweetener (agave or honey).
You can also roll the mixture into balls and freeze, or distribute mixture into muffin tins and freeze.
They need to be stored in the freezer and are best when eaten within a few minutes of removing.