The addition of dark chocolate chips to these healthy fruit and nut bars makes them taste wonderfully decadent. Cocoa and dark chocolate are both rich in polyphenols, which help to improve levels of nitric oxide in the body and increase oxygen delivery to muscles during endurance exercise, such as running.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 10 BARS)
- 150g (5oz) ready-to-eat soft or medjool dates*
- 100g (31⁄2oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots 125g
- (4oz) ground almonds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 25g (1oz) dark chocolate chips
*Or use standard dried dates: leave them to soak in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, then drain.
- Place the dates in a food processor with the apricots, almonds, cocoa powder and cinnamon, and process until the mixture starts to clump together.
- Add the chocolate chips and pulse until it forms the consistency of stiff cookie dough.
- Press into a thick 18cm (7in) square size between two sheets of cling film or baking paper. Alternatively, you can press into it a square baking tin lined with cling film. Chill for an hour until firm. Cut into 10 bars, then wrap in cling film.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
NUTRITION PER BAR
156 kcal, 4g protein, 8g fat (1g saturated), 16g carbs (15g total sugars), 3g fibre
Taken from The Runner’s Cookbook by Anita Bean (Bloomsbury, £14.99) published on 28 December 2017.
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