Once again, Maddie Berky from Paleo Girl In The City stopped by to share her recipe for super bites as a perfect pre-workout snack if you ask us! She also includes a somewhat unique ingredient that you may not be familiar with so check this one out, try it soon, and comment to let us know how you like it!
I am on a constant nutritional quest for two things: 1) what to eat before a workout, and 2) how to sneak super foods into my diet. 2B) How to sneak liver into my diet, but that is another post entirely…Before I started eating Paleo I was the pre-workout granola bar queen. I’ve tried, and completely OD’d on all of them. Theoretically granola bars are the perfect pre-workout grub: they’re easy, portable, and just enough food to tie you over but not threaten to revisit you mid you kicking butt. Perfect. That is until you no longer want to eat 90% of what’s in most pre-packaged bars. Enough was finally enough. My food processor and I decided to take this business on, and what resulted were these creamy little bites of goodness, packed with ingredients I know and trust to help me get the job done like a well-fueled champ.
Now, pre-workout food is personal. The workout window – approximately 1 hour before and 30 minutes after – is the one time in which fat does not necessarily need to be part of the equation. One of the brilliant things fat does in our bodies is to slow things down: it allows us to digest things a little more slowly and thus to feel full longer. This, “take a chill pill digestive system” cue is great except right before a workout when we want quick fuel and right after a workout when we want to shuttle nutrients back into our cells. But here’s where individuality comes into the equation: I like to eat fat before a workout. Truth. I do. And if I’m cutting it close, I like to eat just fat and carbohydrates. The fat helps to settle my stomach and the carbs give me a perfect, little energy boost. Protein is just a tad bit too much for me right before moving.
These Super Bites reflect that personal preference. You can pair them with some animal protein (try hard boiled eggs or jerky) to make a more complete snack, or eat them alone depending on what makes YOU feel the best. If you don’t have maca powder, no worries, these will still taste awesome anyways, but here’s what’s up with maca…
Ingredient Spotlight: Maca Powder
Hailing from the mountains of Peru and Bolivia, and having a curiously malty taste, maca adds intrigue and a degree of super power to your plate. At it foundation, maca is an adaptogen, meaning that it helps our body to establish balance. To that end, it can aid women, especially menopausal women, in balancing their hormones. It’s supportive to our adrenals, helping us cope with stress. It can help with bone density, depression, and sexual desire, and even produces a natural energy boost. AKA: this business is AWESOME. You can find maca powder at Whole Foods and other natural grocers. You can also find it online here
Sources: Gottfried, S. (2013). The Hormone Cure. New York: Scribner.
- 500g cashews (about 4 cups)
- 8 turkish figs (dried)
- ¼ c hemp seeds
- 2T chia seeds
- 2T maca powder
- 1T cinnamon
- ¼ + 1/8t sea salt
- Start by soaking your figs. Just stick those babies in a bowl of warm water and walk away for a bit, or rather for 30-45min.
- Place your cashews in the food processor. Warming: this step takes patience, grit, and a little dose of courage. I feel like I went through all stages of grief making those dudes unto butter. Denial, anger, bargaining…all the key players were there…Essentially: pulse, stir, pulse, stir, & repeat 800 times. Don’t worry smooth, luscious nut butter will ensue. It just takes about 15 minutes of persistent pulsing.
- When your cashews are a super smooth and velvety butter, A) pat yourself on the back, and B) drain and add your figs. Process till smooth then add the rest of your ingredients. Process again till mixed thoroughly.
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Spread “batter” evenly throughout the pan and then stick in the fridge for 1-2 hours (overnight if you have time.)
- Use the edges of the parchment paper to pull your bars out of the pan and then cut into square inch size pieces for easily, portable nomming. Great as a quick pre-workout snack!