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Friday, 8 February 2013

Pre-Workout Chocolate Coated Protein Bar (Gluten-Free too!)

Valentine's day is almost round the corner. Not that I actually look forward to it or do anything special, I don't actually do anything on Valentine's day. But at least, I think the day isn't complete without a little chocolate treat! According to recent studies*, dark chocolate, or more so the flavanols present in chocolate, are actually very beneficial for the body as a pre-workout snack. These flavanols reduce muscle fatigue by 30% and increase performance by 50%. But don't go eat a whole block, only a little amount (about 5g) is recommended before exercise.

I am a serious chocolate lover and I only buy dark chocolate. I've never actually paid much attention in having a little bit of chocolate before exercise. But if this can improve my exercise performance, then I'm in! And a pre-workout protein bar is something that Boyfriendlovlie has been requesting for a long time to assist with his training.

Although I made this as a pre-workout protein bar, it was so good that I actually had it anytime I wanted a sweet healthier snack. Boyfriendlovlie absolutely loved it too! When I make little sweet snacks, he usually doesn't remember that they are there to be eaten (until I remind him) but for these ones, he came looking for them by himself! They definitely appealed to him!

Make sure you use dark chocolate that is above 70% as lower than this contains too much sugar and is not as effective.
Here's a little treat that will appeal to young and old alike. A chocolate covered protein bar that kids can enjoy and adults can fill up on for a protein-rich snack.

Ingredients (approx. 12 bars)

2 1/4 cup mixed red kidney beans and chickpeas
150ml pear puree (apple sauce is fine too, I use 1 1/2 ripe pears, peeled)
6 medjool dates
1 tablespoon coconut milk (thick consistency)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

200g Semi-sweet dark chocolate for coating (use dark chocolate about 70%)

  • Soak the dates in some hot water for about 10 minutes or until soft enough to blend to a smooth paste.
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees Farenheit (or 180 degrees Celsius).
  • Mash the beans to a paste, I used a hand blender which left a few small chunks in. It is fine to use a blender too but pulse to break into small chunks first.
  • Remove dates from water, remove pits, chop into small pieces and add to the blender.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a rectangular oven dish. Pour mixture in the dish and smooth out evenly.
  • Bake for one and a half hours or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Lift parchment paper and remove from pan. Leave cake onto the parchment paper and cut into logs or squares, whichever shape you like.

For chocolate coating:
  • Melt about 150g chocolate in a double boiler. You can make your own by using a smaller pan inside a larger one. Fill the larger one with enough water so the smaller pan floats. Place chocolate in smaller pan and heat the water until it melts.

  • Coat each log on the three sides.

  • Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile you can melt the remaining 50g of chocolate.
  • Remove and turn the uncoated side up. Coat with a layer of chocolate.
  • Put back in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then remove and store in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts per bar:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 serving (57.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 3% Iron 6%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet



  1. Holy Moly, those look gooood! Love those for a pre-workout snack!

  2. I am pretty excited to try these out. Always looking for a pre-workout snack that isn't a banana.

  3. wow that's looks awesome !


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