There are several things in life that I am most passionate about: friends, family and motivating myself to live a productive and healthy life. In light of this list, I think the following recipe is the perfect post to begin with since it combines both family and health. My sister, S, is training to run a marathon in May and has been looking for new and delicious ways to fuel up before hitting the pavement. I asked her, “What are your two most favorite flavors?” She set the gauntlet by responding, “Chocolate and Raspberry, please.”
Before designing this delicious nugget of energy, I started by visiting various blogs written by long-distance runners (please refer to helpful links below). I mean, who better to ask than actual marathon runners? The most I’ve ever done was 4.5 miles and I think I rewarded myself with sushi and a Belgian beer (the dinner of err…Champions!).
While their menus seem somewhat subjective, one pattern I noticed was that most runners recommend eating a pre-workout snack/meal that consists of a perfect blend of complex carbohydrates and protein with a small amount of fat and fiber.
Why are these ingredients important? Intense training requires a significant amount of fuel (calories) and a well stocked “carbohydrate reserve”. The carb reserve takes the form of glucose in the bloodstream and glycogen in your muscles. In order to ensure that these stores aren’t depleted, an athlete is required to re-fuel the tanks the night before a long run, as well as top off their stores before the workout begins. The recipe shown here works well both as a pre- or post- workout snack since it includes a nice combination of both complex carbs: flaxseed meal and low-fat yogurt and some simple carbs: banana and honey for a quick boost in energy. This recipe also includes a bit of fiber (found in the flaxseed and fruit), which helps to prolong digestion, thereby ensuring a slower release of energy.
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup golden flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup baking cocoa powder
- 1 scoop of chocolate-flavored Whole Foods Soy Protein Powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 overly ripe bananas
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 tbsp unpasteurized, raw honey
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil
- 2 tbsp organic creamy almond butter
- ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1.5 oz 72% chocolate (Green & Black’s Organic Dark Baking Chocolate is a nice product to work with)
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- Muffin tin liners (optional, but the cute factor went up 10 points when I used these)
- Crank mood music. These muffins were created while grooving to Steromood’s “Lost in Jamaica
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Insert paper liners or use a bit of non-stick cooking spray or coconut oil to coat the bottom of the tins evenly.
- Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
- Puree the bananas and raspberries using a food processor. To the fruit mush add: honey, eggs, coconut oil, almond butter and Greek yogurt. Pulse in food processor until smooth. (You can also use an electric mixer here, but I’m in love with my food processor and use it as much as possible when baking).
- Chop the chocolate into medium sized pieces and melt over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, be sure to check on the mixture every 20 seconds or so to make sure that the chocolate doesn’t burn (FAIL). Let the chocolate mixture cool for a minute or so and then add to the wet ingredients.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
- Fill the muffin tins about 2/3rds of the way full (~2 tablespoons per well).
- Bake for 15-20 min.
- Allow the muffins to cool completely before storing them in the fridge for prolonged freshness. After consuming the first batch (oops), I found that the flavors intensify nicely when served cold.
- For this recipe, I chose to use the raspberry fruit in its entirety because the seeds are full of healthy fiber. However, if you find the texture unpleasant, feel free to remove the seeds by straining the raspberry mixture before adding it to the rest of the wet ingredients.
- If you’re viewing this recipe as more of a treat (and need some help in the will power department) try freezing half the batch. Then, when you’re in the mood for a powerful blast of chocolate and raspberry goodness, just pop one into the microwave for a minute or two and voilá…just like they were straight from the oven!
- As you will see in my posts to come, it is my goal to use natural sweeteners and avoid processed flours. That being said, these muffins are bound to taste a little less sweet than those purchased in the store or bakery. In my opinion, using less sweetener allows the palate to experience a whole new depth of flavor…I hope that you will enjoy these as well!
Nutritional info per muffin:
- 172 calories, 12g carb, 13g fat and 7g protein