Hey Salty friends! For the next recipe in our Salty Running in the Kitchen series, I am going to share with you a delicious recipe for salty, yet sweet, sesame almond bars.
Sesame almond bars make a wonderful post-run snack, as they contain a balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein. It’s important to refuel with carbohydrates, ideally within 30 minutes of finishing up your workout, and to get a meal or snack that combines a protein and healthy fat source within 2 hours after your run. Fats, carbs and protein each play an important role in maximizing muscle glycogen recovery (i.e., rebuilding energy stores) and supporting protein synthesis (i.e., enhancing the speed at which your body repairs micro-tears in the muscles).
I am not usually super hungry right when I finish up a run and I find these bars to be the perfect in-between snack after a run and before my next meal. I also grab these bars when I am on the go during the day. I tend to be a much nicer human being when I keep my brain and body well nourished throughout the day. Snacks are a big part of this for me! If I let myself get too hungry, it is not pretty (I get hangry and my brain gets foggy). I love the ease and convenience of being able to snack on a substantial bar that will hold me over until my next meal.
Without further ado, here are the deets of my salty and sweet sesame treats (I’ve got rhymes today folks):
Sesame’s Salty Sweet Sesame Almond Bars
- 1/4 c Coconut sugar
- 2 T Almond butter
- 1/4 c Maple syrup
- 2 T Coconut oil
- 1 t Sea salt
- 1 c Almond flour
- 1/2 c Sliced almonds (baking aisle; sometimes called “flaked”)
- 1/4 c Sesame seeds
- 1/4 c Pumpkin seeds – optional
- 1/4 c Chocolate chips – optional
You can mix and match this recipe to suit your taste — mix-in other dried fruits, seeds or nuts that you prefer to make the recipe your own. An added bonus of this recipe is that you can also make some yummy granola with the “leftover” pieces that crumble around the edges of your bars.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the almond butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil and sea salt in a small pan over medium heat. Stir gently until melted and smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the almond flour, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Combine both mixtures in the large mixing bowl.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet, making sure that it’s firmly packed down.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely before cutting into individualized bars.
Sesame seeds pack a major nutritional punch. They are full of nutrients such as healthy fats, protein, calcium, antioxidants and dietary fiber. They also contain essential minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has more calcium (350 mg) than an eight ounce cup of milk (300 mg)! Calcium is an important nutrient for runners, as the stress of running increases the demand for calcium in the body. We gotta take care of our bones.
Sesame almond bars keep me running happy and strong and I hope they can do the same for you!