After any endurance activity the body needs time to recover so it can reenergize itself for next time. For the body to recover more quickly, choosing the right post-workout foods is important. This is one of the challenges I face as I rarely feel like eating after strenuous activity. However, these tasty apricot and peanut butter bars provide a great mixture of tasty ingredients which help kickstart the recovery process.
Recovery is not just about sports!
If you are not athletically inclined, the good news is that recovery bars are not just for after sports! There are lots of situations in life that involve recovery and the one most of us experience at some point is stress. Much like a workout, the “fight or flight” response of stress can impact the body leaving it needing recovery. As this can come in the form of time, rest and healthy sustenance, these decadent bars make a great recovery treat for even the worst of days!
Although stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences, what each person experiences as stressful is so different. For myself, I breezed through a cancer diagnosis and treatment a few years ago, however, my recent flooded home drama brought me to my knees. Each event is quite different but apparently the latter tapped into every core fear I own. Sometimes you never know what is going to hit hard and it is not always easy to keep perspective when life throws its curve balls. That being the case, my philosophy now is to always be prepared and keep a healthy stash of “recovery foods” on hand!
This particular tasty and healthy snack is from my Deliciously Ella collection. They have a rich peanut butter and date filling spread between a sandwich of apricot, flaked almonds, oats and pumpkin seeds. No baking is required and they are great for freezing. I tend to freeze mine and then when they are needed, warm them up for about 15 minutes and they will be sweet, soft and gooey.
For the Apricot Bar
- 400g dried apricots
- 100g flaked almonds
- 100 g pumpkin seeds
- 100g rolled oats
- 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
For the Peanut Filling
- 5 tbsp peanut butter
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 14 pitted Medjool dates
- pinch of salt
- Place the apricot bar ingredients into a powerful food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a thick paste (if mixture does not stick well, add more rice syrup).
- Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into 2 lined baking trays and smooth over using the back of a spoon. (I rolled mine with a rolling pin.) These form both sides of the sandwich and they need to be left in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
- For the filling, add the peanut butter, salt, maple syrup and coconut oil in a pan over a low heat until a thick syrup has formed. Be careful to ensure it doesn’t’ bubble.
- Once a thick syrup has formed, remove from heat and cool. Once cool, pour the mixture into a food processor and add the pittted dates and blend until smooth.
- Spread peanut butter mixture over one of the apricot slabs and then put the second slab on top.
- Place back in the fridge to set for 1 hour before cutting into bite-sized snack (about 24 bars).
Sports medicine physician, Adam Rivadeneyra, describes the effect of strenuous activity in terms of having “to cause some damage to your body for it to adapt” and that repeating this process of stress and recovery is what results in improved health and fitness.
Stressful situations are definitely not fun. Still, perhaps they operate in a similar fashion to physical activity and although it can weary both body and soul, overcoming adversity is often thought of as “character building.” From my own experience I know that when an event does unhinge me, this sentiment seems trite and it often feels just plain wearying. However, given time, and perhaps a healthy dose of apricot and peanut bars, recovery will happen eventually leaving us hopefully a little stronger and wiser!