After a big race, I’m always starving, and desperately crave two things – salt and protein. This can lead to some of my most pleasing food inventions. After the Pocklington 10 miler, I demolished Harissa Hummus and beetroot crisp sandwiches in my chia seed pittas. After a training run last week, I went weak at the knees for half an avocado with pink Himalayan salt, lemon juice and cayenne.
I did some research, and it turns out that a craving for salty foods after exercise is not actually a craving for sodium, but for potassium and magnesium, replacing lost electrolytes in sweat.
So, I invented this recipe which combines mineral-rich nuts with crunchy pretzels and chocolate. The pretzels still give me the feeling and taste of having salty food, but there are actually only 25g in this recipe, which would contribute 14% of your daily sodium allowance, even if you ate the whole tray. And I know you’re going to share them, right…?
NOTE: Most pretzels are vegan but some manufacturers add butter to their dough. Check the label if you want to avoid dairy.
- 150g dates
- 50 ml hot water
- 150g almonds
- 100g brazil nuts
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 200g dark chocolate
- 25g pretzels
- Line your tray with baking parchment.
- Chop your dates into little pieces and soak in the hot water and set aside. Use a bowl that will be big enough for all of the ingredients later.
- Roast your nuts under a hot grill until they start to turn a deeper brown and smell lovely.
- Process your nuts until they're a fine rubble (we use our
- Froothie, or a well-cleaned spice or coffee grinder would work) Some big bits remaining are fine. Add them, along with your chia seeds, to your dates.
- Melt your chocolate in a heat-proof jug. Add 150g of the chocolate to your date and nut mixture and mix well. Press the mixture into your tray.
- Pour the remaining chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag. I find the easiest way to do this is to put the bag in a glass, open it wide, and pour (hence melting the choc in a jug earlier). Get your pretzels and tray of goodies nearby.
- Cut a tiny 2mm hole in your sandwich bag and start streaking the chocolate all over the surface of the date bar. When around ⅔ of the mixture has been drizzled, quickly press your pretzels into the sticky surface, then keep pouring the rest of the chocolate. If you squeezed the last tablespoon of chocolate straight out of the bag into your mouth, I'm sure nobody would tell on you...
- Leave on the side for at least 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for a few hours to set.