I was out on a day trip the other day and I wanted to get a snack as I'd just been to the gym that morning and my appetite was voracious (leg day does that to a person). So I walked into a health food shop with hopes of finding something that ticked all my boxes:
☐ A snack under 250kcals
☐ Something tasty
☐ Something healthy and nutritious
☐ Something sugarless and preservative-free
☐ Something featuring more protein than carbs
I ended up looking for quite a while and settled on some pumpkin seeds and a packet of cooked chicken wishing I could have found something a bit more, oh, I don't know... exciting? And it made me think: besides protein bars of course, which snacks would 'do it' for me? What was it that I was looking to find? My mind immediately went to dark chocolate but dark chocolate isn't really a protein food and a chocolate bar is not something that lasts long. I mean, after 3 or 4 squares that's it, snack over. But there has to be something else, I thought, something that combines a bit of chocolate with a punch full of deliciousness AND protein... something that I can pack in a little bag or box and carry with me... something I can peck at and munch-munch-munch as I go about my day. That's how I came up with this recipe. That's the thinking-trail that led me to the eureka moment behind this recipe. All thanks to the fact that I was eating some chicken and pumpkin seeds while thinking of dark chocolate ;-)
1 handful of pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup - 32 grams)
2 squares (20 grams) of dark chocolate - I used 100% but anything above 80% will do
1/2 scoop (17grams) of a delicious and good quality vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder (I used this one)
Directions: Melt your chocolate in a bain marie (a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water). Once melted, throw your pumpkin seeds and protein in there and mix it all around with a spoon. Then, transfer all the protein and chocolate-coated pumpkin seeds to a tray and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes. That, dear members of the jury, is IT :-D
The end product is beyond fantastic; my jaw dropped several feet into the ground! And it's weird because the protein powder has this bite to it that's hard to describe (it's almost crunchy but not really crunchy?) and has this outer sweetness goes gorgeously-well alongside the dark chocolate. And then! then you get to the pumpkin seeds! and boooom, all the flavors come together in a truly spectacular fashion :-D
And to thing that with this you get so much goodness! Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols, phosphorous, L-tryptophan, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin E and vitamin K and have tons of health benefits (check it out) while chocolate, in its darkest form, is brimming with antioxidants and polyphenols (i.a. flavanols) and - in moderation of course - has been linked to all kinds of greatness (note this).
So yeah! Make this! Because it's one hell of a snack, I tell ya :-D
Macros (for 1/2 of the above batch): 178.45kcals, 12.3g protein, 6g carbs (out of which 2.5 is fiber!) and 13.2g fat (5g sat).