Yesterday marked 11 weeks until the Flower City Half Marathon at the end of April. Since we’re going to chat about running on Monday’s from now until then, this week I want to tell you about my current favorite pre-run snack – originally inspired by Lisa’s Coconut Oil Chocolate PB cups.
I make these all the time, people.
ALL THE TIME. (yes, that required shouting.) These are easy and delicious, and even good for you too.
The hardest part about this recipe is getting the dang coconut oil out of the jar. And if you live in a warmer climate or if it’s summer time, then never mind – even this part will be easy for you since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees.
Chocolate Crunchy Coconut Cups
2/3 c coconut oil, melted
1/2 c almond butter
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c chia seeds (optional)
1/4 c hemp seeds (optional)
1/4 c shredded coconut (optional)
pinch of salt
I’ve got a secret for you: I don’t usually measure the ingredients when I make these. Once you’ve made these a couple times you’ll be eyeballing ingredients too. They’re really that easy.
I’ve tried these a bunch of different ways – made in two layers like Lisa, with peanut butter, with almond butter, with crunch, without crunch. No matter which way you shake it, these come out good.
(Except that time I forgot the maple syrup. Maybe that time they weren’t as good. But they were still kind of good.)
We’ve come to prefer crunchy around here – and my crunch trifecta is comprised of hemp seeds, chia seeds and shredded coconut.
Melt your coconut oil however you prefer. The microwave, the stove top, or maybe the air in your house if you live some place balmy and warm.
Given I took this picture on my 6 mile training run yesterday –
let’s just say I put my coconut oil in the microwave for about a minute.
Mix your melted coconut oil, almond butter (or nut butter of choice), maple syrup and cocoa powder.
Then stir in your crunchy mix-ins (plus a little salt).
Once you’ve got all your ingredients combined, set up 12 cupcake wrappers and get moving before your coconut oil mix starts to solidify.
Fill large wrappers with about 2 Tbsp of your mix. I typically use the small mini-muffin tins (and filled with 1+ Tbsp), but we rolled with the big papers today.
And since I usually eat two of the little ones at a time anyway – the big ones save me a step.
(All those steps I have to take to the freezer going back for a second one.)
Once your wrappers have been filled, pop them in the freezer for about 20 – 30 minutes to allow them to firm up.
Presto chango coconuto cupso!
Unwrap them now if you like, or unwrap them right before you eat one – doesn’t matter. Move them to an air tight container and store in the freezer – or fridge if you decide you like them a little softer.
Coconut oil is great for a lot of reasons, but one of the best things about it is that it’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides. MCT’s are converted by the liver into energy almost immediately, and so this makes these cups a perfect pre-run snack – or any workout or any physical activity really. Chasing kids? Doing lots of housework or yard work? Leaving soon for your job as a professional dog walker? Eat a coconut cup!
With the quantity of ingredients outlined above, these big ones clock in at nearly 250 calories a piece. (Yowza! I’m glad I know that now!) They are nutritionally dense, good calories, but still – calories are calories and they do add up.
250 calories is reasonable for a snack, just don’t chow down on three of them in one sitting.
(Unless you used the small wrappers. Then go ahead and eat two.)