These frozen chocolate cherry bars are a healthy, protein packed summer treat. They’re paleo and gluten free too!
When I made these no bake strawberry cream bars I knew I’d be revisiting the method again to play around with flavors. And guess what? That’s exactly what I did with these frozen chocolate cherry bars. Don’t be surprised if you see more of these throughout the summer because I basically want to make them with every fruit possible as the season goes on. Mmmmm peaches….
Fresh off the paleo challenge, I wanted to go the paleo route this time around. Shocking right? Considering I’ve become that person slapping “paleo” in front of every recipe lately. I didn’t do it today because I kind of hate myself for it (the day I label a steak as “paleo” is the day I give someone the permission to virtually slap me) so I’m keeping my fingers from typing it in the title even though they’re kinda twitching to do so.
Anyway, instead of oats, the bottom layer is fruit and nut based this time around. It also has an added bit of protein from the addition of a scoop of powder (use any kind you want and if you have chocolate protein powder that’d be even better!) thrown into the mix. The middle layer is my favorite though. Two of my favorite things, frozen tart cherries and coconut cream, are blended into a creamy center that freezes up into a cherry creamsicle-like treat (and makes me think it’d be stellar as a standalone popsicle flavor combination…). Then of course, the top is drizzled with dark chocolate because, well, why not? Use the darkest chocolate you have, I typically do 85% and feel good enough about that being close enough to legit paleo but you can always grab some Enjoy Life chocolate chips if you really want to be on point.
The thing I love most about these bars though is that they’re decadent enough to be straight up dessert, but healthy enough to be a really great post-workout snack too. From the typical protein boost of the nuts and protein powder to the great recovery benefits of the tart cherries, one of these bars just might help you avoid muscle soreness after a tough workout or at least recover faster if you do!
Frozen Chocolate Cherry Bars
These frozen chocolate cherry bars are a healthy, protein packed summer treat. They're paleo and gluten free too!
For the base
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 5 medjool dates, pitted and halved
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 scoop protein powder (*optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk as needed (*see directions)
For the middle layer
- 1 cup frozen tart cherries, semi-thawed
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (the solid cream from the can of a full fat coconut milk)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
For the chocolate topping
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Combine all the ingredients for the base except the milk in a food processor. Process until finely chopped and the mixture starts to stick together. Slowly add the milk a little at a time until the mixture becomes sticky and forms a ball in the processor.
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and transfer the base mixture to the dish. Spread the mixture evenly into the corners of the dish pressing down with wet fingers to help spread it out. Place the dish in the refrigerator while you make the middle layer.
- Combine all the ingredients for the middle layer in the food processor and process until smooth. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and pour the cherry mixture on top of the base mixture. Place the dish in the freezer and freeze until set, about 2 hours.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil for the topping in a small bowl and stir until combined. Remove the baking dish from the freezer and drizzle the chocolate over the top with a spoon.
- Return the baking dish to the freezer, covered with plastic wrap and keep frozen until serving.
- Cut into 9 pieces before serving.
Visit ChooseCherries.com for lots more recovery recipe inspiration!
*This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions and content are my own.