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Desserts for athletes: Chocolate, citrus fruit and berry treats

Flapjacks make good desserts for athletes especially when made with nuts and seeds. Pile of three flapjacks on a white plate with seeds scattered beside them and a teapot in the background

With many of us heading back to the gym or hitting our training plans with renewed resolve, thoughts turn to healthy eating. Whether training for an event, goal or overall fitness, exercise and food both have a part to play. Sometimes though, eating well can be difficult. Constantly watching what you eat is draining. Savoury food is one thing but thinking of desserts for athletes and active families that are both nutritionally beneficial and delicious can be tough. We’ve shared some low saturated fat desserts that we love. But you can never have too many puddings. So, here are a few more ideas for tasty desserts for athletes.

Chocolate desserts for athletes

Most people with a sweet tooth regularly crave chocolate. This is particularly true when we’re tired, in fact the Independent reported that even the smell of high calorie food is more appealing to people who are sleep deprived. Fortunately, not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate is naturally high in flavanols and antioxidants. It also contains iron, manganese, copper and magnesium, all of which are beneficial. In fact, both dark chocolate and cocoa powder have been labelled as super foods due to their high phytonutrient content. Even higher than that in pomegranate or blueberries. Its exciting properties make dark chocolate a great base for desserts.

Pieces from a bar of dark chocolate on a dark brown background
Dark chocolate is surprisingly healthy. Image by Alexander Stein from Pixabay.

Quick and easy dark chocolate recipe idea

Dark chocolate combines surprisingly well with sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, B and C as well as fibre that is beneficial for digestion. To make a healthy dark chocolate fudge, steam or boil a medium sweet potato until soft enough to mash. Drain it completely and either mash it up well or puree it in a blender without any added liquid. Then, melt approximately 150 grams of dark chocolate. Mix the sweet potato puree with the dark chocolate until completely combined. Line a lunch box with baking paper and spread out the mixture onto the baking paper, about a centimetre thick. Then simply refrigerate for about an hour until it’s set. Chop into small squares and put it back into the lunchbox. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days as a go-to snack to alleviate those chocolate cravings.

Dark chocolate combines with sweet potato to create fudge that can be sliced into small squares ideal as desserts for athletes
Dark chocolate and sweet potato fudge

If a small square of fudge isn’t enough to hit the spot, you probably need a pot of ROAR double chocolate protein dessert. Keep a double chocolate trio in the freezer or for 14 days in the fridge. Even easier to grab and go than protein powder, yet infinitely tastier. Everyone from endurance athletes to active families can enjoy ROAR protein desserts.

Citrus fruit desserts for athletes

Desserts always feel a little lighter and less filling when they contain citrus fruit. Picture the scene. You’ve just tucked into a huge, protein rich meal with ingredients that offer all the nutrients you’re after. You crave something sweet but protein is filling! So instead of going for a rich, chocolatey or toffee dessert, you grab something citrusy. Unfortunately, citrus desserts often contain a lot of sugar. Ironically, the citrus tang that we all crave when we’re full is often offset with brown sugar or caster sugar. So, a low sugar citrus dessert might just be more appealing than the sugar filled ones we’re used to.

We like the look of this recipe for 130 calorie greek yoghurt lemon bars. It’s a reduced sugar recipe loosely based on cheesecake but with crackers instead of biscuits for the base. The filling uses light cream cheese, eggs, greek yoghurt and lemon juice and zest. Healthier desserts often contain Greek yoghurt because it has probiotic properties and is a recognised source of protein. If you want to use Greek yoghurt as a dessert without going to the effort of following a recipe, it can easily be mixed with fresh fruit or jam. To make a low sugar jam, use chia seeds as a thickener instead of high amounts of sugar. It can even be sweetened with maple syrup so no sugar is needed at all. This 10 minute jam recipe can be adapted for use with fresh or frozen fruit.

Of course, you won’t always be looking for something light when you turn to a citrus fruit dessert. Sometimes, only a Jaffa cake will do. With 20.6 grams of protein from whey isolate, low sugar, low saturated fats and just 245 calories, our Jaffa Break ROAR Protein Dessert is the ultimate Jaffa cake pudding.

Jaffa break ROAR pots displayed with three stacked up and one emptied onto a board, one of the ultimate desserts for athletes from ROAR
Desserts for athletes don’t come better than our delicious Jaffa break protein pot

Berry desserts for athletes

Like citrus fruits, summer berries are great for making light desserts that are not too filling. Even out of season, frozen berries are readily available. Thaw them out and mix with greek yoghurt and a little honey or maple syrup for a quick and easy dessert. For something a bit more filling, you could try out these mixed berry crumble bars made with coconut oil and oats. As an alternative to ice cream, put some mixed berries through a sorbet maker or freeze them with fruit juice into ice lolly moulds.

If you prefer your berries in a cheesecake, we think you might be our sort of person. That’s why we have developed the ROAR raspberry blondie. White chocolate flavoured whey protein isolate combines with oats to give a cheesecake-like texture. We’ve married that with a tangy raspberry puree to satisfy your sweet tooth with just 245 calories.

Raspberry blondie desserts for athletes with three pots stacked in the background and one emptied onto a white board and decorated with raspberries
Raspberry blondie desserts for athletes

Nutty sweet treats

When it comes to desserts for athletes, many of us turn to nuts for our protein hit. Peanut butter is always popular and can be combined with both protein powder and cocoa powder for a chocolatey protein hit. For a grab and go bar, flapjacks with nuts and seeds are full of goodness, although they can also be high in calories. The below recipe always produces a batch of tasty, gooey flapjacks with minimum fuss.

Flapjacks make good desserts for athletes especially when made with nuts and seeds. Pile of three flapjacks on a white plate with seeds scattered beside them and a teapot in the background
Flapjacks make good desserts for athletes especially when made with nuts and seeds.
  • Butter: 100 grams
  • 100 grams of golden or maple syrup
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • 150 grams of oats
  • 50 grams of mixed seeds
  • 50 grams of mixed nuts
  • 200 grams of either dried fruit or chocolate chips

Mix together all of the ingredients and spread into a 20cm square baking tray. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

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