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Chocolate protein balls and paleo bars - Easter treat recipes for the fitness fanatics

Personal trainer David Last shares two of his favourite recipes.

Image: Shutterstock/iLight photo

WE ALL LIKE a bit of chocolate at this time of year and perhaps some of you had given it up for lent and have been looking forward to tucking in to an Easter egg, or two, over the coming days (maybe they’re all gone!).

But you don’t need to undo all the hard work you’ve done in the gym over the last couple of weeks and months by binging on store-bought, sugar-loaded chocolate eggs.

Of course, everything in moderation is acceptable but there are alternatives out there for those of us who want to choose a healthier and less expensive option.

No doubt you will come across these treats and healthy snacks in most new, trendy cafes and stores around the country but what I’ve started to notice is the excessive prices being charged.

Paleo bars or chocolate protein bars can set you back between €2 and €4 but these recipes will make a batch and cost you a fraction of the price.

Paleo bars


  • 200g mixed nuts (I use a mixed bag of walnuts, cashew nuts and hazelnuts)
  • 1 bag of desiccated coconut (150-200g)
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla extract
  • 100-150g of dark choc (I went with 85% but anything between 70-90% works)
  • 200g of coconut oil
  • 2-3 spoons of meridian nut butter (cashew or almond)
  • Handful of dried fruit (used raisins and mango this time)


  1. Blend mixed nuts, handful of dried fruit and desicated coconut together.
  2. Add 200g of coconut oil and 2-3 spoons of nut butter to a heated pot and stir slowly on slow heat.
  3. Add one teaspoon of vanilla extract to same pot and stir.
  4. Add the blended mixture of nuts and coconut to the same pot, stir on low heat.
  5. Heat 100-150g of 75-85% dark choc into a separate pot.
  6. Apply all the ingredients from the main pot to dark choc and mix together.
  7. Coat a small amount of coconut oil onto baking tray and apply the chocolaty mixture onto tray
  8. Leave in fridge for two hours

After two hours in the fridge, I coated it with the remainder of the desiccated coconut and added chopped strawberries and blueberries.


Vanilla and chocolate protein balls


  • 220/250ml can of coconut milk/cream
  • 350-380g desiccated coconut
  • 120g of whey vanilla protein powder (4 scoops)
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla essence
  • 60g-100g of 70-85% dark chocolate

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  1. Open can of coconut milk/cream, empty contents to bowl and whisk.
  2. Add one tea spoon of vanilla essence and mix.
  3. Add four scoops of vanilla protein to same bowl and whisk until smooth texture.
  4. Add all the desiccated coconut to same bowl and whisk until substance becomes thick (Add more protein or coconut here if needed)
  5. When mixture is solid enough form 8-12 balls leaving half of contents in bowl.
  6. Put balls into fridge for an hour and allow to harden up.
  7. Coat each vanilla ball with more desicated coconut then pop back into fridge to remain firm.
  8. Heat dark chocolate.
  9. Add remaining mixture with heated dark chocolate and allow to cool for five minutes.
  10. When mixture has cooled form 8-12 dark chocolate balls then pop into fridge to cool and firm.
  11. One hour later coat each chocolate ball with some more coconut flakes then pop into fridge for one hour and allow to harden up.



About the author:

David Last

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