Pull-ups and tahini

Tahini ApplejacksI managed to pull a muscle in my shoulder this week, after some over ambitious pull-ups at the gym. I’d like to say it had nothing to do with trying to win the gaze of a rather handsome chap lifting some rather alarmingly heavy weights, as he eyed up the overly flexible girl putting on a squat-jump show, with a bottom to rival J-Lo’s.

I stretched it out, cool and calm as a cucumber, and then crumbled into a heap of ibuprofen popping pain in the changing room, away from the clearly uninterested handsome chap’s gaze. Who was I kidding? “Bendy bum” had won the second she trotted onto the gym floor, with her long limbed show-pony’esque physique.

I got home, slathered deep heat on my shoulder, and googled what nutrients and home remedies might be helpful for muscle repair, and give me a protein boost to enable more productive pull-ups in the future.

A few favoured ingredients stood out; nuts, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and tahini, and after flicking through the Hemsley’s new book, Good + Simple, I found a seed bar recipe that ticked all these ingredient boxes.

The nutrient packed, gluten-free bars feature coconut flour, and balance sweet and savoury in the form of cinnamon, apple and tahini. They’re simple to make, and easy to play around with the ingredients too. I didn’t have hemp seeds in my cupboard, so improvised with flaxseed and a combination of nuts – again, high in protein. I’d also recommend increasing the raw honey and apple content too.

These are well worth having on hand for a post workout fix, as they’re packed with wholesome goodness.


Tahini Applejacks

Makes 10 bars


6 tbsp light tahini

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp raw honey – I used 1½ tbsp of raw honey

A pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg white

1 apple, cored and grated – I’d recommend 1½ apples (I went for Braeburn), then used the other ½ as a topping

5 tbsp shelled hemp seeds – or if you don’t have these, you could use 1tbsp flaxseed, 2 tbsp brazil nuts and 2 tbsp walnuts roughly chopped

5 tbsp pumpkin seeds

5 tbsp sunflower seeds

5 tbsp desiccated coconut

1 tbsp sesame seeds (to decorate)


Preheat the oven to 180˚ and line a 20 x 26cm cake tin with parchment paper.

Mix the first seven ingredients together in mixing bowl, then fold in the remaining ingredients, apart from the sesame seeds.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and flatten down evenly with the back of a spoon, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. I also added the remaining ½ grated apple to the top of mine.

Bake for 30-35mins, until lightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven, allow to cool completely in the tin and then slice into bars.

Store in the fridge for up to one week, or freezer for longer.

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