Superfood Snack Bites

Great news, I have yet another snack ball recipe! It’s been a while, right?!

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I’m on a big FAT kick right now. Meaning-I’m trying to eat more fat!

I grew up during the low fat craze of the 80’s & 90’s. I remember when the food pyramid told me I needed to eat 6-11 bowls of cereal every day and I was in heaven because at the time I was only eating maybe 3-4 bowls of cereal per day. So I upped my cereal intake and my bagel intake and my red vines licorice intake because, you know, it was all fat free!

I remember when those Snackwell cookies came out and they were fat free and my family and I thought we were just in heaven because, oh hallelujah, they were fat free which meant we could eat the whole box! Of course after a few boxes we also noticed they tasted like cardboard but it seemed like a reasonable price to pay for being allowed to eat unlimited cookies.

And now the experts are all like, psyyyyyyyyyche!!!! (Do you remember that old saying also from the 80’s-90’s?) It turns out fat, the right fat that is, is actually super duper healthy and we need to be eating a lot more of it.

Turns out, fat doesn’t make you fat after all.

On a side note, eating 6-11 bowls of cereal every day will for sure make you fat.

This week I’ve been watching something called The Fat Summit (www.fatsummit.com). I’ve only been able to watch a few of the videos but my takeaways so far are as follows:

  • Fat doesn’t make you fat. It actually helps you burn fat.
  • Fat we eat is not the same thing as the fat on our bodies.
  • Saturated fat should not be feared. In fact, eat eggs and coconut oil, they will make you skinny!
  • If you don’t eat fat you will be irritable & uptight and could even commit murder (It happened in a study done with monkeys fed a fat free diet).
  • Eat fat with a good mindset. If you are thinking “this is going to make me fat” the whole time you are eating something, it probably will make you fat.
  • If you don’t eat enough fat your hormones can get out of whack.
  • Fat makes your food taste good.
  • Fat makes you stay satisfied for longer and decreases sugar cravings.

And on that note, here is a delicious recipe full of all the right fats!

Superfood Snack Bites

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted & soaked
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder + extra for rolling
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or blueberries, raisins or goji berries)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds soaked in 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 2-3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips or cacoa nibs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

First, soak the dates in water for several hours or overnight. Once that’s been done you are ready to proceed. Mix the chia seeds in 2-3 tablespoons of water and set them aside while they soak up all the water.

In a food processor, blend the almonds & cashews just enough to break them up a little. Then add the shredded coconut, cacao powder & salt and pulse to combine.

Next, add the dates, cherries, chia seeds and almond extract and pulse more to blend. Then add the coconut oil and blend until you reach your desired texture.

Last, stir in the chocolate chips.

Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes to let the coconut oil harden the mixture a little. Just don’t leave it in there for too long or it will get really hard! When you are ready, form the dough into bite size balls and roll each one in cacao powder. Place on a cutting board lined with parchment paper and refrigerate. Store in the refrigerator, eat with wild abandon.

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And now of course to the really good stuff. Rocco! We got Rocco a new bed. You know, because he doesn’t have enough comfy places to sleep.

It’s called the Pet Snoozer bed and I got it on Amazon. He loves it and knew exactly how to “do it”.

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But of course he still just wants to sleep on the sofa or anywhere there’s a soft blanket!

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That’s all I have for today. Bye for now!

Laura

 

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How to Make Healthy Coffee Creamer

Hello, hello!

Alright so it’s been a couple weeks but I have a good excuse…I was in Puerto Vallarta!

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Yelapa, Mexico

And it was great! I didn’t take many pictures because mostly I: read on the beach, body boarded, slept, ate, ate, ate and hit up the spa. It was truly so relaxing and just what I hoped it would be. The waves were perfect from sun up to sun down and we body boarded to our hearts content. I have never been one to go to a spa on vacation but this time I did and I LOVED IT. I actually got 2 massages in 1 week. Don’t hate me! We didn’t even rent a car so it was total bliss. I ate tons of chips and guacamole and shrimp and even this molten pot of cheese!

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I don’t normally like pico de gallo, as I hate tomatoes, but I was totally feeling it on this trip!

This post is going to be random as I jump subjects. But when I got home I made this fabulous banana bread from Bakerita.com! I have some sort of curse when it comes to banana bread, zucchini bread or any type of quick bread. It always turns out concave and burned yet raw at the same time. This recipe though turned out perfectly.  It’s sweetened only with bananas and uses coconut flour. Mmmm, I still have some in my freezer. It’s perfect for dipping in coffee!

banana bread

And so now speaking of coffee, I mentioned a while back that I was quitting stevia because I’m just a little skeptical about the stuff. If you google the subject you will learn some interesting things. But my gut feeling is: if it tastes too good to be true, it probably is, so I’ve been on a quest to cut out all stevia and replace it with sweetener that comes from real food. Not just pure sugar. That stuff still isn’t healthy.

Here is a summary of my coffee loving history.

  • 1996 (age 16): Started drinking lattes! I discovered coffee flavoring syrup and determined vanilla was the best. Of course back then sugar wasn’t bad for you, fat was! A few years down the road I switched to sugar free vanilla syrup. Gross.
  • 2002-ish: Switched to regular coffee and developed a passionate love for Vanilla Coffee Mate. Yikes.
  • 2008-ish: Upon becoming vegan I switched to the soy version of Coffee Mate. Vanilla Soy Creamer. A step in the right direction for sure since I think that stuff at least doesn’t have partially hydrogenated oil in it.
  • 2011: Switched to stevia & almond milk and other non-dairy milks.

Is this interesting? No, of course not. But the point is, I’ve tried just about everything (except drinking my coffee black, haha!!!) and I am committed to getting the perfectly sweetened cup of coffee in the morning.

Of course I could just start using honey or brown rice syrup instead of stevia but that wouldn’t be nearly as exciting as making my own creamer out of dates now would it?!

This creamer tastes very good, is very easy to make and it gives me the satisfaction of coming from real food. And I just want to say, I have not blown up like a balloon having made this switch. I know that was a concern when I quit stevia. Like, won’t switching to actual food that contains calories make me gain weight? No. The answer is no. But the stevia people don’t want us to know that. Oh, but what I do want to say is: since I made this switch my “sugar threshold” has gone waaaaay down. It doesn’t take much of this DIY Creamer to sweeten my coffee. One thing about Stevia is, it’s about 300 times sweeter than sugar. So consuming stevia will indeed make you crave more sugar.

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DIY Coffee Creamer

  • 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup non dairy milk (I’m liking hemp milk or almond milk as long as it doesn’t contain carageenan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • small pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).

Remove from refrigerator and microwave for about 2 minutes to soften the dates, this will make it easier to blend.

Pour mixture into a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Store in a glass container. I love the “Weck Juice Bottles” and use them for tons of things! You can get them at Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma.

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And last but not least here is Rocco playing in what I call “Minpin Cove”. Heaps of blankets, toys, my socks and tennis balls all over my living room.

minpin cove

Alright, I’ll be back soon with more exciting things like how to make your own kitchen & bath cleaner and laundry soap! Woooo!

Laura