Crazy Delicious Raw Cacoa Protein Balls–and catching up!

Posted on March 14, 2014

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Dear loyal fan base–

It has been a long time since I posted. I owe you an explanation. I took a break from the blog while continuing on my own healthy eating/living after baby #2 this summer, and summer adventures with food. There are many backlogged posts to be shared, for sure, but what was unclear to me for a while was the future direction of this endeavor, and how it fits in to my other very big aspirations and projects. Sometimes when we have big goals and plans, it’s easier to get stuck in a paralyzing mode, not because we don’t want to achieve things, but because we don’t know where to start (and perhaps fear of failure plays in too). I was hesitating with just proceeding on the path without being very clear how it all fits together to add value in the ways I feel called to.

Plus, perhaps a little bit of it could be–2 kids is more than 1, and we may or may not do take-out more often 🙂 Some evenings I actually do sacrifice my desire to cook and have that focused kitchen project, and instead go and lay on the living room floor and let them climb on me before feeding them something very simple–because that’s the kind of attention they need at that “witching hour”:) Other moms out there–can you relate?

Other nights, I’ll just start cooking when the little one goes down at 8, and it’s ready to eat when husband is walking in door at 9pm or later;) (Along with our roommate).

Anyway, I am coming back to this blog with renewed commitment. You’ll see some updates here and there, and my main emphasis will be to be fully connected to the fun, messy home cooking projects we do around here–the authenticity will remain and maybe even kick up a notch. The healthy eating themes will remain (I love baking but am almost always trying GF and even grain free desserts now;)) and as I continue my studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (more to come on that in another post for sure), you’ll see elements of that woven in while still letting this be a whimsical personal food blog. And of course, my big mom projects are in the pipeline, and I’m OK with enjoying and trusting the process, and supporting the work of local fitness centers (namely, Seven Bell Fitness opening this weekend in Prospect Heights Brooklyn). All very exciting stuff, and I have this feeling there is much more to come. For now, enjoy these deliciously decadently healthy snacks.

Raw Cacao “Power Balls”

powerballs

The ingredients in this recipe make it a protein-filled snack that is easy to make, easy to transport, and a perfect pre-workout snack!

These snacks are sugar free, gluten free, dairy free.

And ridiculously tasty.

Why Raw Cacao?

Cacao (Pronounced Ka-COW) is the raw version of the cocoa bean. It is minimally processed—so it retains more of the potent mineral content, has less sugar than its standard cocoa counterparts, and contains both chromium (known for regulating blood sugar) and magnesium (an essential element of healthy muscle and nerve function). It has very high levels of anti-oxidants (think, higher than red wine or green tea), and fatty acids to assist with raising HDL (good Cholesterol levels) in the body, while reducing LDL (or Bad cholesterol) levels.

 Ingredients:

10 Medjol dates, pitted

1 tbsp raw cacoa powder

½ cup raw almonds (pecans or walnuts may also be used)

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

½ to 1 tsp coconut oil

¼ cup coconut flakes (unsweetened, preferably)

1 tbsp honey  (optional—to taste)

Optional variations (get creative!):

¼ cup dark chocolate pieces instead of coconut flakes

Replace cinnamon with cloves and add 1 tbsp orange zest for a richly decadent orange/cocao flavor

DSC_0165

Directions:

1)      Blend all ingredients in a food processor until small pebbles form.

2)      Roll into balls and place on a waxed cookie sheet, then refrigerate.

3)      Once hardened slightly (30 min), you can store in containers.

Yep, it’s that easy.

They travel well but are best enjoyed when slightly cooler than room temperature.

*Makes approx. 15 power balls—I always double the recipe because they are delicious*

Read more about cacao here:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-raw-cacao-nibs-7364.html

 

What are your favorite home-made pre-workout snacks?

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