Tuesday, February 02, 2016

A Guiltless Sweet Treat

Let's talk about sugar, shall we?  It's a big problem in America.  We're addicted to it and it is hard to get away from it.  Drinking cokes has to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, source of sugar for the majority of Americans.  But even if you have given up the sodas, you are still being toyed with by the food companies.  Did you know that there is this sweet spot (pun fully intended) called Bliss Point.  When producing food, the company will create a formula called the Bliss Point to find out just how much sugar they can add before it is too sweet and you don't like it.  The same goes for salt too.  Since sugar has been reported as addictive (maybe even to the extent as cocaine), this has you coming back for more and more of their product.  You probably are already aware that sugar isn't the best thing for you, but you might need a push to cut back or eliminate it from your diet.

Michael decided in November (before Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and Valentines Day...the man is either really smart or really foolish) to completely eliminate any added sugar from his diet.  At the beginning of his new lifestyle, we watched on Netflix, That Sugar Film.  I highly recommend watching that film to get a kick in the pants to at least pay attention to what you are consuming.

I know, I know.  You love chocolate.  I am going to share something with you that is chocolate and has no added sugar!  If you have been eating a lot of sugar, it may not be very sweet to you, but it is sweet enough for my kids to beg for it!  It is raw, vegan, and extremely good for you.

The recipe maker, Chocolate Covered Katie, calls them Fudge Babies.  We just call them date balls around my house.  I adapted the recipe to use cashews instead of walnuts, but walnuts are even better for you.  We only have cashews and it works well.  If you haven't looked through Katie's recipes before, you really should browse around.  She's great.  Below the recipe, I will write a little about why this treat is soooo good for you.

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of cashews (or nut of your choice)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of pitted dates (I think adding 1 or 2 dates to this measurement might be best)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder 
  • 1/8 plus 1/16 tsp salt (optional)
None of my foods have added sugar.  You may want to check your ingredients to be sure.

I used medjool dates with pits.  They don't dry out as quickly if they still contain the pits.  If you haven't pitted a date before, it's easy.  The way I do it, and there may be a better way, is to slice lengthwise and pop that pit right out.

Measure out your ingredients and place everything in your food processor.  

Blend it until the ingredients are fine and well mixed.  I've had it come out like this, pretty grainy, and I've added too many dates before and it came out very sticky.  Both will work and it will taste yummy.  You just have to work a bit more to form balls when it is grainy, but the dates will be sticky enough to form balls when enough pressure is applied.

Form into little balls and chill in the fridge if you can stand it.  Everyone in my family (beside Audrey, my non-nut eater) starts eating them before I even finish rolling them.  I personally think that the flavors really come together after chilling them.  

Now let's talk about how good these bites of goodness are for you!  Dates are a whole food.  Yes, they are mostly sugar, but the fiber and perhaps other nutrients balance it all out.  Dr. Michael Gregor at NutritionFacts.org even goes so far to report that dates are perhaps an ideal food based on a study done in Israel!  Watch his video here.  

Also, Dr. Gregor reports that cashews help suppress cancer cells.  If you have walnuts like Katie's original recipe included, use those, because walnuts REALLY suppress cancer cells.  His article can be found here.  If you haven't heard of Dr. Gregor, go to his website now!  He gathers all of the science and gives you the information in a short and often entertaining way.

Enjoy your guiltless sweet treat!

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Awesome- thanks Brooke! I have been on an oily and natural journey in the past year and am enjoying learning and finding out who else is passionate about wellness. I have tried to make something similar and maybe it was my old and cheap food processor, but it got all clumpy! I will try again and add the Cocoa powder.