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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sneaky Berry Smoothie

Ssshhh!This smoothie is secretly healthy.

I know. Hard to believe, but it has 60% of the daily requirement for Vitamin A and over 260% of the the daily requirement for Vitamin C. It also has 7 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, is high in manganese, and has 13% of the daily requirement for iron (I'm sure you could up the iron by adding more spinach, but I wanted my smoothie to be kind of pretty for the photo shoot ;) ). Woah, that's a seriously healthy smoothie.

Plus, it has coconut oil in it. Making this smoothie slightly creamy, rich, and full of intestinal-healing properties. A toast to the awesome-ness of coconut! I'm trying to put coconut in everything because it's just so good for you!  

The only downside to this smoothie is that it has quite a bit of sugar/carbs in it. You can easily fix that by substituting water for the coconut water or maybe even try replacing the juice with yogurt or milk (I would use unsweetened almond or coconut). I bet it would still taste delicious, but the orange juice gives the smoothie an extra boost of Vitamin C. And we all need extra Vitamin C right now with the flu and whatnot.

Even thought it may be rainy or cold where you live, I urge you to give this smoothie a try! Then maybe cuddle up in front of a fire or Costco heating dish. ;) 

1/2 c. orange juice (I used orange peach mango from Trader Joe's)
1/2 c. coconut water, water, or more juice
1/2 frozen banana
4 large frozen strawberries
1/4 c. frozen pineapple
1/2 c. mixed frozen berries
1-2 c. spinach 
1 T. coconut oil
2 T. flaxseed
honey or other sweetener to taste
a few baby carrots (optional)

1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender. TIP: Put your liquid ingredients in first. It's easier on the blender.
2. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Inquiry of the Day:

Has the flu hit you yet?

It hasn't gotten to me yet! I'm constantly washing my hands, taking Vitamin D, eating lots of Vitamin C, and taking probiotics. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that's enough! Though I think flu season has reached it's peak and will start to settle down now. At least, I hope so.

By the way, you can check me out on Pinterest now. :)

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fat: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This post is just going to summarize the different kinds of fat there are and the general affect they have on your body. For a more in depth look at fats visit Robb Wolf's blog, read his book, go to Mark's Daily Apple, or look at information from any other Paleo expert on fats. I can tell you now, I am not a Paleo expert so if I get any of this information wrong, I'm sorry in advanced.

The general assumption in this day and age is that fat makes you fat. More specifically, saturated fat makes you fat. I'm debunking this myth here and now. But before I get into that, I'll explain more about the other fats.

Monounsaturated Fat:

Monounsaturated fats are what they're prefix suggests: single bonded molecules. Robb Wolf will tell you that the monounsaturated fat we are concerned with is only one type of it. Oleic acid.  The sources of monounsaturated fats are pretty benign. They're liquid at room temperature and solid when chilled. Examples of monounsaturated fat are avocados, nuts, olive, and some grass-fed meat. This is a very important part of the Paleo diet. It's what makes you look good. You know, clear skin, shiny hair, nice nails, etc.

Polyunsaturated Fat:

As the name suggests, polyunsaturated fats are multiple bonded molecules. There are two types of polyunsaturated fat a) omega-3s and b) omega-6s. The problem with today's culture is that we have way too much omega-6 in our diets. Ancestral ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 were 1:1 or 1:1.5. Modern ratios are typically 1:10. It is essential, but too much of it causes inflammation in the body. Balance is key here. Where are we getting the excessive omega-6s? Corn, safflower, sunflower, and other vegetable/processed oils. The one thing that most Paleo experts stress a bunch is too keep your omega-3s and omega-6s balanced.

But what are sources of omega-3s, you ask? Grass-fed meat is a big source and so is wild caught fish. Salmon is an awesome way to get omega-3s along with any kind of tuna. Flax seed and chia seeds are two of the best plant-based sources but animal sources are better because they are a more direct form of omega-3.

Saturated Fat:

Take a deep breath, then repeat after me: saturated fat is good. It's what your brain needs to function. Without it, your body shuts down. Even our primal ancestors knew this and they ate lots of saturated fat. Think lard, tallow, beef, whole or 2% milk, cream, and the drippings on that roast in the oven. Despite what your doctor may tell you, there has been no study to prove that saturated fat causes heart disease. Saturated fat gives you stronger bones, a sharper mind, it's good for your liver, gives you a good immune system, and stronger nerve signaling. Is that enough to convince you yet? One last fact, those studies that say saturated fat causes cancers? They've never actually been done.

Trans Fat:

Unless you're really out of the health loop, you should know that trans fat is bad. Crisco, partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils. Bad, bad, bad. Hydrogenated oils are highly processed and studies have shown that these fats are the ones that cause cancer.

Inquiry of the Day:

Will you consider eating more saturated fat?

I watched Fathead a few years ago and ever since I've been trying to increase the amount of saturated fat in my diet. I highly encourage you to watch the movie, because it's funny but also very informative.

*Sources: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, 7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat from The Blog of Tim Ferriss, & the American Heat Association website
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Copy Cat Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate

This was an ice cream recipe.

Sorry for the sub par photos :\

Weird, I know. Going from cold to hot. But I swear it tastes just like Swiss Miss. It's even dairy free!

The recipe is based on this ice cream recipe from George at Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations. I seriously recommend his website. It's got tons of awesome recipes on there. And his story is truly amazing. Okay, that was off topic but I have to give credit where credit is due. :)

We had the ice cream Saturday night while subconsciously celebrating my exciting news. (I didn't find out my news until after we had eaten dessert.) You all should know what that is. ;) Instead of using just lite coconut milk, we used half full fat and half lite. It was rich, creamy, and didn't taste at all like coconut milk ice cream. On top, I mixed up some cocoa powder, coconut oil, honey, and peppermint extract to make a "thin mint" magic shell. It's even better than the stuff at the store! It freezes a lot better, so instead of buying magic shell, make it!

Wow, I must be having some concentration problems today because I keep getting off topic.

Anyways, I hadn't had a single cup of hot chocolate all winter until Monday. That is ridiculously sad. I used to drink the instant hot chocolate, but because we're eating Paleo and I haven't eaten dairy in forever, I've had to forgo the usual Swiss Miss hot chocolate. But this is just as easy to make as the packets and tastes almost exactly same. It doesn't even have the usual junk the stuff at the store has. Definitely a winner in my book. :D 

(Double or triple recipe as needed. This makes three 6 oz. servings.)

2 1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Any kind will work, but if you use sweetened cut back on the honey)
2 T. cocoa powder
1/4 c. honey
1 T. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Heat almond milk, cocoa powder, honey, and coconut oil on medium-low heat in a small saucepan. Whisk rapidly until cocoa powder has almost dissolved.
2. Cover and whisk occasionally for 5-10 minutes or until hot chocolate starts to bubble.
3. Add the vanilla and salt. Whisk to combine.
4. Pour into three separate mugs and top with whipped coconut cream or marshmallows.
5. How easy was that!

Inquiry of the Day:

Homemade or instant hot chocolate?

Until Monday, I actually hadn't ever made my own hot chocolate. :\ But I can tell you I'm never going back!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The End of Paleo Month

Yesterday was our last day of being Paleo month. And I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I didn't really notice much of a change. I have a little more energy now, so eating grain-free could have something to do with that.

But I also think that we weren't strict enough.

The main idea of the Paleo diet is to eliminate the three main toxins in the Standard American Diet (SAD): gluten/grains, processed/vegetable oils, and sugar. I nailed the first one. Not so much the other two. :\ My theory is that because I wasn't religious enough with the diet, it didn't really work.

When we started eating Paleo I would eat potato chips, nut/seeds, and dried fruit made with vegetable oils. That right there is a big no-no. And I was also eating some evaporated cane juice and regular sugar. Most dried fruit has sugar on it and TJ's sunflower seed butter has evaporated can juice in it. :( I try not to eat either very much anymore.

Now, I've completely cut out all vegetable oils, including grape seed oil. I've started to cook more with bacon grease and coconut oil, eliminate all forms of sugar, and try to eat a relatively low amount of nuts each day. (Not because of their calories, but because of their fat. I'll discuss fat in a later post.) My goal is to get more fat into my diet. Not just any kind of fat, saturated fat. (Again, I'll discuss this in a post specifically on fat.) I wish I could eat red meat, which is rich in saturated fat, but I can't for now. I haven't eaten red meat in over a year. The last time I had it I completely fell apart. I felt nauseous, my eyes were bloodshot, and I didn't feel like doing anything.

So I'm doing the best I can. Like I said, I've been trying to cook more with bacon grease. And coconut oil. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm limiting my sugar/carbohydrate intake, too. That seems to be helping some with my intestinal problems.

I think there's another reason why the Paleo diet's benefits haven't kicked in yet, though.

Another big aspect of the Paleo diet is exercise. As a student who goes to school five days a week, this is hard. It's difficult to get some form of exercise in every day. I try to do at least a half hour of Just Dance or yoga Monday thru Wednesday. And on Wednesday we like to go to the gym in the morning, but sometimes our schedules just get in the way. Thursdays and Fridays are particularly difficult because I have play practice on those days. I just have to work on making exercise a priority. Right now, it's not. I like to procrastinate so that I don't have to exercise. It's a bad habit, I know.

Inquiry of the Day:

So would you like a post on fat or a recipe tomorrow? I guess it depends on how lazy I am tomorrow. ;)
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Exciting News

This post is going to be very short. I don't have a recipe to share, or anything about my thoughts on health, or writing advice. Instead, I have some very exciting news. Well, exciting to me, anyways.

The company who sponsored the contest

I wrote a novel in November. Most of you know that. (To see my posts on that see this, this, and this. That last one is just celebrating my completion of National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo or NaNo.) Okay, now that I have that covered here's my story:

A family friend shared this contest with me about a month or so ago. I had to submit one to two chapters of my novel or 1500-3000 words of it by January 31st. Finalists would be selected to write up a proposal for their book and then a grand finalist would be selected to get their novel published through the company sponsoring the contest. I already wrote a novel, so all I had to do was edit one of the better scenes in it. The catch, though, was that I only had a week to perfect it.  (I forgot about the contest for a weeks. That's why I only had seven days.)

The next day, I asked my friend (who's read the whole novel) what the best part of my book was. She told me and I brought it to her. And she literally ripped it to shreds. In a good way! Trust me.  It helped in the end. But my pride took a major hit.

So after she wrote me her notes, I revised it over the next five days. Then, I had my family look over it and on January 31st submitted it. After waiting and waiting and waiting I just found out the results last night at 10 o'clock.

I'M A FINALIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm super duper excited. My novel could possibly be published! How awesome is that?! Now I have to write up my proposal, which should be easy, and submit it by March 31st. Is that exciting news or what?

So that's my news. I just had to share it with you all. :D

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy Blueberry Syrup

Did you know that yesterday was National Pancake Day?

Yep, it was. So for dinner last night, I made the best gluten free pancakes ever. The recipe is from the Paleo Parents. They were light, fluffy, didn't burn, and weren't dense. Score! My sister insisted that I add pink food dye for Valentine's Day and, may I say, they were quite pretty. :)

Instead of using regular maple syrup, I was feeling a little creative. And a little blueberry-ish. We bought a whole bunch of blueberries at Costco the other day and normally don't eat blueberries fast enough. This was the perfect solution!

The recipe is so easy I could hardly believe it. And it really doesn't take very long. The best part is that the syrup is completely fruit sweetened. It's pretty tart, though. So add sweetener to taste. Last night's pancakes were served with fruit, too so I didn't use much maple syrup.

Now that I know how easy it is to make syrup, I'll be doing it more often. There are so many possibilities! Raspberry lemon, mixed berry, peach blueberry, mango peach, I could go on!

1 c. blueberries, rinsed
1/4 c. apple juice or juice of choice
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
dash of salt
sweetener, to taste

1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add blueberries and apple juice.
2. Stir occasionally. When blueberries have broken done and are nice and syrup-y, add the lemon juice, salt, and sweetener, if needed. Stir to combine.
3. We opted to mash the blueberries with a potato masher, but I'll probably puree the syrup in a blender next time. I guess it just depends on whether you like smooth syrup or syrup with blueberry skins in it.
4. Serve on pancakes, hot cereal, over fruit, or anything else you desire!

Inquiry of the Day:

Did you celebrate National Pancake Day?
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Red Velvet Cake Balls

"If only it were legal to marry food."

Those were the words out of my mouth after trying one of these cake balls.

They're rich, chocolate-y, and moist. With a dash of red or pink sprinkles over the top, they're the perfect Valentine's Day treat. And, if you're single, you're in luck! Because you won't want to share these. I promise.

I served these to a few guests last night, and it was a good thing we set some aside for us before they arrived. There wasn't a single cake ball left! No one could tell they were gluten/grain-free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, additive free, and Paleo! Now that's what I call a true Paleo dessert!

Don't get me wrong, these are by no means healthy, but who says you can't have a special treat every now and then? Sure, they're better than your average dessert, but sugar is sugar so try not to splurge too much.

The red velvet cake recipe is from TGIPaleo. And it's possibly the best cake ever! Even better than these cupcakes. Now that's saying something.

The "cream cheese" frosting is from the Eat Like A Dinosaur cookbook. You can also find the recipe on the Paleo Parents blog. This is by far the best frosting I have ever eaten Paleo or not. I highly recommend it!  It's taste real and not like the fake stuff at the store.

I'm not going to bore you any more with meaningless writing, onto the recipe!

Full credit goes to TGIPaleo for the cupcake recipe:
2 1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cocoa powder
2 eggs, separated
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. honey
1 1/2 T. vanilla
1 T. of red food dye or 2 T. beet juice (I used 1/2 T. pink food dye and 1/2 T. purple, because I didn't have any red)

Full credit goes to the Paleo Parents for the cream cheese frosting:
1 1/2 c. cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
2 T. honey
2 T. maple syrup
1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 T. vanilla
1/2 T. almond extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. almond milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
3. Separate eggs, putting whites in one bowl and yolks in the bowl with your dry ingredients.
4. Add coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and food dye to the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix together well.
5. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It is what provides the cake with its light and fluffy texture.
6. Fold egg whites into your batter.
7. Pour your batter into a greased 8x8 pan.
8. Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
9. While cake is baking, blend together ingredients for cream cheese frosting. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
10. Once cake has cooled, crumble it up into a bowl and add 1/2 c. of frosting. Mix together well. Add more frosting as needed. I only used about 1/2 the recipe.
11. Roll into balls and freeze until firm, about an hour.

This next part is really up to you. You can drizzle your cake balls in chocolate, submerge them in chocolate, roll them in sprinkles, drizzle them with warmed coconut butter, frost them with the leftover frosting, etc. Really. It's up to you. I drizzled homemade chocolate (recipe below) over mine and put a few sprinkles on the top. Next time, I'll try just rolling the balls in sprinkles before putting them in the freezing to see how they turn out.

Chocolate Drizzle:
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/4 c. honey

1. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil. You can also melt the coconut oil in the micro wave, it's up to you.
2. Once it's melted, stir in cocoa powder and honey.
3. Drizzle over cake balls. Alternatively, you can double the recipe and dunk the cake balls into the chocolate.
4. Garnish with sprinkles or whatever you'd like.

Inquiry of the Day:

What do you plan to do for Valentine's Day?

I think my family and I will have a nice dinner, exchange cards, and play a game together or something.
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Random Ramblings

Just a short post today. For some reason, I'm exhausted. I have no idea why. I'm hoping to go to bed early. We'll see how that goes. I'll probably accidentally read longer than I should. Has that ever happened to you? When you're so absorbed in a good book that you say 'one more chapter' over and over until you realize how late it actually is? Okay, that was off topic. Anywho.....
Drama club has started up again at school. Peter Pan is this semester's play. I tried out for Wendy, but, unfortunately, I didn't get the part. Honestly, I didn't really expect to. Instead, I'm the maid. I actually have lines this time! Well, only two, but, hey, beggar's can't be choosers. ;) 

Today I had a piano contest. I did really well, better than I thought I would. The ranking was divided up into three divisions, one being the best and three the worst. I was ranked in the first division! Woo hoo! :D I was really proud of myself. As I prize I got this little green medal/brooch thing. 

Ash Wednesday will be here in a couple of days and I've finally decided what to give up for Lent. I'm giving up Biggest Loser, dessert, and chocolate. Now, you may be thinking, Biggest Loser? What kind of sacrifice is that? It is a very serious sacrifice to my mom and I. We sort of have a little bit of an addiction with that show. It's what I look forward to every week. Giving it up for 40 days will be hard. (For those of you who watch Biggest Loser, Danni's my favorite contestant.) 

See what I mean? Random ramblings. I'm so sorry you're having to listen to me right now, but it's hard for me to go days without a post. All my creative energy has got to go somewhere, right? This blog is my outlet.

I'm hoping to make red velvet cake balls this week. Oh, my mouth is watering at the thought. Hopefully I'll have the recipe up before Valentine's Day, but we'll see how busy the week is. 

Okay, I'm almost done. I actually have a question for you guys now. 

So, as my blog has been gaining popularity, I've been wondering more and more about what you guys want to see on the blog. More recipes? More of my thoughts? More on my writing? Really, it's up to you.  Tell me in the comments and I'll see what I can do. Have a great week! :)

Link Love: 

These are all on my list to try at some point. Except for the red velvet ice cream. I made that tonight and it was delicious! Make sure to add quite about of sweetener, though, as it's really tart. 

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Paleo Month: Week 3

The beginning of week 3 has been kinda rough. I feel nauseous and sluggish. I don't want to do anything. I haven't even felt like blogging! *Gasp!* Hopefully, this funk ends soon because I'm tired of feeling so lethargic.

Our month is almost over and we're doing really well so far. No one's cheated- yet. We even went out to dinner on Saturday! My grandparents came with us and my grandpa ordered apple crumble. Imagine how hard that was for us (especially my dad and sister)! It was topped with ice cream and caramel, too. It looked so good. But we made it through unscathed. And, to be honest, it really wasn't that difficult. Maybe because I didn't look. ;)

The hardest part is just detoxing. Planning meals isn't so bad, because all that you need is meat and veggies. And we've got plenty of those. Variation isn't to hard either when there are awesome bloggers like the Matt and Stacy from the Paleo Parents, Danielle from Against All Grain, and Jenni from the Urban Poser. Plus, there are awesome cookbooks out there like Dana Carpender's 500 Paleo Recipes. Seriously, get that cookbook because it is amazing.

I've also learned more about my body. (For those of you who get squeamish talking about going to the bathroom skip the next two paragraphs.) For example, I've discovered I can only handle sugar in moderate amounts. I think that goes for everyone, but I have to watch my sugar intake more closely than most people. Why do I have to watch how much sugar I eat? Well, to say it as discreetly as I can, I don't expel my feces very well after eating too much sugar of any form.

I'm still waiting for those amazing affects of the Paleo diet to kick in. I want smooth, clear skin, to stop taking melatonin, to get rid of my constipation for good, to decrease the amount of supplements and homeopathic medicine I'm taking, to have more energy, and to build some muscle. I want to be able to show off my calves and biceps this summer! ;)

Getting rid of grains hasn't been a problem for me, like I expected, and neither has getting rid of legumes, which was unexpected. Not having these things in the house is really helping. We still keep a few cans of beans for cheats, but those are all the way downstairs so I haven't been tempted to eat them. ;)

The hardest part, is avoiding sugar. Because sugar is every where. Even in sunflower seed butter! It's on dried fruit, in hot sauce, fish sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, tomato sauce, etc. Making all these things ourselves is very tedious and time consuming. Instead, of trying to replace old ingredients, we find new ones that work just as well.

 I also try to limit my fruit/dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, evaporated cane juice, etc. consumption. It's pretty near impossible to avoid all kinds of sugar, though. My solution? To eat as little of these items as possible. It's hard, but it can be done. I have fruit in the morning and sometimes at lunch. Occasionally, I'll eat dried fruit for a snack. And I have one modest dessert during the weekend. It works pretty well for me.

I've also discovered the awesomeness of stevia, which I will be trying to use more often in recipes. It's a miracle sweetener, literally. No calories, no carbs, and no sugar! Plus, it's 300 times sweeter than sugar. I made some ice cream using a bit of stevia and honey Sunday and it was delicious!

So that's how the Paleo Month is going so far. I just hope that the results I've been promised by some many authors and bloggers really do come.

Inquiry of the Day:

 How do you stick to resolutions that you've made?

I like to have other people do them with me. It makes things so much easier with the support of others.
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Paleo Super Bowl Recipe Round-Up

I realize this post is coming kinda late, but better late than never, right?

Personally, I couldn't care less who wins the Super Bowl. I have some relatives who live in Maryland so I'm rooting for the Ravens, but football really isn't my thing. In fact, I just don't like to watch sports on TV. Unless they're the Olympic ones like figure skating, trampoline, or gymnastics. Oh, and synchronized swimming is always fun to watch. ;)

But I like Super Bowl parties. Mostly because of the food. :)

My absolute favorite cupcakes ever. They are so fluffy and full of flavor. Bake them in a mini muffing pan to feed a larger crowd.

And who doesn't love ice cream? Swirl in some fudge during the last five minutes if you're craving something chocolate. 

The best homemade Larabars on God's green earth. I swear it. They're bite size too!

If you're a Paleo who eats cheese definitely add some to the crackers. If not, try it without the cheese and see how it works.

The best finger-sized snack food there is. I don't like chicken wings so much, but give me some tenders and BBQ and I'm good to go.
Recipe and picture originally from the Comfy Belly

Don't like chicken? Or don't eat it? Not problem, these fish sticks are a great substitute. I like them with some balsamic vinegar on the side. But cocktail sauce works, too.

I wouldn't recommend serving this to a big party, but if you're having a small gathering, stew is perfect. And I promise you this is like no other stew you've ever had before. 

These are a snap to make and they aren't fried either. That makes it easier for you to make, healthier for your body, and you don't sacrifice any of the taste. Touch down! ;P

I'm more of a sweet potato fry girl, so I couldn't resist adding these onto the list. 

Inquiry of the Day:

Are you going to a Super Bowl party? 

My family's having a small party. It's just the four of us. But that makes it easier on me, because I don't have to cook as much food. ;)

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Nutella Nut Balls

 The idea had been growing in my head for a while to make hazelnut chocolate "Larabars", but it wasn't until a few days ago that I decided to actually make them. Boy, am I glad I did! The first batch disappeared in less than 24 hours! I didn't eat them all of course, but I helped the rest of my family to. ;) 

Nutella has always been one of those "special occasion" foods in my house. Mostly, I just ate it when I was at my grandma's and Mom wasn't there to stop me. ;) I don't ever remember having a jar in the house, actually. Huh. Don't get me wrong, I begged and pleaded (moreso "subtly" hinted every time we walked past it at the grocery store) for her to buy it a lot. Mom, being the smart and health conscious women she is, said no every single time.

However, the hazelnuts in our freezer were going to get freezer-burn soon since they'd been in there so long. And I wanted chocolate the other day. Plus the food processor was already out. It was the perfect storm to create a new recipe. ;)

The best part about these fake Larabars is one serving has half the sugar of a regular sized Larabar! Amazing, right? They also have coconut butter in them, so there's some healthy fats for ya, too. And they're definitely kid-approved! I like to have one after dinner occasionally or as a snack.

1/2 c. hazelnuts
1/4 c. chopped dates
1-2 T. coconut butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 T. hazelnut butter (I used sunflower seed butter, because that's what I had on hand, but hazelnut would be ideal)
dash of salt

1. Add the chopped dates and hazelnuts to food processor and blend until it becomes a pebbly mixture.
2. Add the coconut butter, vanilla, hazelnut butter, and salt. Pulse until combined.
3. Form into balls or bars and store in the freezer. Or you can just start eating it right out of the food processor. ;)

Inquiry of the Day:

Did you keep Nutella in your house as a kid?

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