Thursdays are the days I put aside to be creative with my group of artistic friends. There is nothing like sharing your passions with like-minded people, whilst having a good catch up and putting the world to rights.
Today is my turn to host the "Crafty Witches Coven", as we fondly call ourselves, and I thought I would treat them to some healthy snacks.
The "Nutty Bites of Joy" (or "Balls of Joy", as we call them at home!) are so delicious and rich in flavour that you don't need many of them to satisfy your sweet cravings.
There is no cooking required so none of the nutritional value of the ingredients is lost in the process of making them. They contain no refined sugars, saturated fats or animal-derived products and they really do taste that amazing! On top of it, they contain 3 powerful Sirt Foods: Cocoa, Medjool dates and Walnuts. Read more about what Sirtuin Activators proteins can do to improve your health in our book Sirt Foods: The Secret Behind Diet, Healthy Weight Loss, Disease Prevention, Reversal & Longevity
The main ingredient is Dates, which is a fantastic source of minerals, vitamins, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc. This particular type of date (Medjool) is very sweet with a deep flavour that combines beautifully with the cocoa giving it an almost real taste of chocolate. A powerhouse of nutrition, it is fantastic for giving you a boost of energy when you most need it.
- 2 cups Pitted Medjool Dates
- 1 cup of Chopped Mixed Nuts
- 1/2 cup of Ground Almonds
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, plus extra for rolling
- 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Coconut Oil
A note on Vanilla: I always use 'Extract' and not 'Essence' or 'Flavour'. This is because Vanilla 'Extract' is a natural product made by soaking vanilla pods in a mixture of ethyl alcohol and water, whilst Vanilla 'Essence' is a synthetic version, in other words, chemically produced. This is the reason why Essence is always cheaper.
The shocking revelation though is the Vanilla 'Flavour'. You might want to sit down before I tell you that artificial flavourings like vanilla are made from the anal secretions of a beaver. Yeap, you read it right: Beaver Butts! Castoreum is the name of this chemical compound that mostly comes from a beaver’s castor sacs and has rather interestingly a musky, vanilla scent... Yum.
And with that lovely thought in our heads, let's get "cooking".
Process dates in a food processor until they form a ball.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process until evenly blended. If you have a powerful food processor you can use whole nuts. I particularly like my blend to have chunks of nuts as it adds a more interesting texture, but if you dislike this, you can always use ground almonds instead.
Roll the mixture into bite-size balls and to finish them off by rolling them individually in shredded coconut.
You can store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks but I doubt they will last more than a couple of days!
|Nutty Bites of Joy with Wild Chamomile Infusion|
|Wild Spanish Chamomile|