Protien packed power snack

I don't know about you, but I need a good go to easy snack that will fill me and keep me from eating the really unhealthy quick convenient food found ,well everywhere!

I remember getting introduced my first Larabar and realizing there were at most 4 ingredients in them.  These cost about $1.89 wherever you are which is pretty spendy if you ask me. So we buy them as our road trip food, special snacks, because they are crazy expensive, and because just one doesn't fill me or the kids up. 

Then I had a friend come to my house with a tray of her own homemade Larabars.  At that point, I thought she was the smartest person on the planet.  Seriously, why didn't I think of that.  Well, I started making them.  I would buy my nuts at Costco or Trader Joe's or a wholesaler online.  Then I would stock up on dates from Costco as well.

One day while I was cutting another section out of our pan, I realized that I could probably roll the raw ingredients together and create a "cookie ball".  If I call it a cookie will my kids think its a cookie?  The answer was yes!

So these little guys are SO easy to make and they are incredibly healthy, tasty, and truly a protein power snack.  They curb my late afternoon cravings every time.  I can also include them in my kids lunch and they think they are getting a treat.  It's beautiful.  Now I am not the first person to come up with idea by any means, and you can still smash your ingredients into a cookie sheet and make bars, or you smash into a cookie cutter for shapes, or just roll dates in nuts, whatever you want.  Get creative.  Just remember, this the foundation recipe for you to add in your own personal taste, flavor, and imagination.  I also recommend going to the store and looking at different flavored snack bars to help get the creativity flowing.  Enjoy!

Protein Power Snack Balls/Raw cookie ball

1 cup nuts (I like using walnuts or pecans but cashew and almonds work great too!)
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raisins (you could also use craisins, but I can't find any without added sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flax or chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

***Remember, this is the foundation/base recipe.  After this you can add either of the following to alter the flavor.  I don't recommend adding all these together, unless you like those fountain drinks where you add a little bit of every pop on tap.  That's just gross.  I'm just sayin.

2 Tablespoons of any of the following:
Coconut flakes
Sunflower butter
Almond butter
Pumpkin puree
Mashed Banana
Finely chopped Pear
Raspberry jam
Maple Syrup

In your food processor, finely chop the nuts.  Dump those in a bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Then add the date and raisins to the food processor and grind until it forms a ball.  Dump your date ball into the bowl.  Roll up your sleeves because the only way to get this combined is by using your hands. (I am automatically assuming you washed your hands, so I won't put that in here.)  Smash it all up till everything in said bowl is combined.

At this point, dump it on a cookie sheet and press it down till it is even and lying flat.  

Take a small amount and roll it into a ball.  Put finished cookie ball into a glass container and when all the balls are rolled, keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  Nuts get acidy when they are chopped and not refrigerated.


If you have another great flavor, let me know so we can try something new!

Simply Sugar Free Vegan Fudge

This fantastic recipe came from a dear friend Kristy Grannis, who has her own blog here.  I asked her where she found this recipe and said she couldn't remember.  Kristy and her family live with an even more extensive list of "can't eat" foods than we do, so I knew exactly what she meant when she said, "I don't remember. I probably saw a recipe some where and thought, I can change things around enough to make this something we can eat."  So she adapted, changed some things around, tested it and came up with this.

What I love about this recipe is that it is only three ingredients.  That's right people, THREE!!!!!  Seriously, how much easier does it get?

Now this fudge recipe is perfect on it's own, but it also serves as a great base for all sorts of different flavors and add ins.  The other great thing about this recipe is that is is wonderfully sweet, and there is no sugar, so when you are having those cravings, and huge need for something sweet, but are trying to eliminate processed sugar, this is the perfect go to quick snack.  Keep it in your fridge and you can cut yourself a little piece whenever you want to keep yourself from feeling deprived.  I think its key that when you are changing your eating lifestyle, you need to recognize that your body will crave what it knows.  You need to give it time to adjust to enjoying the way you need to eat.  That being said, give your poor self a break and find ways to help yourself along with treats and food that will get you through cravings and detox while sticking to your new lifestyle foods.  For example, when I am having a sugar attack, I drink a small glass of pure orange juice.  It may sound odd, but it totally works.  Then the less sugar I am consuming on a regular basis, the less the cravings come, and I drink less OJ.

This is also a great desert to serve to guests, add to a cookie tray, package up as a gift, put in your kids lunch box, you name it.  It's perfect.  And its THREE ingredients!  Yeah, probably still my favorite part.

So here you go, and enjoy adding more health into your life and removing refined sugar once treat at a time.

FUDGE - Vegan, Gluten and Soy free
(This is  your base.  Leave as is, or throw in some add on's.)

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup honey

Line a bread pan with wax paper or plastic wrap.  Melt your three ingredients in a saucepan.  Whisk till are ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Pour into lined bread pan.  Put melted fudge in the refrigerator.  It will be ready for cutting in 15 minutes.

(If you have never worked with coconut oil you should be!  It's so wickedly good for you.  But what you need to know is that when coconut oil is warm, it becomes a liquid.  When it is cool, it is a solid.  With that being true, you need to keep your  fudge in the fridge, if you want fudge.  Otherwise you just have melted chocolate oil.)

Now for the add on's:

Throw in a handful of nuts: walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews (cashews are probably my favorite..mmm...chocolate cashews.), coconut flakes

Try pomegranate seeds.  This is a fun addition because when you bite into pomegranate fudge, it has a juicy explosion in your mouth.  Its savory and sweet at the same time, its awesome!  Seriously, try it.

Try adding dried fruit; dates, raisins, mango, apricot, pineapple.  If you try some of these options, I would suggest leaving the cocoa out and then the fudge would be white.  Increase the coconut oil to 1 cup and puree in a blender.  The simple coconut oil and dried fruit would compliment each other really well.

Again, this recipe is a base for your imagination.  Another way to use this recipe is to pour the mixture over your add on's and scoop them onto wax paper to create clusters.  All the same ingredients, just presented in a different way.

So enjoy this recipe.  Enjoy the freedom of having a sweet treat to curb your cravings.  Having a sweet treat to give your kids without refined sugar.  Just enjoy!