BALLS!!!

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Hey!  Remember me?  I am still here.  I think.  So, fall has arrived in Chicaca.  School is in full swing for Otherhalf.  Blah dee blah dee blah. . .   Let’s get down to business, shall we?

We have been bad.  (This sounds vaguely familiar . . . )  Otherhalf and I have been eating a lot of desserts.  We got into the cinnamon rolls at Mariano’s.  Not the iced ones.  The ones with the cream cheese frosting.  This is all fine for Otherhalf, as he is training for the Chicago Marathon (which is next SUNDAY!!), and doing plenty of cardio.  He is looking real good.  I, on the other hand, have been lacking severely in the essersize department, and this girl is feeling icky and sluggish and gross.  I was hoping to train vicariously through Otherhalf by being supportive, but it don’t work that way.

Womp, womp.

But all is not lost!!  I actually got my ass on the bike yesterday AND today.  I am going to make it a thing!  And when I feel the need to eat better, I flip through the recipe notebook that Rinny and Nick shared with me through Evernote.  They do lots of Paleo recipes (which is pronounced “PAY-lee-oh” not “puh-LAY-oh” like I was saying in my head all this time), so there are some recipes I never would have searched out, but it’s nice to have some healthy alternatives to satisfy my wicked sweet tooth, and I’m usually game for something new to try.  I had a sweet potato that was sitting around, and a bunch of dates that I needed to use up before they expired, so I decided to try this recipe for “Chocolate-Mint Cookie Dough Bites” which came from THIS website.

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As did this lovely photo.

And it really really reminded me of Chef from South Park and his Chocolate Salty Balls.  Remember this guy?  Sing it, Chef!

Heeeelarious!

So I threw them together to try ’em out.  They were so easy to make.

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Process the bejesus out of 1 cup of coconut.  And then process some more, so it’s almost powder.  Add 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (I cut a small one into cubes and steamed it.  Took 5 minutes.), 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, 3/4 cup chopped dates, a big ol’ pinch of sea salt, and 1 tsp. of mint extract (I didn’t have mint extract, I only had almond and vanilla.  I added 1/2 tsp of each as I think an entire tsp of almond extract would be gross.)  Process and scrape, process and scrape . . .

 

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lookin’ kinda chocolatey!!

. . . and process again until you end up with a dough ball.  Then roll that brown dough into some balls.  You can make big balls or little balls, but the best size is whatever fits in your mouth!  OH!

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Refrigerate these bad boys (yes, they are boys) and periodically grab one out of the fridge and pop in mouth.  I have had like 4 or 5 already this evening, which ain’t no big deal, cause they’re made out of sweet potato and dates!  They are in no way a substitute for actual real cookie dough.  But if you go into it knowing it’s a healthy alternative, they ain’t half bad.  Next time I am going to really actually use mint extract and see how that goes.

 

 

 

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No-Bake-Hippie-Cakes

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For the most part, Otherhalf and I try to eat relatively healthy.  Sometimes we do pretty good.  Often times we are very naughty.  Recently we have been on a cereal kick.  And I ain’t talking about no Kashi.  It’s all Cookie Crisp and Capt’n Crunch up in here.  The weekends are particularly difficult too.  We tend to eat out a lot and partake in highly caloric indulgences as a reward for getting through the week.

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Hey, we EARNED those hot dogs!!

I have been trying to add some healthy snacks to counteract some of the naughty ones.  Naughty like the two bags of Starburst Jellybeans I have almost finished.  And the Girl Scout Cookies.  And the Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares that one of Otherhalf’s students gave him for Valentine’s Day (and by proxy ME because he doesn’t really eat chocolates).  Oh, and all the cereal.

So when my coworker gave me a bag of chia seeds, I decided to give them a try.  They are supposed to be all sorts of healthy for you with the omegas and the fiber and they have hella calcium.  Basically chia seeds are the new kale (which was the new pomegranate).  I Googled some recipes, cause I’m not likely to sprinkle these mofo’s on my yogurt, thankyouverymuch.  The first recipe I made was these Lemon Chia Seed Muffins.

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They are just like lemon poppy seed muffins. With a lemon glaze. TASTY!

Then for my next adventure, I decided on these Raw Hemp and Chia Seed Bars.  I thought they would be good for us to toss in our lunches for a quick, filling, “energy packed” snack.  These are what I will share with you today.

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photo from Karielyn at www.thehealthyfamilyandhome.com
(this is what after photos are supposed to look like)

. . .

**Oh, and FYI, these are by no means low-fat or low-calorie snacky treats.  Coconut oil is super high in fat.  But it’s the good fat, and all the stuff in these bars is good for you.  I like to have one with the ginger tea I have been drinking lately.  I did not use entirely organic ingredients like the recipe asks, but I think both myself and Otherhalf will live.  So let’s get to it, shall we??

. . .

My ingredient pile:

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Hemp seeds, Almonds, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Oats, Almond/ or Peanut Butter, Vanilla Extract, Coconut Oil, Honey, Apple/ or Applesauce
(Oh, and Unsweetened Coconut Flakes- not pictured.) 

First you put all the dry ingredients together.  The recipe calls for flax seeds to be ground up in a spice grinder, but I don’t have one, so I used my trusty mortar and pestle.  Well that was a pain in the ass.  I will be ordering a spice grinder for future hippie snack bar endeavors.

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Then you gotta pulverize the almonds in the food processor.

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Here’s my fancy dry ingredient class photo:

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. . .

Then it’s time for the wet ingredients.  After I got all the ingredients together for the initial photo, I realized I forgot to buy applesauce.  GAAAAHHH!!!  But it’s cool, I had an apple, so I just made the applesauce from scratch.

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peel and chop apple + cook with a little water for like 10 minutes + mash with fork + remember you have an immersion blender (!!!) + blend = Perfect Applesauce!

And then I was like, “If I can make applesauce, then surely I can just make the almond butter!  Duh!”  So I ditched the peanut butter and made almond butter too.  It was a very satisfying process.

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I heart my immersion blender.   Except that when I was making the almond butter, I may have been wielding my little blue spatula a little too close to the whirring blades.  Poor, poor spatty.

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This isn’t the first time I have maimed my cooking utensils. Remember poor spoonie?

. . .

Then I combined the wet ingredients

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Then I dropped my damn phone in the batter when I was mixing the wet and dry and trying to take a picture at the same time.  It turns out I am not very graceful in the kitchen.

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genius.

So once I got all the goo off my phone, and mixed the wet and dry together, I just pressed the mixture into an oiled pan and put it in the fridge to set.

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In the morning, I cut ’em into little 2×2 squares, and wrapped some of the squares in plastic wrap for transport.  These bars need to be refrigerated, otherwise all the coconut oil melts and they won’t keep their shape.  Then you would have to eat the bars with a spoon, which would defeat the purpose of having them in portable bar form anyways.  I took a bunch to work to keep in the fridge, and Otherhalf has a freezable/ ice pack/ lunch bag that he takes to school.

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TAH DAH!!

. . .

I gotta say, I am pretty happy with these little munchies.  I will be making them again.  They are definitely dense and will fill you up.  And then probably make you poop because of all the fiber.  I am not speaking from experience though. . .

What’s your favorite healthy snack?