Nut Butter "Amaze Balls"

I am perpetually on the look out for something both delicious and nutritious--whether savory or sweet.  These little protein packed nutritional bites earn their name, and are  perfect for a hot day when baking is out of the question, or when you just need a grounding, delicious snack.  

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup rolled oats or rolled spelt

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds or chopped raw almonds

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1 cup all natural peanut butter or raw almond butter

10 Medjool dates (if these are dry, soak for 1 minute in hot water and drain for 3-5 minutes)

1 T coconut oil

Himalayan sea salt

Cacao nibs

1/2 cup Sunspire chocolate chips (these are the healthiest and most delicious.... I get mine at vitacost.com)

PREPARATION:

Place your rolled oats or spelt, sunflowers or almonds, and a pinch of himalayan salt in a cast iron skillet on low/medium heat.  Stir constantly until very lightly toasted.  Add your hemp hearts and continue toasting and turning with a wooden spatula until they are perfectly toasted.  Remove from the pan when they are perfect, and spread them on a plate so they do not continue to toast, as they have a tendency to burn easily at this stage.

Place dates, nut butter of your choice and your coconut oil in a food processor .  Blend until the dates are well mixed in, with only small bits remaining.  Add the toasted nut and rolled oats/spelt mixture and pulse until blended.  

Roll into balls.  If the mixture is too dry when you press firmly, you can wet your hands before rolling a ball and this will help the mixture stick.  

In the meantime, melt your chocolate chips.   I prefer to place the chips in a small stainless steel bowl and set it on top of a pan with simmering water.  This way, I make sure not to overcook the chocolate, and can keep it soft.

Dip the tops of the balls in the melted chocolate and place on a plate.  Sprinkle just a few cacao nibs on the top of the ball, and an itsy bits more salt and you've got some amazing Amaze-Balls.  

Banana Coconut Cacao Smoothie

One delicious side-effect (and I do mean delicious) of hosting yoga retreats at my home and retreat center is the plethora of scrumptious recipes I am forced (yeah right) to come up with for each event.  From time to time we have left over sautéed fruit, and it freezes up nicely to be used for something in the future.  Tonight, for example, I pulled out of the freezer a few frozen banana chunks that had been cooked in ghee and cardamom and served with one of our breakfasts.  I made an incredible little "dessert drink" for my Love and I out of these little jewels.  

It was so incredibly delicious, I couldn't help but share (the recipe I mean.  I ate the smoothie already.  Sorry!)

Banana Coconut Cacao Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen ripe bananas (you know the ones that turn brown on your counter -- peel them, throw them in an airtight container, and freeze them)

2 cups organic rice milk

1 heaping teaspoon coconut milk

1 heaping teaspoon raw almond butter

3 dates, pitted

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

pinch of Himalayan salt

1 heaping teaspoon raw cacao powder

1 heaping teaspoon raw cacao nibs

Blend it all together in a Vitamix (or the likes) and eat!  

I get soon excited about these things that are delicious enough for dessert, filling enough for a meal, and nutritious enough to start your day with as breakfast!  

Enjoy!  

And hope to see you at the YogaFarm 

Toasted Ghee & Sea Salt Choco Chip Cookies

Hi ya Yogi,

How 'bout we don't waste any time.  

I know you want to get the move on so you can make yourself a batch of these little wonders.  

And let’s just say that these little chocolate chip cookies pack some serious Prana.  They are a modification from the classic chocolate chip cookie.  I took a tried and true concoction, made a few tweakaroos, and here’s what we got: a delicious healing madhu of all madhu (that means sweet of all sweets) to ground and nourish you… just in case you wouldn't otherwise make it through the winter.  

I wouldn't let that happen to you.  

Okay, so on with the delish.

2 ¼ cup sprouted spelt flour (or all purpose flour if gluten is all good in your world --spelt is okay for many who are trying to decrease gluten, but if you are going totally GF... then a GF flour mix may be a better option)

1 ½ teaspoon non-alum baking soda

½ teaspoon Himalayan salt (plus more for sprinkling)

2 sticks (I cup) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated maple syrup crystals or 1 cup dark brown sugar

1/8 c granulated unrefined sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 t real vanilla extract

1 T plain greek yogurt

2 t fresh ground cardamom

1+ c Sunspire dark chocolate chips

1 c chopped raw walnuts

Instructions

1.     Mix together your flour, baking soda, and Himalayan salt in a bowl and set aside.

2.     Melt 2 sticks of butter in a sauce pan over medium low heat.  This is the process of making ghee.  You can learn all about it here.  For this recipe, make the ghee and when you think it is done, you're going to go just a little longer… Pay extra close attention to the butter solids that are on the bottom of the saucepan --  as soon as they start to shift from golden to dark golden, remove promptly from heat and pour the ghee into a new bowl to make sure it does not continue cooking (and burn). This is super important.  If it burns you'll have to start over (no pressure - and remember when you make ghee you want to be infusing it with only good things… no stress, no fear, no TV or news… just LUV).

3.     Mix the butter and sugars (including maple syrup crystals if you are using that instead of brown sugar) with an electric mixer. 

4.     Add your egg (whole), then your extra yolk, then vanilla, Greek yogurt, and cardamom.  Beat until well combined.

5.     Add your dry flour mixture just until combined, and then add your chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

6.     Preheat your oven to 350. 

7.     Chill your dough for 30 minutes in the freezer, covered. 

8.     Use a ¼ cup measuring cup and fill it almost to the top.  Slip a spoon handle in the edge to release it from the measuring cup.  Flip bottom side up and press down with the palm of your hand to spread slightly. 

9.     Cookies should be placed 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet, and then sprinkled with a little extra Himalayan salt.

10.   Bake the cookies for approximately 10 minutes at 350 until the edges of the cookies begin to turn a golden brown.  They may not look done throughout, but that’s okay, if the edges are golden brown the inside will be soft but baked through.

11.   Cool the cookies on the rack for a few minutes.  Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheet after about five minutes, and transfer them to a wire rack or counter top to cool completely.

This recipe makes 24 cookies…  that will last all of about 15 minutes.  But it's all good, because they are seriously good for you…. and will most definitely advance you toward Moksha.*  (wink.)

Love you Yogi(ni).

Britt

P.S.  *Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga.  It complements asana practice, meditation, and pranayama by increasing one’s awareness and application of yogic principles in the real world, and particularly in the kitchen.  Here are some ways in which this cookie is powerfully good for you….

Ghee (here's a previous blog on how to make it)  -- soothing, nourishing, lubricating, and very sattvic (harmonizing).  It is one of the most potent healing balms and carriers for goodness in the ayurvedic tradition.

Cardamom is a very useful and effective herb.  It enhances appetite, provides detoxification support, and helps with data related digestive issues such as gas , stomach cramps or acidity.  It is also supportive in the relief of respiratory conditions often associated with winter weather.

Himalayan Salt is considered to be one of the most superior salts available, and is systemically warming, sattvic and is said to promote a positive attitude and purity of mind.

Why Spelt Flour?  Although not principally ayurvedic, the above chosen spelt flour, being both sprouted (more prana/life force rich) rather than your contemporary wheat flour, allows the body to take a little break from processed flour with high levels of gluten.   Although spelt does have gluten, studies suggest that it may be appropriate for those who are only moderately gluten sensitive.

Okay, now go make some cookies!  

Namaste, 

Britt