Super Food Chocolate Balls
Ingredients (organic is always best): 1 cup peanut, almond, or cashew butter - 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted) - 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - 3/4 cup hemp seeds - 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/8 tsp. sea salt
In a food processor, combine nut butter, coconut oil, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla. Run food processor until all ingredients are mixed together. Add 1/4 cup of the hemp seeds & process for another 5 seconds. Transer the mixture to a bowl and put in the freezer for 15-30 minutes (until firm). Mix the remaining hemp seeds and sea salt into a small bowl. Once the fudge has solidified, remove from the freezer. Using a spoon, scoop out the fudge and roll it with your hands. Roll each fudge ball in the hemp seed and sea salt mixture to finish them off. Store fudge balls in the freezer. Thaw for 5-10 minutes before eating.
For a Lower Glycemic Option, try using Coconut Sugar in place of the maple syrup or honey. Coconut sugar is a low glycemic sugar that comes from the sap of the coconut palm. It contains 16 vital amino acids, potasium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. I like Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar because they "work closely on the ground wiht over 7,000 organic coconut farmers, paying certified fair trade wages."
Add a Super Food Boost by adding a Tbs. of Maca Powder or your favorite Green Powder. Or, add a few Tbs. of Raw Cacao Nibs or Chia Seeds.
Bring up the heat with a little ginger or cayenne!
You can also Mix/Match and Swap the peanut or almond butter with other nut nut or seed butters. Try cashew or sunflower seed butter. You can also blend in a handful of macadamia nuts, pecans or walnuts for a variation on taste.
And here's why these balls are so super!
First things first… if you haven’t heard about hemp hearts before, you might be wondering about the connection between hemp hearts and marijuana. So, let’s get that part out of the way. While hemp is a species of Cannabis sativa it is not the same as marijuana. Hemp contains 0.001% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and will neither cause psychoactive effect nor produce a false positive drug test. Hemp is also a sustainable crop—that’s a really great thing. So, what about the nutrients? Well, ¼ cup of hemp hearts contain about 15 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber. Hemp seeds contain 20 different amino acids and all nine essential amino acids and a balanced ratio of Omega-6 to 3. Experts agree that and ideal omega 6:3 ratio ranges from 1:1 to 5:1. Hemp hearts have a ratio of 3:1. The Standard American Diet (SAD) averages an omega 6:3 ratio of between 20:1 to 50:1. You don't need to get fancy to enjoy the benefits of hemp hearts--just add a few Tbs. to your next smoothie or toss some into your salad.
Coconut sugar is a go to sweetener. It’s low glycemic and contains 16 vital amino acids. It’s high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc. SWEET! Try repacing regular sugar with coconut sugar anytime you think about it for a lower glycemic/higher nutrient shift!
Coconut oil—once lumped in with all the other saturated fats as bad for you! Recent research, however, has shown that some saturated fats are truly very good for you and can even help you burn fat and lose weight! This is because coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. Studies has shown that medium chain fatty acids actually increases the body’s ability to burn calories. That’s great, but there’s more. Coconut oil has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Coconut oil can also help empower your immune system and aid its ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.
You may have heard that cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar. This is true, but did you also know that cinnamon is also a great plant-based source of calcium, iron and manganese? Oh yeah, and it tastes so good! A perfect addition to these Fudge Balls.
Chia is one of my favorite super foods. They are high in linoleic acid. Linoleic acid assists the body in the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). They are high in calcium and boron (to promote strong bones) and fiber, and contains more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Try this refreshing drink. Mix together (in a jar with a lid) the juice of ½ lemon, 2 cups water, 2-3 drops stevia, and 2 Tbs. chia seeds. Put the lid on the jar and shake the mixture well. Let sit for about 5 minutes and shake again. The chia seeds will begin to absorb some of the lemon water and turn into delicate little slippery seeds. Wait another 10 minutes or so and enjoy! Try this with other juices (just keep the ratio of ¼ cup juice to 2 cups water to keep the sugar down).
Aside from tasting really good (especially with nut butter and coconut oil), lucky for us, cocoa is high in antioxidants and it even helps to lower blood pressure. You’ve heard this before, then benefits come from eating cocoa—not chocolate (which may contain so much dairy and sugar that the benefits are a wash). It’s ok to eat chocolate. Just make sure the cocoa content is at least 60%, and moderation is the key!
NUTS (and nut butters)
Nuts are high in protein, fiber & unsaturated fats which help to lower LDL. They are another incredible plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids (good for your heart). Nuts are also high in vitamin E (which may help reduce the plaque in your arteries) and L-arginine (which may contribute to more flexible arteries). Almonds are a great source of calcium and contain 12 amino acids to help you build muscle!
Maca is actually a root belonging to the radish family. It grows in central Peru. Sometimes it’s referred to as “Peruvian Ginseng”. This nutrient rich plant is high in B vitamins, vitamins C and E, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Maca is also known for many other health benefits, such as; relieving menstrual and menopause symptoms for women, increasing stamina an energy, balancing mood (may help with depression and anxiety), and last but not least, Maca is used to increase sexual function for men and women, boosting libido and, as mentioned earlier, increasing endurance. It may also help to balance hormones and increase fertility.