Eat. Play. Love.

My Relationship with Food

  • January 14th, 2015

When you hear the word food, what do you think of?

  • A slice of pie from your favorite pizza joint?
  • Junior mints while watching the latest thriller in the theaters?
  • Mom’s mac and cheese?
  • Heartburn and indigestion?
  • A succulent cherry tomato from your garden?
  • Grilled fish that you just caught with your fishing buds earlier that day?
  • Weight gain?
  • Nourishment?
  • Hunger?
  • Stress?
  • Depression?
  • Joy?

This past weekend I had the pleasure working with a new group of youth – WILL (Wilderness Leadership & Learning). WILL is a highly interactive 12-month, experiential-learning, youth-leadership, and life-skill-development program based out of Columbia Heights in Washington DC. On Saturday, we explored our relationship with food through journaling and discussion and it turned out to be an interesting and event enlightening activity for these teenagers.Relationship with Food

I asked the students to journal about their relationship with food through words and illustrations. I asked them to consider the following:

Do particular foods come to mind? Events? People? Positive or negative feelings? Or maybe a little bit of both?

We had a variety of responses from Chipotle to Grandma’s oatmeal to chemicals to the food distribution system to hunger. You see, although there is overlap, all of us have a different experience with food. As I explained to the students, eating is the most intimate act we do with ourselves each and every day. It’s also one of the most important things we do each day, as our relationship with food will determine the future of both our mental and physical health.

Eating is not just an act of nourishment. It’s also an act of social justice and environmental stewardship. When we eat, we make a choice about what type of agriculture/land practices and farm worker conditions we support. We get to decide which if we want to support the family farms in our community or one in Chile.

Eating is social and spiritual. I spoke with the teenagers about the experience of eating and the people with whom we love to break bread. We also talked about fasting as a spiritual practice. Many of us have rituals that connect us to our food and ourselves.

For me, my relationship with food appears so simple and mind boggling, all at the same time. I’ve been exploring my relationship with food for a long time and have been involved in almost all sectors of the food system, from seed to plate. I’m amazed at how a simple thing like food can wreak so much havoc on the health of our environment and communities in one situation and then completely heal so many people, both physically and emotionally, in another context.

So I ask you, what is your relationship with food?

Although it sounds cliché, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and unfortunately, it’s one of the first things to slip off the radar during the busy Holiday season. Fortunately there are very simple things you can eat for breakfast that don’t require much work in the morning while you’re trying to get out of the door. These ready-to-go breakfast ideas are also great for entertaining guests over the Holidays so you can enjoy your company and not feel like you’re spending hours in the kitchen.

KARLfritatta

1. Porridge/Oatmeal: The important thing here is to soak your grains 7 to 8 hours before cooking. The soaking process neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and unlocks the nutrients in the grains so that your body can assimilate them. Consider trying a mixture of gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat, millet and amaranth. One of my favorite recipes is my Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Porridge. I used this recipe  by Real Food Outlaws as a starting point and then added grated ginger and apples or raisins to the mix. I then top this warming dish with toasted pecans and coconut. Yum! You can make this the morning of or cook on low in the crockpot overnight. By the way, the pumpkin pie spice from Frontier is my go to spice this time of year for porridge and healthy baking.

2.  Birchermuesli: I learned about this wonderful breakfast food in Switzerland. My husband’s family there makes this regularly. Basically, you soak oats/muesli overnight in an acidic mixture to help pre-digest the oats. In the morning you add your spices, yogurt and fresh fruit. I love this recipe because you can make it the night before and it’s about done in the morning with the exception of a few additions. Quick, easy and healthy.

3.  Fritatta: My body requires substantial protein some mornings which is why I love fritattas. A fritatta is an excuse to load up on your favorite veggies. Some of my favorite ones include, arugula, mushrooms, red peppers, leeks and Swiss Chard. The combinations are endless. I encourage you to stuff your fritatta with as many dark leafy greens and veggies as possible to counteract all of the nutrient depleting foods consumed over the Holidays. Add your favorite fresh or dried herbs for a special punch. I love to include fresh dill or cilantro when I can. If you can tolerate dairy, add a little grated parmesan, cheddar, ricotta or goat cheese for extra body and flavor. Make your fritatta ahead of time and keep in the fridge so it’s ready to warm up for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a nice side salad.

4.  Soup: Soup is one of my FAVORITE winter breakfasts. You can pack alot of nutrients in soup and it’s a great way to get in your bone broth. Homemade bone broths pack a lot of minerals that are missing in our diet. I don’t care what kind of soup you make, but if’s chock full of veggies and homemade stock, I’m happy as a clam. The beauty of soup is that you can make it in batches and freeze it. It’s also quite packable and portable. Just reheat and voilé! Breakfast is served anytime, anywhere.

5.  Dinner: In this country, we get stuck on eating “breakfast foods” for breakfast and this is just lame. We think nothing of having an omelet or fritatta for dinner so why not wild salmon and a side of collard greens for breakfast? Leftovers for breakfast are a great way to get the day started. You may have to think outside the box a little.

The bottom line is to eat in the morning and keep your mind open about what constitutes breakfast. If you’re not a breakfast eater currently, start slow. You may try a piece of fruit with a little bit of almond butter at first until your body adjusts to having food in the morning. And if you don’t fee like breakfast when you get up because you’re up before the rooster, pack your breakfast and eat it once you get to work. Your body will thank you for it…and so will your co-workers when you’re less cranky due to proper nourishment.

I have some other breakfast ideas on Pinterest that you are welcome to check out. What are some of your favorite healthy breakfasts? Please feel free to share them here.

 

The Holidays are upon us and so are the sugar and refined flour laden goodies. It’s important not to deny yourself, but instead, be realistic about what you put in your mouth. Foods with sugar, flour and dairy in them are often too congesting for the mind and body. Eat too many of them and you find yourself congested or stuffy, battling a head cold, sluggish, not being able to think clearly and just plain sick. These foods are taxing to the immune system and can overload the liver, bowel and lymphatic system when ingested in excess.

If that’s not bad enough, these foods can cause the pounds to creep up on you which is never fun when you’re trying to get yourself into your favorite pair of skinny jeans.

So what can you do to reign in these temptations a bit during the Holidays?snowball_lights

1. Indulge on occasion. If you don’t, you just might find yourself binging on a half gallon of egg nog ice cream later which is much more taxing on the body than if you just had a bite or two of that decadent pumpkin cheesecake here and there. Balance your indulgences by making sure the rest of your meals are healthy and full of vegetables. And whatever you do, NEVER skip breakfast.

2. Dive into the healthy foods first. Let’s face it, when you’re at a party there are so many divine treats. Often we come hungry and fill up on heavy, calorie rich foods rather than kicking the party off with some crudités or lighter salads. Go for the lighter, nutrient rich foods first (provided they are available) so you want eat as much of the junky stuff.

3. Leaving grazing for the cows. Sometimes we think if we don’t grab a plate we’ll eat less. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A plate helps you gauge how much you have eaten. If you can handle it, skip the dinner plate and grab a smaller dessert plate. Start with one small plate and see how you feel. Eat slowly. Savor each decadent bite. You can always grab another if you’re still hungry, but chances are you’ll be just fine and you’ve just tricked yourself into thinking you ate a full plate of food. Ha!

4. Make a green drink before you head out the door. Green drinks are chock full of nutrients which eliminates cravings. Make a green smoothie or juice. Drinking a cup of homemade stock is another good choice. Not only are you getting some good nutrients into your system, you’re hydrating yourself as well. Try this tip before heading out to a party or shopping. You don’t want to stroll by Cinnabon on an empty stomach. It always seems like a good idea at the time… but this is a great segway into #5.

5. Slide into those skinny jeans at least once a week. I’m not a fan of the scale because it’s a number that may or may not be reflective of what’s healthy and causes us to become neurotic about our fluctuating weight. Putting on your slimmest pants a few times during the Holiday season will help you decide whether or not you’re packing on a few extra pounds. Yoga pants and leggings are comfy, but that waist band will grow right along with you!

6. Come with your own healthy dish. Bring something healthy that you love and enjoy it. If you fill up on that, you won’t reach for other temptations. Chances are other party-goers will appreciate it as well.

7. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough rest tend to have increased appetites and eat more. Yikes. So make sure you get your butt to bed at a reasonable time and take a little cat nap before you go out if need be.

8. Watch your beverages. This is my downfall right here. Wine, oh how I love thee! I find that if I pour a half a glass, I drink less, but other folks find that if they just pour one large glass and nurse it all night they do much better. You can even try counting 1-2-3 when pouring to get about a 5 oz. serving. Bring mineral water and lime to a party…you can pour yourself a spritzer in-between glasses of wine to hydrate and slow you down. The bubbles help with setting a slower pace. I know some people that even add sparkling water to wine and enjoy it very much. Hell, some nights you may just want to skip the wine and have the non-alcoholic spritzer

9. Find a food-free space in which to mingle. If you’re standing next to the food table all night, chances are pretty high that you’re going to be tempted to try most of it if not all of it. Search out a food-free space so you’re not tempted to graze continually. If you’re hosting a party, be sure to set-up an entertaining space where there is no food. Your guests’ waistlines will appreciate it!

10. Make time to play and get your butt moving! Let’s be realistic. You’re going to eat homemade Christmas cookies and indulge in your Aunt Maud’s fabulous spinach and artichoke dip. Give those sedentary indulgences a little balance with some movement. Physical activity will help the body burn up a few extra calories this Holiday season AND it will give you the energy you need to attend to your Holiday “to do” list. Get a few extra walks in every week, take the stairs, sneak a few squats in during your walk and add a set of crunches or push-ups in-between batches of cookies.

Whatever you do, be playful about the Holidays. Enjoy them. It’s a special time to visit with family and friends so don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday foods with them. Feelings of deprivation are never fun and only breed a negative relationship with food.

The more mindful and playful you are with your food during the Holidays, the better off your mind and body will be. A healthy mind and body is the BEST gift you can give to yourself and others this Holiday season.

Here are a few other healthy holiday tips from past posts. Now I would like to hear from you. How do you keep the weight from creeping up during the Holidays? Share you tips below.

I apologize for the delay in getting out this recipe, Folks! Awhile back, I posted a pic on Instagram and Facebook and had a few requests for the recipe. This is one of those salad where I open up the fridge and take a peek in the garden to see what I have and then make something up. Sometimes I nail it. Other times, not so much. Just ask Joe. 🙂 Having said that, I really enjoyed this lentil salad! The lentils provide a great source of protein while the herbs and Gone Greens collard green chile paste add a little kick. You can serve this as is or on a bed of greens. Let me know if you try it or some variation.

Lentil Salad with Cilantro & Radishes

Serves 2-3
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
By author Kim Rush Lynch

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lentils (soaked 12 hours, then cooked)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 6 Medium radishes (sliced)
  • 1 Medium kohlrabi (julienned)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 3 Medium spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup olive oil (extra virgin, un-refined if possible)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons collard green chili paste (check out Gone Greens brand!)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Make the dressing first, by combining the olive oil, worcestershire sauce, garlic, chili paste and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk.
2. Mix together your lentils, sliced radishes, sliced kohlrabi, chopped cilantro, and sliced spring onion. In this recipe, you can really add any veggie to it in any proportion. So experiment!
3. Add dressing to salad until it's dressed to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chill for later.
4. Enjoy!

Note

Remember to soak your lentils for 12 hours and rinse before cooking.

What you put in your mouth can show up on your face and other epidermal areas of your body. Having said that, it’s important to load up on whole foods and water and skip the sugar and refined flours which can attach to collagen and elastin in your skin and accelerate aging. In addition, poor food choices often cause digestive issues which will manifest as skin conditions such as acne, dry skin, rosacea and eczema. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, clean protein, water and essential fatty acids can go a long way towards maintaining healthy, youthful skin.

Here are five common foods that will keep your skin glowing:Sweet Potatoes

Dark Leafy Greens. Kale, arugula, collard greens, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other members of this family are good sources of minerals which help to carry water to the cells and are involved in many reactions in the body including maintaining collagen levels. They are rich in beta carotene and vitamin E which protect the skin from sun damage. Greens also contain folate which helps maintain and repair DNA and zinc which promotes collagen production.

Berries. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries contain numerous antioxidants which protect the skin cells from sun damage and even cancer. A skin superfood, berries are also rich in vitamin C which is a natural wrinkle fighter, anti-aging compound and skin tightener.

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes. These orange wonders are a great source of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor that slows skin cancer development and the overproduction of cells which can clog pores and create blemishes. Carrots and sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C which stimulates collagen production in addition to all of those other wonderful things previously mentioned!

Pumpkin Seeds. These tasty winter squash progeny are a good source of zinc and selenium which maintain collagen levels and skin elasticity. Zinc helps create proper protein structures including cell membranes and has been known to reduce acne. Selenium and zinc also protect the skin from UV rays. Along with other nuts and seeds (flax seeds and walnuts are highest omega-3 source), pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids which hydrate the skin, quell inflammation and maintain skin cell structure and integrity.

Coconut Oil. High in lauric acid and capric acid which are antimicrobials that boost the immune system, coconut oil is great for skin health whether used topically or internally. It’s rich in vitamin E which is a natural skin moisturizer, anti-inflammatory agent, UV protectant and free radical fighter. Plus coconut oil is a friendly fat that helps the body absorb skin healthy, fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and E.

What other foods do you consume to keep your skin looking young and radiant? Or, have you noticed any negative affects from certain foods (i.e. sugar, dairy, vegetable oils)? Please feel free to share your experience below.

 

Welcome to Cultivating Health! If you haven’t done so already, sign up for Juicy News, my monthly e-newsletter that gives you practical health and nutrition tips that will have a profound impact on your health and happiness if you’re ready for change. Juicy News topics include:

  • menu planningjuicy_icon
  • digestive issues
  • detoxification
  • hormonal imbalances
  • adrenal fatigue & stress
  • moods
  • cravings (especially sugar cravings)
  • play
  • playful eating
  • self-care
  • work-life balance

Of course, there is always a delicious, seasonal recipe in there, too!

In addition to juicy health tid bits, you will receive invitations to special events including nutrition playshops, cooking demos and classes and PLAY events.

As a token of my appreciation, you will receive a free 15 minute phone consult AND my Top Kitchen Tips & Tricks to save you time and aggravation and bring the fun back into meal prep.

Here’s to cultivating YOUR health!

 

For some, this beautiful time of year can be a nightmare. Trees, flowers and grasses are in full bloom, but so are the sinuses and even asthma for many folks. Most allergy sufferers reach for their favorite prescription medication, when in many cases allergy symptoms could be reduced significantly or altogether through a few dietary changes.

Let’s backup for just a minute. During the winter months, our bodies become depleted, congested and even inflamed. The adrenal glands become fatigued and can’t quell the inflammation. Healthy adrenals act as a natural steroid to reduce inflammation and allergic reactions in the body. Furthermore, the liver is so congested that it can’t process toxins efficiently and they build up in our body. As a result, our immune systems tend to react more to the environment than normal and produce excess histamines that the body can’t keep up with for long without experiencing symptoms. Spring allergies are a perfect example of this.

net i pot and allergiesBelieve it or not, by eating a diet and taking supplements that support the adrenals and liver, you will help the body better adapt to those pesky allergens!

This is one of the reasons why detoxification is so important this time of year. I have had clients forget they even had spring allergies while detoxing. The moment they eat those trigger foods after the detox, allergy symptoms came back with a vengeance. For more information about detoxification, please check out this post.

If you have spring allergies, I recommend you stick to a whole foods diet full of fruits and vegetables. Cut processed foods out and avoid or significantly reduce the following:

  • wheat
  • dairy
  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • flour and products made with flour
  • coffee and black tea
  • corn
  • peanuts

If you still don’t find relief, you may need to consider a low-histamine diet for a period of time during the height of the allergy season. You will need to avoid the following:

  • Meat, especially processed, cured, smoked and fermented meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish (unless the fish is freshly caught, gutted and cooked within a 1/2 hour of eating)
  • Eggs (a small quantity used as binder for a dish is okay)
  • Fermented milk products such as cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fruits such as apricots, cherries, cranberries, currants, dates, grapes, pineapples, prunes, raisins, strawberries
  • Tomatoes and tomato products such as ketchup
  • Spinach
  • Red Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Pumpkin
  • Avocado
  • Soy and soy products
  • Pickles, relishes and other vinegar containing foods
  • Food additives
  • Food preservatives such as benzoates and sulphites
  • Spices such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, curry powder and nutmeg
  • Fermented foods (such as soy sauce, sauerkraut and miso)
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Vinegar

Experiment with these suggestions and see if your symptoms improve this allergy season!

In addition, I have found the following supplements to be helpful for spring allergy suffers:

  • quercetin
  • nettles (a combination of capsule, tincture and tea can be very helpful)
  • vitamin C
  • B complex
  • magnesium
  • licorice root (be careful – if overused can increase blood pressure)
  • local honey

 

I personally take Design for Health’s Quercetin & Nettles formula.  If you’re interested in trying it, shoot me an email and I’ll send you my ordering code.

The trick with these supplements is that you need to start taking them about a month before allergy season kicks in so they have time to build up in your system. In addition to foods and supplements, it’s important to get the body moving daily to process those allergens and other toxins! Also, I recommend rinsing your nasal passages with a neti pot regularly.

 

Have you identified any foods that trigger your spring allergies? Are there any natural remedies that you have used to soothe your allergies that you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below.

 

Feeling bloated, heavy and fatigued? There are a variety of uncomfortable and annoying symptoms related to toxic buildup. Detoxing is your answer to feeling more energy, clarity and even to kick start weight loss!

In this teleclass series, you will get the tools needed to incorporate a gentle, yet effective cleansing program into your spring cleaning routine, and detox your mind and body with the help of an experienced Certified Health Coach and Nutritional Consultant.

During this four week program, you will spend one week easing into and planning for the detox, two weeks detoxing and exploring play and other forms of self-nourishment and one week re-introducing foods and preparing the body for a healthy new routine. This is a great way to renew and rejuvenate your body and spirit! Learn more about detoxification and it’s benefits in this recording.

corporate wellness

This teleseries includes the Cultivating Health Cleanse Playbook which includes:

  • Detox strategies
  • Sample Menu Plans
  • Detox Supply List (food and self care items)
  • Recipes
  • Supplement Recommendations
  • Strategies to Enhance Your Body’s Detox Power
  • Detox Resources

For an additional $100, sign up for a 1.5 hour nutrition consultation to personalize your detox experience and hone in on your unique health and nutrition needs. The consultation includes a Holistic Health Plan outlining food, supplement and lifestyle recommendations to empower you to improve your health and happiness!

Time: 7-8:15pm
Dates: Mondays, March 24 – April 14
Location: Your couch!
Investment: $90 or $190 with personalized nutrition consultation
Register by: March 21

Eventbrite - Detoxify: Spring into a Healthy New You!

Feel free to post your questions below. For a list of all of my upcoming events, please visit the playshop page.

Dress up My Detox Veggies

  • February 27th, 2014

When I facilitate detox programs for my clients, I put them on a two to three week whole foods program with a week on either end for transitioning in and out of the detox. Frankly, the detox protocol I use is a lifestyle, and folks can remain on it as long as they would like. Some chose to stay on it well beyond the detox or take on a modified version because they feel so great on it and it facilitates quick, yet healthy weight loss! There is absolutely no reason why one can’t stay on a food plan that involves lots of steamed veggies, veggie juices, gluten-free whole grains, good fats like butter, ghee, olive oil and coconut oil and quality proteins (i.e. legumes and clean sources of animal foods) while avoiding the Sensitive Seven.

For those of you not familiar with the Sensitive Seven, they are common foods people have allergies or intolerances to including corn, dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, soy and sugar. Bottom line: this is a great way to figure out how and what to eat for one’s unique body type in a fashion that’s healthy and sustainable.

detoxHaving said that, one thing that gets a little old for some on this program after week one, is the steamed veggies. They are delicious drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper, but sometimes you’re craving something with a little more punch. So I provide my detox clients with lots of recipes to “dress up” their veggies. I mean, the flavor of steamed veggies is awesome and there are some fabulous combinations, but why not experiment with some tasty, healthy ways to accentuate their awesomeness? My favorite sauces include bitter greens like arugula and detoxifying herbs such as cilantro. Not only are they delicious, but they enhance the detox power of steamed veggies.

I’m sharing my three favorite recipes to spice up any veggie dish. They can be accessed from my Pinterest page as well. If you don’t have time to make you’re own, there are lots of pre-made products like zaatar, harissa and pesto that are readily available at the health food store. Just be sure to check all of the ingredients to make sure they are detox friendly.

So without further ado…

Arugula Cilantro Pesto
Chimichurri (add some extra cilantro and red pepper flakes)
Zaatar

Let me know what you think and please feel free to share your favorites here as well!

 

I get it. There are mornings when you need breakfast-to-go or afternoons when a sweet treat that isn’t full of sugar and flour would hit the spot. My yoga friend, Katy, found this awesome flour-less peanut butter banana muffin recipe  from Detoxinista. They are delish and you would never know that there isn’t an ounce of flour in them.

I modified her recipe a bit, and oh was it yummy! Sometimes I find that banana is a little too sweet, so I substituted steamed and mashed sweet potatoes for the banana. Because the consistency is a little thick, I added a little almond milk to thin it out and lighten it up. I also added some freshly grated ginger, a dash of maple syrup and a few mini gluten and dairy-free chocolate chips. Pumpkin pie spice is also a wonderful addition. You can use peanut butter or almond butter in this recipe. One of the reasons why I love this recipe so much is because there are a variety of substitutions you can make to change up the flavor and texture.

They freeze well, so I make mini-muffin batches and then store them in several quart size Ziploc bags and thaw out as needed.

So without further ado…

Flourless Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Egg, Peanuts
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert
By author Kim Rush Lynch, inspired by Detoxinista

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural organic peanut butter (could also use almond butter)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup sweet potatoes (steamed and mashed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (or stevia, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (grade B)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (freeze and microplane)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F and prepare a muffin tin with 12 paper liners (more if you use mini muffin liners).
2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients mix until smooth. At this point, you can fold in one or more of the optional add-ins.
3. Scoop the batter, using a 1/4 cup, into each muffin liner.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. The resulting muffins should be firm and lightly golden.
5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
6. Serve immediately, freeze or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Note

Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, 1 cup fresh berries, 1/2 cup dried raisins, cherries or cranberries

Are there any flour-less, dairy-free, white sugar-free baked good recipes that you like? Please feel free to share a link to the recipe here.

Let’s face it. Most of us love a little sweet treat during the Holidays, but for those of us who are sensitive to flour and sugar, our options are limited. So I love to make these little balls of joy to satisfy that craving for something sweet and festive. Originally, I got the idea for this recipe in a book that my friend and colleague, Ellen Siegel, shared with me called Cosmic Cookery by Kathryn Hannaford. The beauty of these little bundles of yumminess is that the combinations are endless. They also make adorable Holiday gifts for your loved ones! Enjoy the recipe.

Cocoa Pistachio Date Truffles

Serves 25 balls
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Dessert
By author Kim Rush Lynch, inspired by Cosmic Cookery by Kathryn Hannaford

Ingredients

  • 4 cups almond meal*
  • 2 cups chopped Medjool dates**
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • pinchsea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts or seeds (sesame, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnut, pecans)
  • shredded coconut for rolling (or oats)
  • cocoa powder for rolling*** (or carob powder)
  • 2 cups chopped Medjool dates**
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • pinchsea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts or seeds (sesame, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnut, pecans))

Directions

1. Mix all of the ingredients together, squeezing the mixture between your fingers so that all the ingredients stick together. You can also mix in a food processor.
2. Shape into balls between the palms of your hands.
3.
Roll in the shredded coconut and/or nuts.

Note

* You can also use sesame meal or hazelnut meal.

** You can use a combination of dried fruit such as raisins, dates, goji berries and cranberries.

*** You can experiment with a variety of other ingredients and toppings as well:

  • finely grated orange zest
  • instant espreesso powder
  • cinnamon
  • tahini, almond or cashew butter
  • ginger
  • cardamom
  • pomegranate arils
  • maple syrup

What are some of your favorite date truffle combinations? Feel free to post here!

 

 

 
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