Hi Lovelies, so I get it, Its cold, it’s also a little bit wet and all you want to do is give up your green smoothies and juices and embrace the default winter comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, kumara fries, creamy rice pudding etc. etc. I hear you, but the thing is…. it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I have the perfect winter comfort snack that I just know will tick all your boxes and will keep those delicious carb carvings away. It is called “My Chocolate Caramel Bliss Balls” and they are too good for words!
How Winter Changes your Diet:
I don’t know about you, but my diet has definitely changed over the last couple of months. I now start my mornings with a steaming bowl of porridge, instead of my usual green smoothie or juice and I am eating way more cooked meals in place of raw meals and I am also finding it slightly harder to met my daily requirement of two serves of greens.
However, my diet has also improved in a few areas, for example I’m eating more cooked vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and peppers which are all foods that are actually more nutritious cooked as opposed to raw. This is because the heat breaks down the plants cell walls and therefore helps the body to absorb more of their inherent nutrients. Other vegetables which are better for us cooked vs raw, include asparagus, cabbage and carrots. I’m also drinking more lemon water and herbal tea at the moment as I’m eating more comforting, nourishing meals at night and so I’m not craving as many sweet treats during the week. I guess you would call this the natural balance of the seasons……or something hippy and spiritual like that (hehe).
Why Chocolate Caramel Bliss Balls?
Now there are a few reasons why I wanted to create these delicious, mouth-watering, chocolate treats and here they are…..
- Snacks are always a challenge: most of my clients need a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to healthy snacks + it also appears that we have all lost our inspiration and are stuck eating bags of unappealing dry nuts and seeds or munching on a piece of fruit, when we could be having something super delicious (not that in season fruit isn’t delicious).
- We are lacking super foods in our diets over winter: Since a lot of us are reducing the amount of green smoothie and/or juices in our diets over winter, it means we are reducing the amount of superfoods in our diets and we’re now struggling to fit in our usual quota of bee pollen, maca powder, cacao powder, chia seeds and matcha all of which played a huge part in our daily diets…..or is that just me?
- We all crave a little chocolate every now and then: You want a treat that gives you a little hint of chocolate and indulgence without having to gorge on a chocolate bar or a packet of M and M’s. Basically you want a healthy treat that satisfies all your cravings. Amen to that!!
- Where short on time: Everyone is crazy busy this time of year and so we’re needing something that will give us a pick me up, some energy, endurance and the ability to keep going for the day.
- Were wanting an energy boost in the afternoon: Don’t you just hate those 3pm energy dips where you have to practically splash cold water on your face in order to focus. Well now you get to stop, take a brake and enjoy a little chocolate treat that will put that spring back in your step + since pretty much everyone I know is trying to cut down on coffee this will give you that energy kick minus the caffeine shakes and headaches.
- Pre/post workout snacks: At the moment I have been loving my hot yoga classes at the Studio Red Studio (which you probably know from my Instagram account) and I am finding myself needing something at 6.30am to get me through a class without resorting to eating a full breakfast. These chocolate caramel bliss balls + a green juice have been my life saver and I swear they have ensured that I am not fatigued or starving after my class.
Phew, that’s a lot of reasons to make these Chocolate Caramel bliss balls. I hope I have ticked all of the boxes above and provided you with something that will keep your energy levels up, that’s perfect to take to work, that can easily be added to your Sunday batch cooking time and that tastes yummy, chocolatey and indulgent.
I thought just quickly before I jump into the recipe I would give you a little bit of information on all the ingredients to show you exactly why you need to be eating these and what they can do for your moods, energy levels, immunity, skin and basically your whole body since they are that good.
Chocolate Caramel Bliss Balls Break-Down:
Bee Pollen: Is absolutely bursting with all the essential nutrients we need to survive. I call it my daily supplement and it ensures I’m meeting all of my vitamin and mineral needs + its crazy high in protein which is great for pre or post workouts.
Maca Powder: Think energy, endurance, vitality and balance. It’s an adaptogen as well which means it helps our body adjust to changes which can be very beneficial during the change of seasons. I can always tell the difference when I add maca powder into my diet, as my energy levels are so much greater that day.
Cacao Powder: Another energy booster+ it’s the most antioxidant rich food on the planet, as well as being the highest in magnesium. The perfect way to curb those chocolate cravings without the guilt. I literally tell my clients to eat a little chocolate every day since its so good for us. But let’s be clear, I mean this kind of chocolate not the fake sugary kind, so check out the sugar % on the back of the pack!
Camu Camu Powder: Is such a fantastic source of vitamin C and an all round immune booster. I’m loving adding this into my diet during winter to ensure that my immune system gets all the help it needs to stay strong. A definite daily winter supplement in my books. Check out my Immune Boosting Smoothie which is another way to sneak this superfood into your diet.
Almonds: Rich in vitamin E which keeps our skin, hair and nails healthy and glowing. Its also a great source of healthy fats which will help keep you full, satisfied and happy. What’s not to love.
Hazelnuts: Are such a great nut to get into your diet as they are rich in folate, dietary fibre i.e. they will keep you full + they are rich in flavonoids which keep your brain healthy and also boost circulation in your body, so get snacking.
Medjool dates: A natural source of sugar and a great pre or post workout snack which will help balance your blood sugar levels and give you energy. Dates have always been my sweetener of choice since they are minimally processed and our bodies know exactly how to break them down into instant energy.
Cinnamon: Another blood sugar balancer + it’s a great anti-inflammatory food and is perfect for anyone who has high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. I try to eat 1 tsp a day, every day just for general wellbeing. Try adding it into your morning smoothie or mix it into your porridge.
Coconut oil: My favourite healthy fat!! It’s the best fuel for exercise as it gets burned right away. Its also great for the immune system, for healthy skin and hair and for weight loss. Check out my list of 21 ways to use coconut oil.
Nut butter: Rich in protein which will give you energy and repair your muscles after a workout. It’s also a healthy fat which keeps you full and I mean come on, who doesn’t love nut butter!
Goji Berries: Think longevity, beautiful radiant wrinkle free skin and an immune system that kicks all the bugs to the curb. Well maybe that’s a stretch, but it is known for its beautifying benefits as well as being super high in vitamin C, I just think the first paragraph sounds better. Don’t you?
Chocolate Caramel Bliss Balls
Notes: camu camu powder is optional but is a great vitamin C booster and is really easy to through into your morning smoothie as well.
Makes: 20 Bliss Balls:
- 1 cup of almonds
- 1 cup of hazelnuts
- 7 medjool dates (de-pipped)
- 2 tbsp of nut butter
- ¼ cup of goji berries
- ½ tsp of camu camu powder
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. of maca powder
- ¾ cup of cacao powder
- 2 tbsp. of coconut oil (melted)
- 3 tbsp. of water (cold)
- bee pollen
- matcha powder
- desiccated coconut
- sesame seeds
- cacao powder
Blitz everything in a food processor for 1-2 minutes until sticky and combined. Scoop out mixture and roll into small balls. Then roll the balls into your topping of choice. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
They will last for up to one week in an airtight container in the fridge.
I hope you enjoyed this little healthy snack option and if you do get around to whipping them up I would love to know so make sure to tag @reneesextonwellness so I can check them out.
I would love to know what your favourite Winter snacks are so comment below and lets have a chat…..