Sweet treats for my yogis ----
The great thing about raw foods is that they contain far more nutrition than their cooked counterparts. Raw foods also contain enzymes, the substances necessary to digest and absorb the nutrients inside them. When we don’t eat raw foods, our bodies must work hard to produce our own digestive enzymes, and after years of doing so, our ability to digest properly declines.
Listen to this great little interview by Dr. Fred Bici on raw foods and health.....
You probably eat a lot of raw foods already: fruits, salads, smoothies – but here is a recipe for a raw food snack that will hopefully inspire you to include more raw foods in your diet – it’s easy!
The base for this snack comes from dates. I am a huge fan of these delicious, dried fruits because they taste just like brown sugar, but with tons of health benefits! They are power-packed energy nuggets, filled with nourishing carbohydrates, fiber and naturally occurring sugars, which are quickly assimilated in the body. They are also an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to maintain muscle contractions including the vital heart muscle. Potassium is needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to balance the body’s metabolism as well. In addition, dates are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins for energy, and magnesium to metabolize that energy.
These snacks also contain nuts and seeds, which are excellent sources of healthy fats to satisfy hunger in a hurry, and vegetarian protein for non-meat eaters like me. You can mix and match the nuts and seeds to suit your dietary, nutritional, and flavour preferences. Just make sure you maintain the nut-to-fruit ratio for proper consistency.
2 cups dates, chopped (or you can also use some raisins, cranberries, prunes, apricots)
2 cups nuts (I used walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds, but pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias also work well.)
1. Set out a few sheets of parchment paper and a Tupperware container (you will have very sticky hands when you’ll need this)
2. Place the dates and /or other dried fruits in a food processor. Pulse until processed to a paste. Transfer paste to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).
3. Add the nuts ( or your choice of seeds - add a little chia in there too - get creative!) to the processor and pulse until finely chopped (see photo above). Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the fruit paste. Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste (this is the fun part – kids love it too!)
4. Taking small amounts at a time, shape the kneaded fruit dough into small balls. You can roll the balls in sesame seeds, ( cacao, coconut, cinnamon, nuts etc.. get creative!) which will prevent the balls from sticking together, but this is optional. I like the crunch it gives and the extra boost of calcium never hurts!
5. Store in layers, in parchment-lined containers in the refrigerator until you set off on your next energy-intense adventure, or simply come to one of our retreats and we will make them for you ;) !