gluten-free

Coconut Cashew Energy Ball! Extra Fiber for your day!

coconut cashew energy ball

  Photo by OneResult

Fiber is such an important part to a healthy diet! I wanted to share a few facts and my new favorite energy ball!

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate the body cannot digest, that helps regulate the body’s use of sugars. Food high in fiber can make you feel fuller longer, and are associated with lowering the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, lowers cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels steady. Good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries.

Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, maintains the digestive system and helps with regularity. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat products, whole grain couscous, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and carrots. 

U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends 25 grams of fiber each day for women under the age of 50, and 21 grams of fiber each day for women over 50. If you want to get more specific, you can calculate the amount of fiber you need based on how much you eat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should consume about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume. 

Most Americans, however, only get about 15 grams of fiber each day. So how do we alter our diets to get more? An easy switch to make is avoiding refined grains like white flour, white pasta, and white rice, and instead replace them with 100% whole grains. Another way to increase the fiber in your diet is choosing snacks with fiber to help maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day and to help curb overeating. 

Photo by Barn Dad Nutrition

Some of my favorite fiber rich snacks:

  • carrots with hummus- both carrots and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber
  • an apple or a pear
  • air popped popcorn (without butter)
  • nuts, raisins, and dates
  • chia seeds

Dates are a great source of fiber, containing 12g per cup! That's almost half the daily fiber necessary for women, yet dates have a stigma they can't seem to shake. My recipe for Coconut Cashew Energy Balls calls for dates, yet the result is a moist, chewy, delicious treat!  Can't wait for you to give this high-fiber snack a try!

coconut cashew energy ball

Coconut Cashew Energy Balls! (Gluten Free)

Yield: 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Pitted Dried Dates (9-10 dates)
  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • ½ Cup unsweetened Coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

Instructions:

Soak the Dates in water for 10 minutes to soften. Place all ingredients into food processor or blender and process for approximately 2 minutes until everything is ground. Roll into Balls.  Spread coconut flakes on plate and roll ball on flakes to cover!  Makes approximately 15 tablespoon sized balls. Store in the refrigerator. Perfect easy to make treat for the entire family! Yum!

Enjoy and have a wonderful day! Caroline

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Flour-less): Yum!

You may have noticed a lot of food related posts on the blog lately. There are two reasons for that. One- I've been hearing about some great new foods lately and I love finding good recipes for them to make it easy for everyone to incorporate them into their diets. Two- starting my online training program has really gotten me thinking about my friends' dietary needs.

One need I've been seeing a lot of is the need for gluten-free foods, and a desire for nutritious and delicious desserts. The recipe for flour-less chocolate chip cookie bars accomplishes just that, and are super easy to make. The recipe calls for chickpeas instead of flour, which add protein and fiber without sacrificing any flavor. What's even better is that the cookie bars can be vegan too, simply by substituting the dark chocolate chips for vegan chocolate chips. Yum!

blondies 2

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Flour-less)

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter  or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

photo (8)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  and spray 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process/blend  until batter is smooth. Fold in ¼ cup  of the  chocolate chips.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle ¼ cup of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 20  minutes and edges are a tiny bit brown.
  4. Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt then cut into squares.  Enjoy immediately!

Makes 16 Cookie bars.

blondies

As you can probably imagine they were a hit with my children! I will definitely be making these again soon!

photo (7)

Blessings,

Caroline