Are you struggling to keep your New year’s resolutions to eat healthier? Say yes.
I know I am. Keep reading for inspiration.
In January, we had Kari Cutler teach a class titled “Everything Counts” at South Fork. This is a philosophy Kari has adopted in her every day life the past few years. In December of 2008, she was 65 pounds heavier, and decided that she needed to make a change in her life. Being a wife, mother and CEO of Social Marketing Consultants, she knew that her shift toward a healthy lifestyle couldn’t be inconvenient or expensive, and it had to work for her family and their tastes. Kari believes that each meal we eat and the ingredients we cook with either adds to, or takes away from the quality of our lives and our overall health. She presented an amazing class, showing us options regarding fresh vs. processed, organic vs. conventionally grown and generally how to make good choices while cooking. We also learned about raw vs. cooked foods and were able to sample a variety of healthy foods that were not only presented beautifully, but also (to my surprise) had great flavors. Kari’s lifestyle change has made all the difference in the way she feels and looks (seriously, she looks fantastic at almost 50!) We had a great time sampling hummus, fresh ground almond butter, purple sweet potato chips, tortilla soup, and Chocolate-Jalapeno Bites to name a few.
If you are looking for a treat to make that isn’t filled with sugar and fat for your Valentine, this is a great alternative. It’s not a box of chocolates, but it’s pretty tasty if you or your sweetheart are trying to kick the sugar habit! I would compare these to a soft granola-fruit-chocolate bar but more appealing to the eye if rolled into a ball and served in a cute mini-cupcake liner. Oh, one last thing, we all wondered at the class if this would be too hot, as in spicy-hot. Not at all. The jalapeno adds to the flavor of the treat, but interestingly, doesn’t add heat.
Chocolate Jalapeno Bites
¾ cup fresh or soaked dried dates
½ cup hemp protein powder or rice protein powder
½ cup roasted carob powder (you may use cocoa powder, if desired)
¼ cup ground flax seed
¼ cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
½ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
Sea salt to taste
In a food processor, process dates until they form a paste. Add all other ingredients and form into 1-inch balls.Using a small scoop works best. Refrigerate. May be kept in a tightly covered refrigerator container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Optional: Roll formed balls in a mixture of ½ cup processed macadamia nuts, ¼ cup carob powder and ½ teaspoon powdered or granulated Stevia before serving.
Makes approximately 18 1-inch treats