I am always looking for healthy, tasty snacks. I am a snacker. Aside from dinner, I have to force myself to eat regular meals throughout the day, and to limit my snacking (so basically, I eat like a toddler). Usually (when I'm not indulging) my snacks include a handful of raw nuts or a hard boiled egg, but those can get a little old after awhile. In an effort to spice things up, I've been experimenting with nut butters.
When I do snack I like to make sure that whatever I am eating is healthy and packed with protein and good fats. Nut butters and coconut fit this bill - they are super nutritious and filling. This particular creation was developed from a recipe that my mother gave me. It's super easy and quick, but it doesn't include things that are necessarily in the pantry. I must say though, eating these bites of deliciousness is similar to indulging in a cookie or macaroon. They are crazy yummy and my new go to when I feel like snacking.
Coconut Cashew Bites
Coconut Cashew Bites are sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan. They are full of protein and healthy fats that help us fight through that 3pm slump in the day. This recipe is really for adults, and maybe the more daring child. There are small pieces of almonds that can be a choking hazard for small children. I recommend no younger than 24-months for this particular snack, if at all.
- 2 heaping tablespoons cashew butter*
- A small handful of sliced raw almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon or more ground cinnamon
- A sprinkling of ground nutmeg
- 1 generous tablespoon coconut butter (also known as coconut manna)
- The juice from one small lemon, or less depending on preference
- Flaked coconut, approximately 1/4 cup
* Make sure the cashew butter is unsweetened and salt-free. Ideally the only ingredients in the nut butter should be roasted or raw organic cashews (this also goes for almond/peanut butter if you choose to substitute)
- Heat water in a small sauce pan on the stove and place coconut butter container in the water until melted.
- Meanwhile, mix together cashew butter and sliced almonds in a small bowl with a spoon or rubber spatula. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and mix until combines. Taste and add spices as needed.
- In another small bowl, mix lemon juice and melted coconut butter until just combined. Don't overdo it.
- Separate the cashew butter mixture into bite-sized balls and dip them into lemon/coconut butter mixture, coating them completely.
- Roll the bites in flaked coconut.
- Eat immediately with a side of tea :)
The Coconut Cashew bites taste best when eaten right away, but you can also refrigerate them overnight to have something a little denser to bite into. I like these bites with cashew butter best, but any nut butter such as almond butter or peanut butter can be substituted. However, be careful with too much peanut butter consumption - it has a high in natural sugar content and often contains other additives. As far as nut butters go, almond butter is by far the healthiest.
Cashew butter - Although cashew butter is lower in protein content than both almond butter and peanut butter, it is rich in other crucial nutrients such as iron, copper and phosphorus. Many people are wary of nut butter for their high calorie and fat content, but all of the fat in cashew butter is heart-healthy fat that actually helps with weight loss.
Almonds - Almonds are arguably one of the world's healthiest foods. Nuts are truly one of the best foods for us, and almonds are the champions of all nuts. They have a high healthy-fat content (similar to olive oil), are an excellent source of Vitamin E, and are packed with protein (more so than both peanuts and cashews). A diet that contains regular almond consumption lowers the risk of heard disease, provides protection against diabetes, and helps with weight loss.
Cinnamon - Cinnamon contains antioxidants to help fight off disease, and has powerful effects on metabolism, which helps with weigh loss.
Nutmeg - This spice is rich in Vitamin C, folic acid (for the pregnant mommas), Vitamin A, and antioxidants.
Coconut butter - Also known as coconut manna, this ingredient is similar to coconut oil, but also contains actual coconut meat. Coconut butter contains healthy and healing fat that not only creates radiant, youthful skin, but also boost immunity, kills bacteria and viruses, and prevents against degenerative diseases such as cancer. In addition, coconut butter helps stimulate the metabolism, and thus increases energy levels and helps with weight loss.
Lemon Juice - Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C, much like oranges (but without the high sugar content); they also have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. I often wake up and a mug of hot water with lemon juice and rosemary, partly because it helps wake me up without the addictive nature of caffeine, but mostly because lemon juice is detoxifying. It clears out the bad bacteria in the gut and helps with weight loss.
Coconut Flakes - Much like coconut butter (and oil), raw coconut flakes are packed with healthy fats that promote weight loss and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It is also one of the best foods for the brain.
For more info on healthy fat, and why sugar is the enemy - click here.