I have a killer snack recipe to share with you this week to have on hand for those times when you are headed into the hangry zone. They are filling, craving-crushing and energy-giving. But most important, my taste-testers loved them!
As a nutritionist, I am not a big fan of sharing snack recipes because it implies that snacks are necessary. Most snacks available to us are completely devoid of nutrients, which is why we think of turning to healtheir options. However needing snacks because you feel hungry, light-headed, jittery or headache-y is a sure sign of unstable blood sugar levels. And no, you don’t have to be a diabetic to have blood sugar issues. I used to be chomping at the bit every lunchtime because I was so ravenous. I also commonly developed a headache if I went too long without eating, not that I was starving myself, I was usually waiting for my lunch break. I didn’t think I had blood sugar problems because I thought it was normal to be this hungry after 3 hours or so.
But as a human, I know there are times when I need or want a snack. For me, that includes times such as running errands and realizing there are no healthy or quick options around or wanting something sweet after dinner but not wanting to turn to chips or candy bars or when I’ve made changes to my diet and I just want something that fits within these changes. And that is why I create snacks for you!
Thanks to a new partnership with Vista Magazine (a beautiful health magazine), I received a tub of Purica’s Power Vegan Protein in vanilla and set out to make a healthy snack for you. I am already a huge fan of Purica. They are a wonderful Canadian company whose values align with mine and offer quality products. I have been taking their mushroom blend Immune 7 for years. I used to be very susceptible to interacting with those who were sick and looking for natural remedies and now I rarely get sick.
The obvious choice for me and protein powder would be a smoothie recipe but I haven’t been into powders thanks to hemp hearts. Smoothies aren’t the only option for protein powders though! There are bars, cookies, crackers and of course, balls or bites. The only problem is that I find protein powder recipes often taste… how shall I say… gross. My goal was to not have the taste or gritty/chalky texture of the powder overpower the recipe and thankfully I succeeded. I have to admit I had it easy because the Power Vegan Protein powder is smooth and yummy. It is a unique blend of pure Chaga mushrooms, fermented pea, organic sprouted brown rice and special enzyme blend so that you don’t get the bloating that usually comes with vegan protein powders.
According to Purica there are numerous health benefits of Chaga:
“Chaga is a dark brown/black mushroom that closely resembles charcoal. It is found on Birch and other trees in Northern Siberia, Northern Japan, Northern Canada and the Northeastern US. Beneath the tough exterior is a softer deep brown/yellow ‘meat’ which contains the bulk of the medicinal qualities. Its taste and smell are earthy, woodsy and some say resembles mild vanilla.
Chaga’s many health benefits include the prevention and treatment for an impressive amount and array of conditions and diseases: various types of cancer, tumours (both malignant and non), respiratory infections and asthma, depression, various gastro-intestinal disorders, viral infections, skin lesions, injury, fatigue and irritability.
Among its various medicinal elements Chaga contains beta glucans, antioxidants and melanin. Beta glucans are potent immune system boosters and assist with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, influenza, and viral infections. Chaga’s antioxidant levels may be the highest yet ever discovered, approximately 50 times that of blueberries.”
It is important to include protein in your snacks to help with those blood sugar imbalances I mentioned to avoid the hangry zone as well as afternoon energy slumps and late night cravings.
I am a fan of simple ingredient lists so I’m happy to see only 6 ingredients for a protein powder. This is especially useful for uncovering your food sensitivities, where simplicity is crucial. These bites can be modified to be a perfect reintroduction recipe for citrus by choosing to omit the clementine or lime juice to test either fruit.
- ¼ cup Purica Vanilla Power Vegan Protein
- 2 cups coconut, shredded & unsweetened (plus extra for toasting)
- ½ cup Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, raw & unsalted
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw & unsalted
- ¼ cup dried cranberries, apple juice sweetened
- ¼ cup raw cacao nibs, optional
- Date Paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup dates
- 1 clementine
- 1 inch ginger root
- 2 tsp Cha's Organic ceylon cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- pinch pink or sea salt
- Toast some coconut in frying pan (stir regularly to avoid burning)
- Puree the date paste ingredients first
- In a food processor, pulse the coconut, hemp, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and date paste until combined
- Fold in protein powder, cranberries and cacao nibs if using
- Form mixture into balls and roll in toasted coconut
- Place in fridge until firm
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