Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups

Snack

Peanut Butter Cups were always my Halloween go-to growing up. They were the one candy that I would protect and hide from my father who had a tendency to try and steal some of my Halloween haul. (We had to start buying him his own stash so that he wouldn’t take mine or what was meant for other kids!)

I think it’s the salty-sweet flavour profile of this combination that I loved the most. I use to bite around the edges first to get rid of the extra chocolate and improve the final chocolate to peanut butter ratio.

But ever since starting to make these “healthier” versions of my own at home, I’m totally hooked! I don’t even like the original store-bought any more. I far prefer my own quality dark chocolate and simple ingredients. Plus they’re so easy to make, and probably work out cheaper overall than what you’d get in-store.

What’s great is if you can’t have peanut butter, it’s really easy to substitute with any other sort of nut butter. Or even a sunflower seed butter if you need to stay away from nuts entirely.

What was your favourite Halloween candy growing up? Drop a comment below!


Peanut Butter Cups

Prep Time1 hr
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 200 g Dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Peanut butter or other nut butter

Instructions

  • Line a muffin tray with 8 liners or use a silicon tray.
  • In a bain-marie over low heat, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring continuously.
  • Once the chocolate is fully melted, pour 1-1.5 tbsp into each of the 8 muffin liners, spreading to completely cover the base. Set aside remaining chocolate.
  • Place tray in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  • If your nut butter is fairly firm, warm slightly in a second bain-marie over a low heat until it becomes soft, stirring continuously. Do not overheat! It should be soft but not liquid-like.
  • Pour nut butter equally into the 8 cups over the chocolate base. Return tray to freeze for 10 minutes to set.
  • If needed, reheat the chocolate in the bain-marie. Pour remaining chocolate equally over the peanut butter layer.
  • Return tray to freezer for 30 minutes to fully set.
  • Once completely set, remove from tray and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

A bain-marie is a method of cooking using one pot filled slightly with water with a second pot layered on top. The water should not reach the second pot, but the steam will gently heat it and allow the ingredients in the second pot to slowly melt with less chance of burning. If you don't have a nested pot like this, you can use a glass bowl that's base fits in the first, water holding pot.

Bounty Bites

Bounty Bites

Snack

Bounty chocolate bars were definitely one of my favourite afternoon treats from the vending machine while I was working in my corporate life.

Too bad that consistent afternoon dip was actually a sign from my body that I wasn’t fuelling it properly!

But now that I have these bounty energy bites in my life, I have an easy snack replacement that will give me more energy without the crash that my previous Diet Coke and chocolate bar used to!

The great thing about making these yourself is that you get to control how much sugar goes in for sweetening the bites. I prefer dark chocolate, so I try to keep the extra sugar on the lower side. But if you need little bit more, then make the adjustment!

Just keep in mind that your sweet tooth might be getting boosted by a less than balanced diet. The less your body is used to having overly sweet foods, the sweeter your palate will find foods naturally.

Curious about more ways to fuel your body with proper nutrition for more abundant and consistent energy? 

Join me on Wednesday, November 6th for a free webinar all about fuelling for energy! Click the button below for more info and to register.


Bounty Bites

Chocolate and coconut based enegry balls
Prep Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 balls

Equipment

  • Food Processor or Blender

Ingredients

  • 80 g Cashews
  • 1 cup Shredded coconut
  • 110 g Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbsp Cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp Honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Shredded coconut for garnish

Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender start by blending the cashews until a flour is formed.
  • Add remaining ingredients (except 1/4 cup of shredded coconut for garnish) and blend well until a smooth dough is formed.
  • Cover dough and set in fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from fridge and roll into 12 equal-sized balls.
  • Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded coconut in a shallow bowl or plate. Roll the balls in the shredded coconut to coat.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or up to a month in the freezer. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

While I love throwing together a simple chia seed pudding for a snack (perfect to grab-and-go!), sometimes that basic staple needs to be elevated – especially if you’re making it a meal instead of a snack.

If you haven’t tried out chia seeds yet, you definitely should! They have a host of health benefits including aiding proper digestion, helping decrease inflammation, and supporting our bodies’ natural detox processes.

The reason they are able to do all this is because of their high soluble fiber content. (Check out this post for more on fiber.) These little seeds love to soak up liquid, and their volume greatly increases when mixed with any sort of liquid creating a gel-like structure – this is how we get the pudding texture from chia seeds!

In addition to fiber, chia seeds are a plant-based source of complete protein (containing all the essential amino acids). You’ll get around 4 grams of protein in 2 tbsp (30mL) of chia seeds.

They are also a good source of Omega-3 fats, (in the form of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), which still needs to be converted by our body into the usable forms).

And finally they are also a good source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and manganese!

So much from such a tiny seed!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup (310mL) coconut, almond, or other non-dairy milk

  • 1 banana

  • 1 scoop (around 60mL) protein powder

  • 2 tbsp (30mL) cacao powder

  • ½ cup (125mL) chia seeds

For layering / topping:

  • ⅔ cup (160mL) Coconut yogurt (or other full-fat yogurt)

  • 2 tbsp (30mL) Nut butter

  • Cacao nibs

In a blender, combine until smooth the milk, banana, protein powder, and cacao powder.

Pour the mixture into an airtight container (like a mason jar) and add in the chia seeds. Shake or mix well to fully combine. Let sit for 2 minutes and mix again. Let sit for another 2 minutes and mix again.

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or even overnight (up to 2-3 days).

When ready to eat, layer with coconut yogurt, nut butter, and top with some cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Matcha Bliss Balls

I’m still loving on bliss balls as a healthy, nutrient dense snack. Packed with healthy fats from nuts and seeds as well as some extra protein, they give you plenty of nutrition with just a touch of natural sweetness!

This matcha recipe is a spin-off of my Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls.

Why I love matcha:

  • full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties

  • may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol

  • may help prevent cancer and protect against heart disease

  • helps support the liver and its detoxification processes

  • boosts brain function

  • gentler hit of caffeine than coffee without the energy crash afterwards

If you are particularly sensitive to caffeine, just be aware that the matcha in these bliss balls is a source of caffeine, even though the amount is relatively small considering the serving size. However, if this is you, then think about only consuming these as a morning snack, and/or being sure to decrease your consumption of other sources of caffeine accordingly.


Matcha Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

  • 80g (2.8oz) cashews

  • 60g (2oz) almonds

  • 50g (1.8pz) pitted medjool dates (around 3 dates)

  • 50g (1.8oz) shredded coconut (plus extra for rolling)

  • 20g (0.8oz) pumpkin seeds

  • 1 scoop (roughly ¼ cup / 60mL) protein powder

  • 2 tbsp (30mL) coconut oil, melted

  • 2 tsp (10mL) matcha powder

  • 1 tsp (5mL) vanilla extract

In a food processor or blender combine all ingredients until a well blended and smooth dough is formed.

Pour extra shredded coconut into a shallow bowl or plate. Roll dough into balls, roughly golf ball size (or to your preference). Roll the balls in the shredded coconut to coat.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Makes 8-12 balls, depending on size

Healthy Snacking

  Photo by    rawpixel    on    Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Have you ever grabbed an apple mid-afternoon for a small pick-me-up only to feel hungry again a short while later? You think you’re making a healthy choice, but with your snack gone you’re maybe then pulled in the direction of not-so-healthy options to curb your hunger and energy needs?

I’ve definitely been there! A few years ago a piece of fruit was my go to snack at the office… although for some reason I couldn’t seem to kick my late afternoon chocolate bar and diet Coke habit!

Don’t worry, I’m not saying that fruit is unhealthy or even that it shouldn’t be a snack!

It’s totally the opposite! But there is a missing piece – balance.

Fruit is the easiest example, but really this is generally about carbohydrate dominant snacks. And when you’re trying your best to eat healthfully, the majority of people reach for fruit as that snack. But you could apply the same idea to any other carb-based snacks (I also use to be a huge eater of rice cakes!).

In general, carbohydrates are going to have a larger impact on your blood sugar levels. If your snack is predominantly carb-based, you’ll likely see a spike in your blood sugar soon after consumption followed soon after by a crash. The snack just doesn’t keep you satiated very long and there is a good chance you’ll end up with less energy and more hunger just a little while later.

The missing link is fat! Healthy fats help slow down our absorption of food and therefore energy. By ensuring you always have a source of fat along with the carbs in your snack, you’ll likely feel more satiated and have have more level, consistent energy!

Of course, depending on your preference, you could just skip the carbs and focus on a protein and fat based snack, but one is not necessarily better than the other – our needs are all different!

  Photo by    Toa Heftiba    on    Unsplash

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

So what might be some healthful snack combinations to try out?

You could pair your carb-based snack with:

  • Nuts or nut butter

  • Full-fat yogurt (dairy or dairy-free)

  • Cheese

  • Hardboiled egg

  • Avocado

  • Oily fish (like salmon, sardines, anchovies, etc.)

Oily fish might strike you as a bit strange for a snack, but they are one of the best sources of healthy, omega-3 fats and are incredibly nutrient dense! Although your co-workers at the office might not love this one 😉

And don’t forget, as much as I’m talking about fruit here, raw veggies are also a great snacking tool and can also pair with all of the above!

Some other snack ideas:

  • Small portion of leftovers

  • Egg muffins (like mini-frittatas)

  • Roasted veggies with an added drizzle of olive oil or tahini

  • Bliss balls (also called fat balls) or other nut-based bars

  • Trail mix (nuts & seeds base with optionally a small amount of dried fruit or dark chocolate)

  • Frozen yogurt & fruit popsicle

  • Chia seed pudding

  • Smoothie

Do you have any favourite go-to snacks that I haven’t mentioned? – Let me know in the comments below!

Happy snacking!

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