Sunday, June 26, 2011

**Guest Post** Fruit and Nut Cocoa Bites!

I feel super lucky to have Lindsay from Green Food, Green Thumb, High Heels do a guest post today. Her blog is full of veg-tastic recipes, musings on her exciting adventures, and inspiration on living a healthier, happier life. Take it away Lindsay...

Hi everyone, my name is Lindsay and I blog over at Green Food, Green Thumb, High Heels. Thank you Mercedes for inviting me to guest post while you are enjoying a FABULOUS vacation! I started following Mercedes' blog fairly recently, and I must say that I love her optimistic and gentle spirit and her fresh and healthy perspective on life.  So now, without further adieu, I'm taking over her blog!!! :) muahaha! 

I believe that optimal health involves both the body and the mind, but what we put into our bodies is so important! I used to eat a lot of crap, and when I ate crap I usually FELT like crap. That's how the saying goes, right? Processed foods, sugary foods, energy drinks, and loads of caffeine used to be my go-to source for fuel. But nowadays I focus on natural, whole and healthy eats, and my body feels better than ever! My blog focuses on my individual journey towards health, plant-based foods and recipes, and some of my travels and outdoor adventures. Stop on by and say hi if you get a chance!

My favorite indulgence is cooking, and I love exploring unique and delicious dishes using fresh and whole ingredients. I wouldn't put a specific label on my eating style except that I tend to follow a mostly plant-based diet, void of animal products. My body truly feels my best when I eat this way, and I believe it is one of the kindest things we can do for our bodies and the planet. And I still have a lot of fun cooking! This week I whipped up a super yummy, mostly raw, completely vegan and gluten-free dessert recipe. It's kid friendly, family friendly, easy to make, uses relatively few ingredients and still utterly delicious. Who doesn't love a little dessert ball of love?? :)

Fruit & Nut Cocoa Bites
1 c. all natural peanut butter
1/2 c. tahini paste 
1/3 c. sesame seeds
1/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. pitted dates, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1 tbs. unsulfured blackstrap molasses
2 tbs. agave nectar syrup (or sub honey or maple syrup)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, tahini paste, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Stir to combine. 
2. If you are using jumbo raisins, chop into 1/4" pieces with large chefs knife. Repeat with dried dates. Add dried fruit to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. 
3. Add 1/2 c. of the dried coconut plus remaining ingredients and stir to combine. You may use more or less sweetener to your preference. 
4. Put remaining coconut into shallow dish to use for garnish. Using your hands, roll dough into 1" dough balls and roll the balls in the coconut flakes. 
5. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until balls have slightly hardened. 
Optional additions or substitutions:  chopped pretzel pieces (not gluten-free), dried cranberries or cherries, chopped nuts, flax seeds, almond or cashew butter, chocolate chips, & vanilla or coconut extract.

These dessert balls are both delicious and nutritious! They are packed full of protein, calcium, healthy fats and nutrients. They are a super fun project to let your kids make, and you only have to dirty some measuring cups and one bowl, no need for baking sheets or cookie trays. There are endless options and possibilities when it comes to making dessert balls. This recipe is fairly simple, but if you wants to spruce things up a bit, a food processor may come in handy!

I like to use molasses to sweeten desserts because it is a more natural and far less-processed sweetener than sugar. It also boasts some pretty awesome nutritional stats. Just 1 tablespoon has 20% of our RDA for Iron, 10% for calcium and 15% for potassium. It also has magnesium, vitamins B6 and B10 and other nutrients. That's pretty spectacular for a sweetener! The taste is rich and earthy so I usually combine it with another natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave. Whatever you do, don't shove molasses into the back of the cabinet and think it's something only a grandmother would use, because that's far from the truth! 

Well I hope you enjoyed this healthy and delicious recipe. Don't be afraid to try something new, you might just get hooked! And please stop on by and say hello at Green Food, Green Thumb, High Heels, because I'd love to meet you and visitors always inspire me! Thanks again Mercedes for letting me takeover Cultivating Consciousness for the day, enjoy your vacay!

~Peace, Love & Veggies xo

Thanks Lindsay! Be sure to check out her blog, she's got lots of good stuff going on over there!


  1. What a wonderful guest post! Those bites look so good! I love making treats in the form of balls. For some reason, they always taste better that way :-)

  2. I agree! Bite size ANYTHING is the way to go!

  3. Thanks for hosting this lady! Hope you had a FABULOUS vacation! And you better make this recipe up and lemme know just how much you like them ;)

  4. Thanks for doing the post Lindsay! And you dont even need to worry about it... tahini, plus dates, plus coconuts... SOLD!

  5. YUM! I've been on a little balls-of-deliciousness kick too. Can't wait to try these!

    And super psyched to find this blog. Thanks Lindsay :)