I finished my 10-day sugar detox halfway through this week. And I have survived to tell you about it. The first time I did a 10-day sugar detox was last summer and I had some serious cravings (you can read about it here). This time was a breeze. Honestly. So I am on to Phase 2 of my limiting processed sugar lifestyle change. Remember from week 1's blog, this phase includes trying to eat processed sugar free during the work week and then having limited processed sugar on the weekends.
"Why bother", you might ask. Well, there are a few reasons I really like this plan.
First off, you should always ease in to a lifestyle change. Completely depriving yourself of something will often lead to failure...followed by an all-out, stretchy pant required, binge. And then you have just wasted all the effort you have just put in to the initial detox.
Second off, this is how you train your taste buds. Yes, you can actually train your taste buds to like foods you used to dislike and to dislike foods you used to like. We are so used to sugar-laden foods that our taste buds are accustomed to the sweetness. Do away with sweets for a while and you will be amazed at how quickly things you used to love and crave and covet turn sickeningly sweet.
And lastly, I'm no super-hero. Sometimes I am going to want a chocolate chip cookie made with processed sugar...and I am going to eat it. This plan allows you to indulge occasionally, and that is what makes a successful lifestyle change.
So let's move on to this week's processed sugar free recipe—a chocolate peanut butter bit that doesn't require baking and, of course, is vegan and gluten-free. I can't really call it "raw" because the peanuts are roasted. This is as simple as all the other raw bars and bites I have posted, with just an added layer so it will take you 15 minutes to make instead of 5 minutes.
Always process your nuts first before adding the rest of the ingredients. Then add the dates and everything else except the coconut oil. Use that to bind all the ingredients towards the end.
Don't press this first layer out to much. Trust me, I made that mistake the first draft and the two layers just wouldn't bind together. Set it aside and make the second layer. Make sure you are using a unsweetened and unsalted natural peanut butter at room temperature. If you are not using a natural peanut butter, then don't add any salt to the recipe.
Pour it on top of the other and then press this layer on. Now chop your toppings together and sprinkle on top and press them into the peanut butter layer.
If you aren't trying to limit your processed sugar and you don't have or care for cacao nibs, go ahead and use mini chocolate chips instead. The added salt is nice, unless you are using salted peanuts then eliminate it.
Seriously, it doesn't get much better than chocolate and peanut butter. And to find those two elements in a recipe that is refined sugar free is amazing. These are only sweetened with dates and are sure to be plenty sweet for your evolving taste buds.
Time: 15 minutes
1 1/2 c. raw almonds
1 1/2 c. dates
1/4 c. cacao powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. responsibly sourced coconut oil, melted
1 c. raw almonds
1 c. dates
2/3 c. natural peanut butter, room temp to soften
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. cacao nibs
1/4 c. roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
In your food processor, blend the almonds 10-15 seconds until they form a course meal. Add the rest of the ingredients, other than the coconut oil, and process another 10-15 seconds to combine. Add 2 tbsp. coconut oil and blend. If mixture is not sticky enough, add last tbsp. of the oil. The moisture in your dates will determine how much coconut oil you will need in the end.
Pour into a lined small cake pan. Press lightly to mold an even layer. Set aside.
In your food processor, blend the almonds 10-15 seconds until they form a course meal. Add the rest of the ingredients, other than the coconut oil, and process another 10-15 seconds to combine. Add the coconut oil and blend.
Pour out on top of your first layer. Press to mold a second even layer.
Place all three on a cutting board and use a large knife to chop, combine and break up the peanuts.
Press lightly into your top layer.
Place in refrigerator for an hour to set. Best eaten and stored either at refrigerator or room temp (layers may separate stored in the freezer). Store your bites in airtight container.