The Balls that {nearly} broke the Vitamix’s Back

As we’re nearing the end of this pregnancy, I’ve been doing a lot of things to prep my body for labor & delivery. This includes lots of walking, lower body exercises, consuming 2 cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day, sleeping as much as I can, hydrating like I’m preparing for a marathon (which I kind of am), and eating dates.

dates

A few weeks ago, my acupuncturist recommend I trade in my sweet tooth (she could tell I’ve been consuming more sugar than normal by the looks of my tongue!) for dates. I had never tried them before yesterday because I wasn’t sure on how to eat them. So I went home looked up some recipes and kind of came up with something of my own. I present to you…BALLS. My first time ever making them and they are delicious. I made them with walnuts, pecans, coconut, dates and sea salt. They’re the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

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Not only do they satisfy a sugar craving without consuming any processed sugar, but they also have great benefits in labor and delivery. My acupuncturist sent me this interesting article highlighting the study results on the effects of consuming dates and labor and delivery. Overall, they found that the first phase of labor was shorter for women who consumed dates in late pregnancy compared to those women who did not. Eating dates also lowered your risk of augmentation and induction of labor.

If you’re NOT pregnant, dates are high in protein, vitamins (folate, iron, potassium) and fiber without being high in fat. they also provide a lot of energy because they’re high in good, natural sugar. (Source) Below is the recipe that I used. I suggest pre-soaking your dates in water before you make this recipe because the Vitamix was not a fan of how much power it was going to need to blend these up. Just as I was finishing up, the thermal heat sensor kicked in and it just stopped working. I seriously had a small heart attack because I thought I burned out the motor. We unplugged it and let it sit for about 20 minutes and it’s working good as new. Hallelujah!

Date & Coconut Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 cups of SOFT dates, pits removed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil, not melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp course sea salt

Directions

In a food processor or high speed blender, add the nuts and coconut until you have a crumbly mixture.

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Add the dates, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla and mix until sticky and well-blended. On a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place the rolled balls on there and sprinkle with extra coconut. Place in the freezer until hardened. I kept mine in there overnight and they taste delicious frozen. A perfect frozen treat! I plan on making more of these this weekend so that we have extras to take with us to the hospital.

I’m also enjoying a few dates along side my nightly cup of tea! Hopefully I reap the benefits of these, if not, they are a very tasty snack.

What’s your favorite go-to snackI’m trying to stockpile some healthy go-to snacks to have on hand when baby arrives, so any recipes/suggestions are appreciated. So far, I have some lactation cookies and date balls in my freezer.

Extremely Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

Do I have an easy slow cooker recipe for you guys. If you even want to call it that. I stumbled upon this inspiration from Lina’s blog and it has been added to our monthly rotation of week night dinners. Lina is the Chief Training Officer of The Barre Code and writes an awesome blog focused on fitness, health and wellness.

Step one-buy a whole chicken. Cut up some of your favorite vegetables that will hold up nicely in the slow cooker (carrots, parsnips, onions, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, celery).

IMG_2881Lay the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season the chicken to taste. I used sea salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Placing the chicken on top of the veggies will help keep the chicken from falling apart too much. Turn the slow cooker onto low and cook for about 8 hours.

IMG_2882You want the internal temperature of the leg to be 160 degrees. The cooking time will vary based on the weight of your chicken. No need to add water or broth to this. It will not burn, the vegetables and the chicken will make its own lovely broth.

When it’s done, scoop out some veggies and cut the chicken off the bone. Dish up and eat! It’s that easy.

IMG_2886I’ve made this now twice and both times it was delicious and satisfying. My ONLY complaint is not having crispy skin. I usually pick the skin off anyway, but I think next time I will place the chicken in the broiler for a few minutes after it’s done slow cooking. I’ll make sure to report back 🙂

It’s Friday! Hallelujah!!!! It’s been an extra long work week and I’ve been looking forward to my wine date tonight with my friend, Jen, all week. The rest of my weekend will be filled with Christmas cookie baking, birthday celebrating, and maybe some Christmas shopping (I only have 1 thing purchased!). I’m really looking forward to baking cookies this year, it will be Madelyn’s first year participating! She’s the best kind of kitchen helper 🙂

madelynpancakes