Tag Archives: nut butter

Matcha Balls

 

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As many of you know, I am running an ultra marathon in a couple of weeks.  It was convenient timing that I was researching a recipe using matcha around the same time I was to run my longest training run, 27 miles. When running that many miles at once, you have to eat.  You have to eat a lot of food while you are running.  It’s one of the hardest adjustments I had to make when I started running longer distances.  I have tried eating the energy “goo”  packs, which just left me feeling kind of sick, and might or might not have led to some post-run gastro-internal issues. I perform much better when I make my own, real food.

After reading about the “clean” form of caffeine matcha contained, I knew it would be a perfect addition to some mid-long-run snacks. I decided to make some matcha energy balls with whatever I could throw together to make it stick together into a ball.  I used oats, almond butter, honey, goji berries, vanilla, and of course, matcha.

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I mixed the ingredients together, and packed them into a small 1-ounce scoop.  I placed them on a sheet pan, and in the refrigerator.  They came together perfectly, and tasted great!  On the run they were a bit burly.  The next time I make them, I will either soak the oats, or grind them up in the food processor.  Burliness aside, they were magic balls of “zenergy,”  which really made a difference in boosting our energy throughout the run.

Click here for the recipe.

Kids Corner – Homemade Almond “Nutella”

 

 

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I find it funny how people glamorize my life when they find out that my husband and I are both chefs. They say, “You must eat so well at home” or “I bet your kids have the best lives” or “I bet your kids just eat everything.”  People are fascinated with what we eat at home.

The truth is that yes, we do eat pretty well.  I try and make extra of the food that I make for my clients for us to eat during the week.  That food, however, is very healthy and pretty simple.  The kids might be more “foodie” than your average kid, but for the most part they are normal.  They can be picky, especially when it comes to packing their lunches.

I struggle with what to pack my kids for lunch.  They will say they like something, and I will beat it like a dead horse until they say they are sick of it.  Then, what?    What else do you want?  This recently happened with peanut butter and jelly.  I was actually using sunflower butter and sometimes making my own jam.  That really made no difference to them.  Now they are sick of PB&J.  What do you want?  What will you eat?

They finally requested Nutella.  Nutella?  Okay!  It’s kind of a treat, but it’s good for you right?  I went to the store and I was not surprised, but sorely disappointed when I read the ingredients in Nutella.  The first ingredient was sugar, the second ingredient palm oil.  There were only three ingredients that were actually food:  hazelnuts, cocoa, and skim milk. All the other ingredients were either artificial or modified.

Okay, so they make “healthier” versions of this stuff, right?  I’ve seen all sorts of chocolate and non-chocolate nut butters on the shelf at Earth Fare.  I headed to Earth Fare to read those labels.  The ingredient list was better, but the first ingredient was still added sugar.  And the price was around $8/jar!

I immediately thought – I can make this stuff myself.  I have seen homemade “Nutella” posts in the hundreds of food blogs I subscribe to.  Not having the time to search for the said posts in the store, I grabbed some good quality dark chocolate chips and some almond butter that they grind right in the store (ingredients: almonds).

After heading home from the store, I got caught up in my various chores and forgot about making my own chocolate nut butter.  I woke up the following morning, and put a pot of water on the stove to melt the chocolate.  I added a little bit of coconut oil to help with texture (I love the stuff), and melted them together.  Then I simply stirred the almond butter into the melted chocolate mixture.  It was so easy and quick!  No added sugar.  No dried milk solids. Yum.

To see and print the recipe click here.

Set a pot of water over the stove and bring it to a simmer.  Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel bowl.  Set bowl over simmering water.  

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Stir frequently until melted and smooth.

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Add almond butter or healthy nut butter of choice.

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Stir with a whisk until smooth.

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Place in an airtight jar.

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Homemade Almond “Nutella”

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