Cocoa-nut bites

photo 2-1There are hundreds of these delightful little balls circling the blogging scene! I usually just make them up as I go along, but this one was particularly good. I haven’t been updating you on my sugar free challenge at all! But because of little lifesavers such as these¬†nutritious snacks, I have managed fairly well. It hasn’t been as hard as I imagined, but then again we haven’t cut out natural sugars, so I can still satisfy my sweet cravings. Although many people say sugar is sugar, processed or not, I have to disagree. The foods that I get my sweet fixes from have so many health benefits that far outweigh the sugar content, and the extra goodness in them helps your body to process the sugar more efficiently anyway. I do feel better as a result of the challenge, with no more energy dips mid afternoon. I slipped up yesterday when I was testing a brownie recipe for the party this weekend, and today I have been feeling so lethargic! The other girls are doing great too and the online food diary has helped us to share ideas and really evaluate what we are putting into our bodies. I have realised that I really don’t snack as much as I thought! Michelle has lost a heap of weight and we have both said we want to make it a more long term change. I am also pleased that I have managed to, pretty much, cut out all processed bread (and haven’t eaten anything else processed the entire time!) and am now considering asking for a bread maker for Christmas!

If you have ever thought about going sugar free you should definitely try it. If you are happy to eat natural sugars in fruit, honey and maple syrup, for example, then you may find it is a piece of *sugar free* cake!

So to get you started here is a quick recipe for those moments when you just need a treat:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup soaked cashews

2-3 cup soaked dates

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Handful raisins

Desiccated coconut to coat balls in

Method:

Puree or blend your dates, cashews and coconut oil (I used my juicer to do this which makes them much smoother than blending, but either works ok) If the mix seems too crumbly add more dates. It should be sticky, holding together easily but not wet.

Put mixture in a bowl and stir in cocoa powder and raisins until mixed well. You can add more or less cocoa depending on how chocolatey you want them.

Roll into bite sized balls and then roll through the desicated coconut.

Refrigerate for an hour before serving (unless you are desperate to eat them straight away, but they really are better after being in the fridge!)

Store them in an airtight container and pack them in a picnic, in your child’s lunch box, for a long journey. You could even put them in a pretty box and give them as a gift…or just demolish them all whilst watching your favourite tv!

Enjoy!
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EASY Homemade Natural Baby Wipes

I was so excited when I saw someone comment on another blog that I follow, with instructions on how to make your own baby wipes with coconut oil. We have always just used cotton wool on Poppy, but now that she is starting to eat it would be really useful to have some wipes handy to clean those sticky fingers (and face, arms, legs, back, feet….the joys of BLW!) However, the organic wipes are rather pricey and not often available on the high street as far as I know.

I am definitely not going to start covering my baby in nasty chemicals and already swear by coconut oil for its million and one uses, so I just had to give this a go. Honestly, it is so simple, I urge you to have a go too! Your baby’s delicate skin will be grateful!

1. Cut a strong kitchen roll in half so that you have two smaller rolls (This was the hardest part of the whole thing!). Put one aside to use another time.

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2. Warm 15 fl oz water in a pan and melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil in. (Do not boil!)

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3. Pour the mixture into a container with a lid, big enough to squeeze the kitchen roll into without leaving too much room. I used these glass jars I had lying around which I think came from Tesco for about £2 each, but they were probably a bit big. Image

4. Place one half of the kitchen roll into the container, close the lid and tip the container upside down to cover the whole roll in the liquid (or turn it round a few times if like me you used a big container). Leave to soak in for a while.

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5. Remove the cardboard inner tube from the roll, and pull out your first wipe from the centre.

That’s it! You can add essential oils if you want to but you wouldn’t need a lot. Leave the wipes in the container with the lid on to keep them fresh. I will let you know how long ours lasts for, but I have read that they can go moldy and so don’t make too many at once and store in a cool place.

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