My husband called me from work yesterday and said “Can we eat something light for dinner tonight? I’m feeling really uncomfortable and I’ve reached my limit, so you have to stop me from eating bread and sweets”.
“That’s easy!” I replied, “Just don’t buy any of that stuff when you do the shopping!”
Realistically, I know it’s not that easy because he loves chocolate and especially bread. The running joke is that he “can’t have a meal without bread“, but he’s done it before, so I know that if he sets his mind to it, he can cut out (or at least reduce) bread and sweets from his diet.This got me thinking about how much refined sugar we eat and how difficult it would be to replace the refined sugar in food that I cook with healthier options. I wonder what difference it would make to our overall health?
So, I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of cooking without refined sugar for the next 6 weeks. I know it won’t be easy because everyone in my family (including me) loves cakes, muffins, chocolate and all sorts of other desserts, but I’m determined to give it a go. I will definitely need some encouragement, so any tips or comments are appreciated. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m going and share tested recipes as I go.
Part way through writing this post last night, I decided to start my challenge there and then, so I made these Dates and Coconut Energy Balls. They are made with only good things, like nuts, seeds and raw cocoa and the only sugar in them comes from fresh dates, so tick! And my husband opted to eat one of these instead of his usual piece of chocolate when he got home from work, so tick again!
Not only these Dates and Coconut Energy Balls healthy, they are a gluten free, quick and easy to make and taste REALLY yummy!
What you need
- 1 cup nuts (natural) – you can use just one type of nut or a combination, eg ½ cup hazelnuts & ½ cup almonds
- 8 fresh dates (pitted) – I use Medjool dates because of their chewy texture
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 Tablespoons raw cocoa powder
- 1 Tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
- ¼ cup coconut water or normal water
What to do
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined.
Take some of the mixture and roll into ball. You can make them whatever size you like. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Store the Dates and Coconut Energy Balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or freeze.
TIP: While it’s not essential, I like to roll the balls in cocoa power and shredded coconut for extra effect.
Thanks for staying to the end of my post and remember, if you have any tips on how I can achieve my goal of replacing refined sugar, I’d love to hear from you!
Hi Vicki. I think you should get your husband to not buy junk food for the 6 weeks also. Maybe get him to not buy bread to join in the challenge.
For the energy balls I think you should put a little bit of protein in it to make them more filling and a slightly bigger snack.
Love your work. I wish I could eat this food every day.
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Thanks for your comment anthony 👏. Yes, you could add protein powder to these if you like. I’m about to post my apricot and vanilla balls which have protein in them, so look out for them.