Monday, February 18, 2013

Heart Healthy Sweet Treats with Nuts and Dates

Chocolate treats don't have to be bad for you. And if you don't like cocoa/cacao, simply leave it out...these treats are no worse for it! (In fact, they taste even sweeter, because the cacao adds a bitterness that is eliminated when it is.)

They don't have to be hard to make, either. These took a few minutes (literally!) and no cooking or baking was involved.

 I took heart healthy whole ingredients: walnuts, cashews and dates, blended them in a food processor, and molded them into hearts with cookie molds. You could also simply roll them in balls. They store well in the refrigerator and will be gone before you know it!

 Walnuts are full of omega 3 fatty acids (like those in salmon and flax), anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. Walnuts are protective against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes (see this website for more information.) Cashews are good for the heart, good for the teeth, and eating whole raw nuts can actually aid in weight loss. Dates are an incredibly sweet whole fruit that easily takes the place of any added sugar, honey or syrup in any recipe. Dates contain fiber, nourish the muscles by containing high amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium (among many other minerals and vitamins.) Dates are great for the intestines, preventing constipation while also protecting against diarrhea (high potassium content.)

Heart Healthy Sweet Treats:
  •  1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, or *raw cacao (optional)
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves)
Blend in food processor. Mold into shape or roll into balls. Eat immediately or refrigerate to preserve.

Looking at our 5 taste chart, we can see this is a balanced food that will satisfy and reduce cravings.

The sweetness is produced by the dates, cashews and coconut.
Bitter is provided by walnuts and cacao (or cocoa.)
Sour is given by walnuts.
Salty: I added a pinch of sea salt.
Pungent: I added some pumpkin pie spice, which has ginger and cinnamon.

For more information on food for balanced emotions and reduced cravings, or to set up an acupuncture appointment you can give us a call: (412) 381-0116.

Love to all,
~ Melissa and Dave

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Read these articles by Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac. in Natural News for more information:
*Raw cacao can be purchased at I use Nativas Natural brand. Receive $5 off first order with coupon code: MEL526