Let’s face it… food can bring us pleasure and comfort. The smell or thought of food can bring back wonderful childhood memories, or it can remind you of the time that you got sick after eating carrot cake. (I had this happen and didn’t eat carrot cake for 10 years). Food is used as an escape for many people, a mental distraction from reality. Is this a good thing? I think the answer depends on whether the food you use to escape is healthy. This recipe is one of my escapes. With two small children, working from home, it seems like 24 hours a day, mama needs a happy moment, usually daily. This often comes from a hot shower (usually at night when the kiddos are asleep), a moment of watching TV with my husband, or my favorite…nibbling on something chocolate. 🙂
Don’t worry, you know I am not eating Hershey’s Kisses or M & M’s that are loaded with sugar, but I find my “Happy” with either a few squares of 80% dark chocolate or one of my easy chocolate recipes like the recipe in this post. Along with dark chocolate, I also enjoy blueberries, fresh or frozen, and strawberries. Another get-a-way treat that I love is one of my Shakes or my Frosty.
Do I, like most, have a relationship with food?? Yes. Is it healthy?? I think so. I have surrounded myself with better choices than before, so that in a “weak” or stressful moment, I can’t and I don’t reach for sugary and processed junk to give me a quick “high.”
I think a point that many people don’t realize about food addictions is that certain types of food are truly addictive and it has very little to do with a lack of will power. Like wheat, most know that it contains gluten, but don’t realize that modern day wheat is genetically addictive. Gluten is broken down into gliadin in the body. Gliadin is further broken down by our digestive system into exorphins. “Exorphins cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to opiate-receptors to induce appetite, as well as behavioral changes.” Source The more you eat addictive foods such as breads and pastas, the more you want it. Yes, addictive behaviors are partly habit, but they are also partly addictive because your brain is telling you that you body needs more of a certain food, like wheat.
I have found healthier alternatives to my food addictions. I think that I will always have an “addiction,” but as long as I am not eating boxes of sugar and grain filled Girl Scout Cookies (it’s been a few years since I have eaten GSCs), or bags of cinnamon-sugar pita chips (I haven’t had them since I was pregnant with my first son), and as long as I choose these healthier alternatives, I will be alright. Learning portion control and not binging on healthy foods is also apart of managing food addictions. I don’t eat the entire bar of chocolate or the whole batch of “5-Minute Vacations”…if I did, THAT would be unhealthy.
When an alcoholic gives up alcohol, they typically pick up another “addictive” habit. It may be chewing gum or eating but the addictive nature still exist. The key is to make sure it is truly a healthier habit. Healthier habits include working out, learning a new skill, taking a walk, reading more books, etc. Knowing your weaknesses and setting your self up for success is the key! Not buying or surrounding yourself with old addictions is the easiest way to overcome them. If you are having trouble breaking your Diet Coke addiction, don’t buy them and find a healthier alternative. I’m not saying it will be easy or you will one day wake up and say “I really don’t like Diet Coke.” But by not spending your money on it, or keeping it around for it to “talk to you,” this is the first step to overcoming addictive foods and behaviors. I hope this helps someone. We need to work to develop healthy relationships with healthier foods…our health depends on it!
About the Recipe
This recipe is SO easy and you can make so many variations to suit your individual taste or what you have in your pantry.
About the nut or seed butters…I have made this recipe quiet a few times and this last time I used Trader Joe’s Peanut butter. I found that the end result was too salty compared to when I used other brands of peanut butter or sunflower seed butter. If in doubt, add 3 tbsp. of the nut or seed butter and taste to determine if the last tablespoon will make the overall recipe too salty. For an extra treat (and if you can handle the few extra carbs.), fold in 2 tbsp. of raisins or organic dehydrated cranberries. You can also just melt hard dark chocolate and mix with your favorite nuts and coconut flakes… delicious!
Keep these jewels in the fridge and when you just need a little escape from crying babies or a stressful workday, be sure to enjoy a 5-Minute Vacation with me!
What is your favorite healthy indulgence??
Makes approximately 12 Bites
To print, highlight recipe and right-click, then select "Print".
- ¼ cup natural nut butter, salted (peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter for nut-free)
- 2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil
- 2-1/2 tbsp. raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sweetener of choice, to taste**
- ½ cup sliced almonds (or raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or extra coconut flakes or chips for nut-free)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
In a small pot, melt coconut oil and peanut butter over low heat. Turn off heat and stir in cacao powder first, and then the remaining ingredients. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Scoop mixture into mini cupcake liners using a 1-1/2 tbsp. scoop. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until hardened.
Microwave directions: In a medium bowl, add all ingredients except sliced almonds and coconut chips. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until coconut oil is melted. Stir well, then stir in coconut and almonds. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Scoop mixture into mini cupcake liners using a 1-1/2 tbsp. scoop. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until hardened.
Nutrition: 140 Calories, 12.5 gram Fat, 5 gram Total Carbs, 2.5 gram Fiber, 2.5 Total Carbs, 3.5 grams Protein per serving.
**Notes: I am still experimenting with sweeteners. I am using my old bottle of KAL stevia that doesn't contain maltodextrin as well as Organic KAL Stevia and Organic Sweet Leaf Stevia. For this recipe, I used about 2 servings of KAL Stevia or either 1/6th of a tsp. of Sweet Leaf Stevia. Use whatever sweetener you prefer. I have also made these using raw honey.