No-Bake Doughnuts (Faux-Nuts)

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Today, I was originally planning on posting a really delicious dessert, plus a cocktail, as obviously both are good choices for a Sunday. However, those will have to wait! Since launching Little Jars, I’ve already been called for nutrition advice - from some expecting mothers with a major case of the morning sickness.

Not to fear - Little Jars is here! We are sharing two recipes with you today, for healthy, no-bake doughnuts. After a lot of thought on a name (as they are also called power balls), personally, I like the name Faux-nuts. We hope you do too.

Well, Little Jars went live yesterday, and within 24 hours we have over 130 likes on facebook, instagram sharing, people signing up for our newsletter (which will be personalised and interesting by the way, not just more of the same!), and lots of positive feedback. I am overwhelmed! Thanks for all the love, and I’m really excited about building a community as we grow.

Back to Faux-nuts, as these treats are simple, nutritious and packed full of protein. So if you’re one of those women lying around with nausea, vomiting, unable to consider cooking - see if some friends or family will whip these up for you. They are a back to basics comfort food that will guarantee to level your blood sugar.

Now, if you are not pregnant, or never will be - these power balls are also super as snacks and as a post-workout fix. They store well, and give you that added boost of....well....power! Kids will love them as well, and they are a better alternative to cookies, biscuits or flapjacks. So try them out, you will not be disappointed!

But back to Rwanda for a minute and my poor suffering friends........

For those of you that don’t know - Rwanda is a fertile place. Everyone seems to be having babies, all the time! For such a small country (you can drive to every border in a couple of hours), it is the most populous country in Africa in terms of how many people there are per square kilometre. Seriously, there are people everywhere! You virtually cannot drive or walk without seeing someone - it’s no wonder Rwandans now have so much patience - they are clearly built to be excellent sharers! In an attempt to curb the birth rate, Rwanda thought about creating a family size policy (think China....), but decided instead to demonstrate good family values by showing a family with no more than three children as an “ideal family”.

It’s no wonder I’m always asked why I don’t have kids! I clearly need to get moving, especially when I mention that I’m now in my 30’s. While Ryan and I are enjoying married life sans kiddies for now. However, many Rwandans I’ve met choose to simply ignore the three child preference. One friend said to me the other week “In 1994, we lost a lot of our people, Hutus and Tutsis. Now it’s time to replenish, I want 10 kids!” To each their own - but I’ll be holding off for now, as there are many other babies around so I get my fix of cuteness, especially when I go and visit local schools!

rwanda-children-africa-school-education

That being said, many of my friends are either pregnant, planning for it, or just had a baby. But the ones I most feel for are the ones with morning sickness. Friends, I got a text yesterday from a poor soul who’s been suffering, (really, really suffering) for the last 3 months. She hoped after the first trimester she’d be up and at em, but instead, she’s been on her couch at home, feeling like death. Luckily, she’s got a very doting husband who’s been taking good care, but she reached out to see if I had any nutrition suggestions that wouldn’t make her want to gag.

I’ve done some research, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

 Morning Sickness Tips

Morning sickness affects over half of all pregnant mothers. It is generally related to an increase in estrogen levels, low blood sugar counts, and a greater sense of smell.

There are hundreds of tips and suggestions - but in my opinion - each of us is different and sometimes we have to listen to our bodies. So pay attention to what you eat, how much sleep you get, and what smells push you over the edge. Also, eat - constantly! As a child we used to walk around with an empty yogurt container filled with dry cereal. Imagine yourself at that age and try, try, try to graze. As hard as it may be, it will be so much worse if you avoid it. I’ve even seen some advice to keep food on your nightstand and in the bathroom! Like I said, whatever works!

However, you want to try to get some protein and sugar into your system, something which will release slowly and monitor your blood sugar. There are also tips to have lemon and rosemary scents around as these mask other smells, and help with nausea. There’s also tips to have lots of ginger/lemon tea. It works for some, and not others. Listen to your body, take your time, and keep hydrated! There’s a good blog here to see.

Here are two recipes for Faux-Nuts, which I hope will help.

Folks - I am a sucker for fried dough. As a proper Canadian, I used to love Timbits, which are small doughnut holes from Tim Hortons. I also live for the jelly doughnuts at this bakery in my hometown. The combination of savoury dough and sweet topping gets me every time. I love them with hot tea. But the one problem is - they make you fat! Doughnuts have no nutritional value (obviously), so I avoid them at all costs. But if I were to have a cheat day, and I just happened to be in my hometown of Coquitlam, and they just happened to have a warm doughnut ready....well.....let’s be realistic, I’d totally cave!

But, luckily I am 14,000 kilometres away from Vancouver, so I am not tempted. However, today’s recipe for Faux-nuts almost look like little dough balls, although they are not baked, or fried. I was almost tempted to dip them in a bit of chocolate or fill them with jelly, but they looked cute all on their own. And they are very satisfying.

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The first recipe - is made with only 2 ingredients - nuts and dates! You’ll want to soak your nuts overnight, as this activates them and makes them more nutritious and easy-to-digest - it also makes a smoother mix for the dough...err....I mean faux-nuts.

You can of course add other ingredients to these, but I prefer to leave them plain, and decorate the outsides, to remind me of my favourite kinds.

raw-power-balls-coconut-date-nuts-vanilla-vegan-healthy

The second recipe contains an extra sweetness - chocolate! I used chocolate mint, something similar to After Eights (but dairy free).

mint-chocolate-power-balls

Ryan says the faux-nutes taste like UK flapjacks, and he actually liked them! (he’s not a sweet fan). They also use oats, fresh Rwandan honey, and peanut butter. Delicious!

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I hope you try both recipes and enjoy them as a great snack!

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Two-Bite Faux-Nuts

These are great snacks to fight off hunger, or to tide you over post-workout. They are also good for morning sickness - the nuts and date combo is delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates (try for medjool), or other.
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (or pecans, walnuts, cashews, be creative!)

Instructions

  1. Soak the nuts in water overnight.
  2. Drain the water and add nuts to a food processor (or blender).
  3. Take the pits out of dates and put them into the food processor.
  4. Blend until the mix forms a large ball.
  5. Roll into small balls by hand (about one inch thick)
  6. From here, you can decorate! Sprinkle cocoa powder on top, roll in coconut, dip in chocolate, or roll in cocoa nibs.
  7. Put in the fridge to cool/set for 30 minutes.
  8. Then enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Faux-Nuts

These power balls are also delicious, and are almost like British flapjacks, but healthy! Choose your own chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (check if gluten free)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup flax seeds (ground)
  • ½ cup mint chocolate (or other) cut into small chunks

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to blend them together, until you get a sticky ball. It will not clump perfectly. If so, use your hands to massage the dough into a big ball (or I did three smaller balls).
  3. Put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Then roll into smaller balls to serve - you might find the mix is crumbly but that's ok, it should still stick into balls.
  5. If not, add a bit more peanut butter or honey to get it to stick.
  6. Then enjoy!