Vegan Cacao and Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These energy balls are so gooey and delicious, I am currently obsessed with them! If you’re looking for an easy on-the-go snack to power you through the day, these are a great option!

They take just ten minutes to make and only need six simple ingredients.

Ingredients

100g pitted dates, about 6 large dates

45g roasted peanuts, about 1/3 cup

40g smooth peanut butter, about 2 heaped tablespoons

8g porridge oats, about 1 1/2 tablespoons

7g cacao powder, about 2 teaspoons

Method

Place the dates in a food processor and pulse until they form a smooth paste.

Next add in the oats, peanut butter, salt and raspberries and pulse again until they are well combined. Finally add in your roasted peanuts and pulse until they reach the consistency you desire – I like to have them a little chunky for a nice crunch.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Continue doing this until the mixture has finished.

Place the rolled balls into the fridge for around 1 hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Rachel x

 

Please note: This recipe and image was taken from http://www.deliciouslyella.com, no copyright infringement intended just a huge fan of these energy balls. 

Organic September: What is Organic?

Organic food is food as it should be

All organic food is fully traceable from farm to fork, so you can be sure of what you’re eating. The standards for organic food are laid down in European law so any food labelled as organic must meet strict rules. Unlike non-organic food production, which makes wide use of manufactured and mined fertilisers and pesticides, organic food is produced with natural fertilisers from plants, less energy and more respect for the animals that provide it.

Organic farming and food production is not easy and takes real commitment and attention to detail, and is backed up by rigorous, independent inspection and certification.

In the face of climate change, rising diet-related ill-health and widespread declines in our wildlife, the need to produce healthy food, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and protect wildlife grows more acute by the year. There is no magic bullet to tackle the challenges that face us, but the buying decisions we make every day are a simple but powerful form of direct action.

Organic Always Means

  • Fewer Pesticides
  • No artificial colours and preservatives
  • Always free range
  • No routine use of antibiotics
  • No GM ingredients

All organic farms and manufacturing companies are inspected at least once a year and the standards for organic food are laid down in European law. Getting organic certification isn’t easy and when you buy an organic product you know what you’re buying really is what it says on the tin.

Why choose organic?

Organic means working with nature. It means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment, which means more wildlife.

Whatever you’re buying – from cotton buds to carrots – when you choose organic food, drink or beauty and textiles, you choose products that promote a better world.

Organic food comes from trusted sources. All organic farms and food companies are inspected at least once a year and the standards for organic food are laid down in European law.

Why does organic sometimes cost more?

In an ideal world, organic wouldn’t need to be more expensive. A big part of the problem is that the true cost of our food isn’t reflected in the price, both the positives and the negatives. So food that is produced in ways that may contaminate our water, or lead to antibiotic resistance in people, may seem cheap in the store, but the real cost can be very high indeed.

Where there is a price difference, you are paying for the special care organic farmers place on protecting the environment and improving animal welfare. As the costs of farming with oil-based fertilisers and chemicals increase, the price gap between organic and non-organic is closing.

While organic food is sometimes more expensive than non-organic, staples like pulses, pasta, rice and whole grains often only differ in price by a couple of pence, and when you can, buying directly from farmers like through box schemes, helps too.  Organic sales are up in the UK (and across Europe and US) and more and more shops are offering a good range of organic.

Look for the logo

Going organic is easier than you’d think. Food, health, beauty and textiles products that hold the Soil Association organic symbol have been produced to the highest possible animal welfare and environmental standards.

It’s easier than you think to choose organic 

Switching to just one extra organic item really can help contribute to changing our food and farming systems for the better. Demand for more organic food means more organic farms. More organic farms mean fewer pesticides, more wildlife and more animals raised under the very highest standards.

Going organic doesn’t have to break the bank. Many organic products are the same price or cheaper than branded non-organic and most retailers also have their own organic range.

Rachel x

 

 

 

Food Intolerance & Intolerance Testing

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My skin has been so bad over the past few months I made the decision to have food intolerance testing, as most skin conditions are orientated around diet and digestion.

I saw a nutritionist called Nathalie this afternoon for testing, which was non-invasive and completely painless! The best way I can describe the test is that it was like having a ballpoint pen touching the tip of my finger.

The machine Nathalie used was a Di Etx machine, which is a bio-electronic analyser that measures the body’s electrical resistance to over 120 common foods/drinks and other substances like house dust mites and mixed pollens. If a substance is causing a problem, it will affect the body’s electrical resistance.  The test also provided an assessment of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Some of the substances tested included:

wheat – rye – tomatoes – orange – eggs – oats – cow’s milk – cow’s cheese – yogurt – sugar – yeast – coffee – tea – wine – a variety of fruits and vegetables – MSG – aspartame – mixed pollens – pets’ hair.

The consultation lasted just over an hour and included some advice on elimination strategies and alternative foods.  The test had shown that I am intolerant to dairy, bananas, coffee, tuna, onion and cabbage. Nathalie made diet recommendations and gave me advice about supplements, including a prescription for Iron, Magnesium Citrate and Milk Thistle. I have booked a follow-up session with her in four weeks time to review my progress and make adjustments if needed.

What are the signs that you may suffer from a food intolerance or sensitivity?

  1. IBS (stomach cramps, sudden urge to have a bowel movement, a mixture of constipation and diarrhoea etc)
  2. Bloating
  3. Skin issues (Eczema, Athletes’ foot..)
  4. Asthma
  5. Constipation or diarrhoea
  6. Lethargy, constant fatigue
  7. Mood swings or depression
  8. Reoccuring ear or throat infections
  9. Constant mucous, drippy nose
  10. Hay fever
  11. weight issues
  12. migraines and more..

Will I have to avoid certain foods forever?

You may be advised to eliminate one or more foods that could be giving you problems for a period of  six to eight weeks, before carefully re-introducing each substance. Your reactions are monitored during this re-introduction period to assess whether you are better off with or without the food in question. Often people feel fine after the four-six week elimination and are advised to re-introduce the food to their diet.  Others may feel better during that elimination period and decide to leave that food out of their diets.

What’s the difference between an allergy and an intolerance?

A food allergy is usually an obvious reaction to a food but food intolerances can be easily missed with vague symptoms that might seem totally unrelated to digestion.

The simple, painless and non-invasive test can give you immediate answers! The food test targets a different part of the immune system than an allergy test. This is an important difference. Any diet changes are well supported with good nutritional advice and tips on making simple meals and snacks.

Common food intolerance include wheat, dairy, eggs, yeast. It is often the foods we eat most of in our diets that can end up being a trigger. Those foods listed above tend to be the most prolific foods in our diets and with such high exposure, a susceptible digestive system may form an intolerance.

70% of our immune system resides in our gut with more immune reactions happening in our digestive system in a day, than in the rest of our bodies in a year.

This means that our digestive system integrity, balance and function can make us susceptible to the immune response that forms food intolerances. When a child is born, both the digestive system and the immune system is not yet fully developed. This is why allergy and food intolerance symptoms are common when kids are little and seem to ‘grow out’ of them.

Rachel x