Raw Halva Coconut Energy Bites (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Nothing will make you love and appreciate a simple snack so much as a day of fasting. This past weekend my husband and I both did juice cleanses courtesy of Fruitive (more on that later this week). So, in an effort to approach my fast from the perspective of nourishing my body and giving my digestive system a break I made these little halva coconut bites. What I mean is, I prepared this most snackable of treats to have around in case my body started crying out for food and I needed something to take the edge off.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a bite of something nourishing on a fast or cleanse -- preferably something with fat in it to calm the nerves and tell your brain that you're not starving. A bite of avocado, a spoonful of almond butter, or one of these guys. I'm a big proponent of fats, especially in a vegetarian diet. Fats nourish our brains and nervous system and produce healthy hair and skin. And they help our monkey-brains feel satiated. So, a bite of this particular treat, during my cleanse, was all I (and my man) needed to keep on keeping on.
The day after my cleanse, after an avocado mango smoothie, I ate a couple of these to get amped up for an intense yoga class (lots of arms/shoulders/core work). Now, I don't particularly recommend going to a strength building yoga class after a fast. I admit I got dizzy during a lot of poses -- but I took breaks when I needed to. It's important not to compare yourself to other folks in any yoga class, but especially after you've been eating very lightly. Usually I would opt for yin yoga, but I've been doing yoga for many years so I have a pretty good idea of when my body needs to rest or needs to be pushed. I definitely took the easier options on almost every pose. Yes to long holds in warrior pose & arm balances & floor work. No to variations in standing poses (I just took hands to heart center & worked on breathing & grounding down).
These halva bites gave me some good, solid energy for the class for sure! Fasting promotes vata or air qualities in the body (especially good for kapha, earth types, and pitta, fire types*). When done properly it helps promote a more creative state of mind, a heightened spiritual awareness, and a more balanced, easy digestion. I like to eat a completely plant based diet the day after a fast (and mostly if not 100% for the week after). But I like to bring more grounding food into my diet to counter-act some of that vata or airy energy (which can make me feel really spaced out). These halva bites, roasted sweet potato, roasted squash with a light plant-based dressing, and a vegan caesar salad are all excellent for the days coming off of that fast (this Kale & Brussels Caesar Slaw is freaking delicious by the way).
*You can learn what doshas (kapha, vata, or pitta) primarily make up your constitution here.
These date tahini bites can be made 100% raw with a raw tahini like the version sold by Artisana or by blending lightly warmed raw sesame seeds with cold pressed olive oil in a vitamix. Otherwise, I like to use Soom foods tahini as it is significantly milder in taste than most tahinis. You can also use "raw cacao" but regular cacao powder is exactly the same nutritionally and half the price.
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup mild tahini
- 1 cup coconut chips
- tiny pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon maca powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- Add your cashews to the bowl of a high powered blender.
- Grind into a powdery flour then scrape the flour into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Add the pitted dates, tahini, coconut chips, sea salt, cocoa powder, maca powder, and vanilla bean to the bowl of your blender. Blend on high until everything is well combined. Scrape out into your mixing bowl with the cashew flour.
- Mix together using a silicon spatula, then knead the "dough" into a round, smooth ball.
- Pinch off golf ball sized amounts of the dough and roll into balls. Set the balls down on parchment paper as you go. Continue until all of your "dough" has been rolled into balls.
- Fill a small bowl with sesame seeds. Roll each dough ball in the sesame seeds, pressing the seeds into the balls by rolling the balls in the palms of your hands. Set each ball onto the parchment.
- The energy bites will be semi-firm, with a sort of melting texture in your mouth. If you'd like them to firm up a bit you can refrigerate them for 2 hours or overnight. Store in a covered container in your fridge for up to two weeks. The energy bites can be stored at room temperature, as well, for up to 5 days.