April is Stress-Awareness Month. Creating recipes is one of my favourite ways to de-stress because it allows me to escape my analytical brain and indulge in my creativity.
Cooking in general, is my way to pull myself out of the hustle and bustle of daily life and become connected to people in my life, and mother nature. When I'm cooking with someone in mind, I will tweak the recipe to that person's liking as my way to appreciate them.
While I'm cooking, the nutritionist in me often marvels at the healing nutrients mother nature provides for us, and I am filled with gratitude.
If you have a busy schedule, I created this recipe for you. Let me share why I think this is a great snack to boost your resistance to stress and how I personally think it's a must-have in your stress survival kit. When I get busy during the day and don't want to have a big lunch, these are very filling snacks that keep me going.
Here are some ingredients that will make you feel super charged to take on the day:
1. Cacao Powder
Raw cacao offers many health benefits especially mood-boosting properties. Anadamide (a neurotransmitter given the name that's synonymous to bliss and joy) is increased in your brain after consuming chocolate. Cacao also relaxes blood vessels to improve blood flow to the brain. Read more on cacao in this post here.
Yellow maca has a slightly sweet, earthy, and tangy taste, closely resembling that of a caramel apple. Maca is one of my favourite ingredient because it boosts stamina for both men and women. Instead of mimicking any specific hormone in our body, it strengthens and nourishes our endocrine system, encouraging the body to respond according to its need. For the purpose of combating fatigue and exhaustion, I recommend using 1-2 tsp per day.
3. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seed is a great plant source of omega 3’s, a type of fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory effects, which promotes fat loss. Essential fatty acids can also dampen the fight-or-flight response by keeping cortisol level in check.
4. Goji Berries
The goji berry is a stress-busting superfood, because ounce for ounce it's more concentrated in vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C allows the body to effectively metabolize stress hormones and it's a major antioxidant that reduces both physical and psychological effects of stress. Plus, it's also rich in zeaxanthin which is a potent antioxidant that protect your eyes against blue light from electronic devices.
5. Coconut Oil
60-70% of coconut oil consists of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). These fatty acids can be delivered directly to the liver and used for energy, encouraging the body to burn stored fat.
Hope you enjoy the recipe:
Maca Chocolate Elation Bites
Total Time: 10 min (*overnight soaking required)
1/2 cup raisins soaked in 1/2 cup water overnight(save the soaking liquid)
4 tsp maca powder
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup hemp hearts
1/3 cup dried goji berries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut oil
In a food processor, pulse the soaked raisins (without the soaking liquid) into a paste.
Add maca powder, cacao powder, coconut oil, coconut flour to the food processor, blend until a dough is formed. Add the soaking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too dry. Watch the consistency closely to avoid it becoming too sticky. I usually use about ¼ cup of the soaking liquid.
In a mixing bowl, combine the dough with the rest of the dry ingredients.
Shape the dough into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
What are some ways you like to de-stress?