OK, so some of you know that I had bariatric surgery (or sleeve gastrectomy, to use the technical term) about a month and a half ago. My main goal is to get my diabetes under control through eating right and weight management. Weight loss is a big part of that process.
To be perfectly honest, the weight loss is going very slowly, considering that my stomach can now hold only about four tablespoons worth of food before it’s full. Eating more at any one time would create a not-pretty scene in the bathroom if you get my drift. Although I have healed physically for the most part, I struggle every day with my old fat brain telling me to eat more all the time; my diabetes not dealing well with sugar in any form in my bloodstream, creating every last bit of it into more fat; and my lack of desire to exercise in an aerobic way (a.k.a. strenuously enough to sweat and breathe hard for twenty minutes). In other words, just because I CAN and DO eat less doesn’t mean I want to eat less or eat more healthy foods. Bread, chips, and mac and cheese still pull big triggers in me.
And, although I’ve never been one to crave sweets like cakes, cookies, and chocolate, I do like them and enjoy them. I especially like dark chocolate with peanut butter combinations of almost anything.
So the other day, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw something about a Paleo treat recipe that looked like just what I need to have on hand for those times when I want some chocolate but don’t want to undo what very modest weight loss I have been able to achieve. I posted a picture of the ones I made on my Facebook page, and many people “liked” it and wanted the recipe. So voila! Here you go. I offer some substitutions and ideas for putting them together that weren’t in the original recipe; I think they are useful. I got all of my ingredients at Publix, so you should be able to find them at your regular grocery store too. Someone also asked for the nutritional information per serving, but I could not find that anywhere, and I’m certainly not qualified to guess. Let’s just say nothing in this recipe is really bad for you, so just eat one or two every once in awhile and your nutrition will not be compromised.
Enjoy these for yourselves and let me know how they satisfy your own “sinful” cravings…
Paleo Carb-buster Treats
Combine the following in one bowl:
1 cup smooth almond butter (get the unsweetened kind—most have added sugar, but I used Justin’s Classic almond butter, which doesn’t.
½ cup unsweet shredded coconut (I could not find regular shredded unsweetened coconut, so I used this dried grated kind from Bob’s Red Mill. It tastes more like the coconut that you get in those Russell Stover boxes of chocolates than it does, say, an Almond Joy candy bar)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 pinch of salt
2 small packets of stevia sweetener (can be omitted or added to depending on how sweet you prefer your sweets)
Set that aside.
1 Cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (I could not find this brand anywhere, so I used the least sugar-fied dark chocolate bar I could find instead).
TIP: Put the chocolate in a large plastic baggie to melt it, rather than putting it in a bowl; you will have a ready-made piping tool in the bag, and much less mess than trying to spoon the chocolate into tiny little mini muffin tins. It’s best to do this very slowly, in steps–chocolate burns easily, even in the microwave. Microwave it 30 seconds, see how things are going, and then add 20 seconds if it needs more melting, then 15, etc., until it’s all melted. It shouldn’t take more than a minute total to melt it all.
Now, get out your mini-muffin tin. (If you don’t have a muffin tin—you could spread the mixture onto a small cookie sheet instead and then score them like bars before freezing).
Spread the almond butter mixture about ¾ of the way full in each muffin cup. Press down to make it as even as possible.
Then, smoosh all of the melted chocolate down into one corner of the plastic bag and snip off the tip of the bag with a scissors. Pipe the melted chocolate onto the tops of the almost butter cups until covered.
The recipe said to freeze these for 30 minutes before taking them out, but I found them to still be mushy at 30 minutes, so I’d suggest freezing overnight and enjoying them in the morning when they’ll be nice and solid. Pop them out of the tins and into a plastic freezer bag and enjoy one from time to time when those sweet cravings hit you hard. They are delicious!