Friday, May 11, 2012

My Dessert Presentation at Whole Foods

What a pleasure it was to teach a class at my local Whole Foods on the benefits of making our desserts a little bit healthier. I started off by telling the group that the best desserts are fruit, however, I fully understand and appreciate the desire (and a big desire it is in some of us!) to whip up something that is sweet. It's also a nice way to introduce children to new tastes and new ideas about what dessert should to be.

Me with Terri, the store's Healthy Eating Specialist!

During the class, I had a ton of good ingredients spread on the table to show attendees the types of things they might want to stock in their pantry, including: old fashioned oats, maple syrup, raisins, dates, carob chips, unsweetened coconut, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, almond butter, peanut butter, etc.

With the help of a very fancy Vitamixer (!) we whipped up 3 kinds of raw balls. The reason I chose to feature raw balls is because they are EASY, fun, you can eat them raw, and most people love them.

We started with a chocolate ball from The Kind Diet book.

Next it was my personal favorite:

No Bake Energy Bits
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes (I like unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.  (Mine were about 1 in diameter.)  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.

Lastly, a new recipe, a carrot cake ball.

Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Balls

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cake Bites
1/ 2 c dry old-fashioned oats + 2 tbsp reserved
1/4 c carrots
1/4 c pitted medjool dates (I used 4 large, moist dates)
1/4 c raisins (I used a raisin medley blend) + 1/4 c reserved
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend the oats and carrots in a Vita or food processor for about 10 seconds.  Then add everything else (except the reserved ingredients) and blend for another 20 seconds or until incorporated.  Don’t overblend.
Remove the dough and by hand, stir in the reserved:
2 Tbsp dry oats
1/4 c raisins
Form into bite-sized balls or cookie shapes.  If needed, refrigerate or freeze the dough for 15 minutes to make it less sticky and easier to work with.
Yields: 1 dozen bites the size of a quarter gumball.  Store in freezer or refrigerator.

Wasn't my assistant a cutie pie?

I love teaching and think there's nothing more exciting than watching someone try something new and fall in love with a new taste, or new approach to eating. Sometimes it's the smallest new habits we fall into that end up helping us live better!

Thank you to the attendees. I hope you left feeling good, satisfied and excited to make some raw balls for your friends and family! I can't tell you how much I appreciated your time! And remember, with these raw desserts, licking the bowl is ENCOURAGED! :)

p.s. Proud to say the proceeds from the class were donated to the American Heart Association, a cause near and dear to my own heart!

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