Spring has finally arrived in London, and it’s so lovely to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin again! I’m so looking forward to long summer days in the sun… just as soon as we get rid of Reuben’s chicken pox!!!
I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently, my sister in law stayed with us for a few weeks and her self discipline with food really motivated me to get my eating habits back into what I consider ‘healthy’. Obviously healthy means different things to different people, but what works for me is a variant of paleo or basically low carb with minimal processed foods.
Ever since Reuben was born breakfast has been a real struggle, but I’m happy to say it’s been a week and a half now and I feel like we are winning! Neither of us has had any cereal, instead opting for this delicious smoothie. I call it a green smoothie, Reuben calls it ‘cah coh’ (chocolate) or just makes his usual hamster noise.
What we blend:
Scoop or two of whey or hemp protein isolate
1/2 a frozen banana and maybe a handful of frozen blueberries
about 3 cups of spinach (we just fill the blender to the top)
Few spoonfuls of full fat greek yoghurt (how much gets in depends on how much is eaten by Reuben in the process)
That smoothie must not have had any cocoa powder in it as it turns it brown (duh).
It’s so easy, quick, and the only way I have ever found to get spinach or kale into Reuben. Don’t tell anyone but sometimes we have this for lunch or afternoon tea too……..
In other news, I’m a bit upset that my husband snapped away rare pics of me and little R snuggling and playing all day today and… the card was not in the camera. Damn you ‘shoot without CF card’ setting! Damn you to hell.
If you don’t know what these are, go and buy one. And at the same time buy 2 x 500g packs of stoned dates (£1.34 from tesco each) and some pecans (£4.49 for 300g… ouch more than I remember) and then you can make 37 of your own (pretending you make them exactly 35g each) for £7.17 opposed to £26ish.
You can make these way way cheaper by using cashews instead of pecans – I just way way prefer pecans. There are infinate variations, add other dried fruit, add cocoa, cinamin, spices, whatever you fancy. I think this would be a great project for little ones to help out with, such a fun texture to mash up and relatively mess free. And they are making food!
You will need -
A food processor
Dates (I use 1kg of dates per 300-400g of nuts)
Nuts (pecans are our favourite, cashews work equally well)
Any extra ingredients you want – cocoa powder, chocolate chips, dried fruit etc.
A willing taste tester always helps:
Chop the nuts in your food processor. You don’t want to grind them into dust, just into nice chunky pieces that should look something like this:
Then tip them into a bowl (use a large bowl to save on washing up later, one that you can fit everything into), and put all the dates in the food processor (you might have to do this in batches, depends on how powerful your processor is.
Blend/Pulse the dates until they are really mashed up, they should start sticking together into a ball. Often you will hear a really nasty sound while doing this and it is probably because there is a pit (stone) or two in your bag of dates. Usually best to stop processing and fish it out because it can scratch up your bowl pretty bad. The dates should eventually look something like this:
Next step is to grab handfuls of the dates and knead them into the chopped nuts. It’s a bit trial and error at first but you will quickly figure out the amount of nuts you can incorporate into the dates. I just use my hands and fold/knead lumps in. You don’t want to mix too many nuts in or else it will crumble when you make them into bars. At the same time you don’t want to put too few in or else it will just be a sticky date bar. Mine look something like this when they are finished:
Mmm attractive. Insert gross joke here. Once you have incorproated all the dates into the nuts or vice versa you want to start shaping them into bars. You can really make any size or shape that you want, depending on your needs. I tend to make my bars quite large, as Reuben loves these and would quite happily eat them all day if I let him. That way I can have one in my bag as an emergency meal…
I lay out a piece of clingfilm and roll a log in between my hands, then flatten it onto the clingfilm, and wrap it up:
Then the most important step – squash it really hard with a book:
And that’s it!
I store mine in the fridge, I think they would be fine unrefridgerated but I have no idea of their shelf life… after all they are just dates and nuts. Enjoy!