I can’t count the number of people who tell me that they suffer from the 4 pm sugar cravings. This is what I call the Blood Sugar Witching Hour, when normal people like us fall victim to the CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE, coffee, or anything in the sweets display at Dark Horse Espresso Bar. It’s fine once in awhile, but eating these sugary treats on the regular hurts our digestive process, causes inflammation and accelerates the aging process. Read on for the physical and emotional reasons for cravings, plus an insanely delicious recipe that is raw, vegan, healthy and tastes like our beloved chocolate chip cookies.
Physical Reasons For Cravings
Many of us healthy people can feel like a doughy chocolate chip cookie when our blood sugar hits a low. (You are not alone – this is a thing.) This is why our fav coffee shops have so many delicious looking treats, because they’re expecting us come 4 pm. I’ve explained how this happens here, just in case you want to understand why you can’t focus and crave sugary thangs and/or coffee at 4 pm.
Emotional Reasons For Cravings
The type of food that we crave can provide insight into what we’re feeling emotionally. According to Doreen Virtue, the expert in the emotional connection to what we crave, “when we’re emotionally hungry, the desire for food feels like we’re starving.”
Wanting cookies and baked goods can mean that we’re craving physical touch and affection. Soft baked goods are comforting and can feel like a hug – in fact, many of our mothers baked these treats for us. Food = Love from our mothers and baked goods are extra sweet.
A key to squashing cravings is to figure out what the underlying emotion is behind your craving and to find a healthy substitute. Oh hey, like the recipe for the Amazeball II, below. It tastes like a chocolate chip cookie but is full of antioxidants and beautifying nutrients.
So as well as being a low sugar treat disguised as cookie dough balls, the Amazeball II has many skin and beauty benefits:
- Walnuts – rich in anti inflammatory, beautifying omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are your “good fats” by the way, which will help to keep you full and not blood sugar witchy. Walnuts are also a good source of vitamin E (for beautiful skin and heart health).
- Raw cacao – also known as raw chocolate, it’s high in in antioxidants (more than green tea and wine) and minerals (such as magnesium, iron and potassium). Raw cacao can also increase sex drive, decrease appetite and increase feelings of wellbeing and happiness, and give us a little energy, thanks to its caffeine and theobromine. Oh, and raw cacao also contains phenylethylamine, known as the love chemical.
- Goji berries – they’re higher in beta carotene (a carotenoid phytonutrient) than carrots and they’re also more than two times higher in antioxidants than blueberries. Gojis also contain astaxanthin, a phytonutrient known for its natural sunscreen benefits; astaxanthin helps to prevent and repair sun damage. Gojis are also a source of vegetarian protein, containing around one gram of protein per tablespoon. I buy mine dried and use them regularly for their skin health benefits.
- Medjool dates – using medjool dates as sweetener is a good idea because they are not processed in the same way as processed and artificial sweeteners. Medjool dates provide a good source of vitamin B6 and minerals potassium and magnesium.
- Vanilla powder – it’s made from grinding vanilla beans. The resulting powder is super vanilla-y and full of antioxidants.
Here’s the recipe!
1.5 cups raw walnuts
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
6-8 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
½ tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
¼ cup goji berries
¼ cup cacao nibs
Add all ingredients except for cacao nibs to a food processor or high powered blender. Put food processor on high for a few minutes (you may need to hold it down to prevent it from jumping around, and pause a few times to scrape down the sides). In a high speed blender, get out your tamper thingy and move things around a bit while your blender is on medium.
When everything begins to look dough like, and you can squish the ‘dough’ into a ball, add the cacao nibs and pulse to combine.
Remove to a bowl and, using a measuring spoon, measure out one tablespoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat 23 times.
Makes 24 Amazeballs.