CHOCOLATE PB&J ENERGY BITES

Peanut Butter Date Balls

In case you didn't know, January 24th is national peanut butter day! Ah, I love silly food holidays (my birthday is grilled cheese day, which is a cryin' shame). I have an undying love for all things nut butter, so I knew that I needed to make something special to celebrate. These energy bites are my answer to healthy desserts (or a snack, I suppose, depending on your eating habits). As I mentioned yesterday, on the weekends I allow myself a couple of dates stuff with peanut butter for dessert, which is almost what these energy bites are.

I use dates as a natural sugar substitute in a lot of things these days, but they are also delicious raw. Dates are high in easily assimilated carbohydrates and fiber, potassium, iron, and some B-vitamins. They pack a relatively large amount of energy compared to most fruits, but in moderation I think they are an excellent treat, and totally stave off my sweet tooth. Refrigerated, dates keep for a few months.

Peanut Butter Date Balls


Chocolate peanut butter + jelly energy bites Makes 12
Loosely adapted from Sprouted Kitchen and Larabar


3 cups Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP dried cherries, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, chopped

Soak dates in warm water for roughly ten minutes, until soft. Transfer to a high powered blender or food processor, and process until a paste forms. If using a blender, transfer date paste to a bowl. If using a food processor, continue to add to the mixer. Add peanut butter, and process (or mix by hand) again until combined. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon and dried cherries. Process again until mixture holds together. Roll into TBSP sized balls (I used a 7g coffee measure), and coat with almonds. Keep refrigerated.



KEY POINTS FOR 2013

Grassi Lakes Trail, 2011

2013 Themes: Respect, focus, family and patience (I'll be mentioning these a lot)

Respect for others opinions, lifestyles. Respect for myself. Work on my self-worth, self-love.

Focus on things that make me happy. Focus on my schoolwork. Less wasting time watching television and perusing the Internet.

Spend time with my family. Spend time with my friends. Keep in touch. Let go of friendships that are not working anymore. Work on strengthening the ones that are.

Learn to have patience in all aspects of my life. Patience for people, for things. Enjoy the process. Try to loosen up.

*****

Find comfort in my own skin. Not necessarily lose weight (although that would be nice), but become comfortable with myself. Work on my endurance and strength.

Eat well. I’d like to be eating roughly 1,600 calories a day consistently by the end of 2013. I’d also like to not be so concerned about exactly how much I am consuming. Eat close to the earth, eat healthful foods so as to not need to be concerned about numbers.

Take my schoolwork seriously. Put in the time, find a network of support, be passionate about what I am learning. Be open to new experiences in the realm of academia. Try to be involved.

Be open to new experiences period.

*****

Run a half marathon. I’m hoping to do Rock n Roll Seattle in June. That means that I need to start training by February.

Nothing lower than a B+ in my classes. I managed this last year, but am giving myself some wiggle room since my classes are likely going to be more difficult.

Read at least two books that are not textbooks. This made the list twice last year. I shot for five...and read zero. Two is totally doable. Rereading Harry Potter for the zillionth time does not count (as Gabi so kindly reminded me).

Get my drivers license.


Explore.

Take up yoga. I should note that I have done a bit of yoga in the past and it's really not my thing. I'm much more of a pilates girl, and even that I don't really enjoy. They're too slow, too focused on meditation, etc... High intensity activities are really more my speed. However, since I'm focusing on taking things easy and um, breathing, I think that trying to embrace yoga will be good for me. Plus, maybe it will help my old lady back issues. 
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