If you’re tempted to hit the vending machine when the 3pm sugar cravings start, this snack is for you. Afternoon sugar cravings or a dip in energy (which I fondly call ‘the 3pm crash’) can mean you’re not managing blood sugar properly as a result of eating in irregular intervals, drinking too much coffee, skipping breakfast in the morning, or eating the wrong foods at breakfast. Hypoglycemia can indicate adrenal fatigue as well.
I love making snacks that not only offer therapeutic benefits but are also deeply satisfying. Some of my favorites are pumpkin pudding with gelatin that is great for skin, nails, hair, and gut health; green juices that are cleansing and oxygenating; and these little truffle snacks made with energy boosting ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maca.
- 1/2 cup raw maca powder. Maca is an adaptogenic root that helps your body handle stress. It’s known for increasing libido, especially in men, and is nourishing to the adrenals. It boosts energy, balances hormones, improves stress resistance, promotes fertility and is high in B vitamins. Tasty too– it imparts a nutty flavor to foods. I use 1 tsp raw in smoothies and use it in baked goods and treats.
- 1/2 cup cocoa or raw cacao or carob powder. Also great for energy boost, and cocoa is high in antioxidants. Great mood booster, too. Use carob for a little more sweetness or if you can’t tolerate chocolate.
- a pinch of sea salt: important for minerals
- 1 cup nut butter: almond, walnut, or coconut butter. For these, I made my own nut butter by throwing a cashew, almond, hazelnut, pecan mix I had together in the food processor. Process it on high, and first it turns to nut flour, but then keep going and you’ll get a smooth, silky and freshly ground nut butter. The nuts provide the good fats, fiber and vitamin E. You could use any variety you like. Here’s my tutorial on how to make homemade almond butter.
- 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil for its metabolism- and thyroid-boosting medium chain fatty acids (great energy booster!) Check out coconut oil’s benefits here.
- dash of vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp raw honey— could leave this out if you want totally sweetener-free.
- 1 tsp cinnamon— great for balancing blood sugar, especially if that 3pm crash gets ya!
- pinch cayenne pepper— I added this for a little kick, and cayenne has the added benefit of being thermogenic, which means it burns fat!
First I made the nut butter in the food processor, then added honey and vanilla. If you’re using pre-made nut butter, just add to food processor and process with honey and vanilla. Mix all the dry ingredients together separately, then add to wet ingredients, and process everything together. Taste to correct seasonings. You could also mix by hand if you don’t have a food processor. Add a little water if needed. Roll into balls and dust with cocoa or carob powder. Chill in fridge for at least an hour. They’ll keep for weeks. Makes about 20. A serving is 1-2. Yum!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.