Pumpkin-Pie Protein Balls

  

This recipe is inspired by cold Canadian winters full of pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin spiced scones and of course, pumpkin pie!!

I love the spicy warmth that cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg give to sweet roast pumpkin – not so much of a fan however, of the usual refined sugars, flours and additives that these holiday treats are usually laden with. So, here is my healthy take on a Pumpkin Pie-spiced winter favourite which, if you’re like me, is never just confined to the colder months. 

The pumpkin in these balls give them a gorgeous orange glow, a colour I have been trying to include more in my diet. Orange foods are rich in beta carotene, vitamins A & C and can assist with supporting a strong immune system, fight free radicals and cardiovascular disease in the body and is fantastic for maintaining healthy eyes, skin and nails. 

  

Orange foods are also great if you’re into Ayurveda and trying to balance your Agni (digestive fire) and second chakra, they can promote sexual and emotional health: 

http://naturalchakrahealing.com/chakra-foods.html

Enjoy!!
What you need:

  • 500g roast pumpkin 
  • 4 tblspn coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of your favourite protein powder (I used raw sprouted)
  • 1 tspn maca powder
  • 2 tblspn bee pollen
  • 8 medjool dates (pitted & soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 3/4 tspn ground cloves
  • 3/4 tspn nutmeg
  • 2 tspns vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds (plus extra to roll balls in)
  • 3/4 cup of pecans, walnuts, almonds or a mix of all

  

What you do:
All into a food processor for a couple of minutes until well incorporated. Roll in chia or coconut and refrigerate.

  

* will keep in fridge for 1 week

* makes about 20-25 depending on how big you like your balls 😉


Kombucha!

  

I’ve been enjoying brewing this delicious probiotic beverage now for about a year, and have postponed sharing my Kombucha experience until I could personally vouch for it’s claimed wonder. 

Kombucha is the bees knees. Starting to gain rapid popularity in Sydney for both a fix-all tonic and a delicious, refreshing drink. It has a very long list of health benefits including improved immunity, detoxification, joint support and gut health – read more here: 

Kombucha Health Benefits

But I thought id share some of my own personal experiences and effects after 1 year experimenting with the brew. This may or may not be directly linked to consumption but I do notice these effects when I regularly drink this amazing tonic:

  • Decreased sugar cravings
  • Appetite suppression
  • Increased concentration
  • An immediate calming effect
  • Mood regulation (happier!!)
  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased immunity (Haven’t got sick once!)

   
 

It is damn easy to prepare and I love to experiment with new flavours. If you like to be creative with your nutrition you’ll love preparing kombucha as there are endless flavour combinations. There’s also something pretty cool about creating a naturally carbonated beverage that tastes amazing and is so good for you. Give it a go! Here’s how:
What you need:

  • 1 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) don’t have one? Try here:

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-kombucha-scoby-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-202596

  • Large glass jar
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 12 cups purified water
  • 1/4 cup green or black tea leaves (you can use flavoured too) 

What you do:
Bring to the boil 4 cups of water. Add tea leaves, stir sugar to dissolve and steep 15 minutes. 

Add 8 cups of purified water (cold). Strain and transfer to a large sterilised glass jar or canister and add scoby. Cover with cheesecloth or paper towel and secure with rubber band. Store in a dark, dry place for 7-10 days.

Test with straw to see if it is carbonated and to your tasting. It should be a little sweeter than your preference to allow for further culturisation (hope that’s a word?!).

Place desired flavourings into prepared bottles (I love strawberry/mint, ginger/lemon, spirulina, blueberries and have just started experimenting with essential oils!)

Place funnel over bottles and pour kombucha in, keeping aside 1 cup and leaving an inch at neck of bottle for further carbonation. Secure lids and leave at room temperature for another 3-5 days until carbonated well, then refrigerate.

With reserved cup, this is your starter liquid for your new batch. Jut repeat tea brewing method and pop scoby back in there to start eating those sugars and preparing you a fresh batch.
Enjoy!!

  

If you are in Sydney and would like a SCOBY, get in touch at hollycheanne@gmail.com. Id be happy to pass on the goodness as I believe secrets to good health and vitality should not be kept, they should be happily shared with all!!