Henry and I attend a weekly children’s book club that is run by a local author/stay at home dad. Each week we spend some time reading some books, singing, dancing and then we finish up with some free play and snacks. It’s fun for him and gets me out of the house; exactly what we both need.
The first week of book club Henry was a bit shy. He sat on my lap most of the time, with a little bit of exploring near the end. He happily ate his snack and drank some smoothie. The second week he felt more comfortable. In fact, he wasn’t overly interested in the books or songs and just wanted to explore the store in which the event is held. However, as soon as the snacks came out, he had this laser focus that only seems to appear when food is involved.
One of the other book club mamas, Katie, is also a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant (R.H.N.) and she provides the book club snacks (you can check her out here). Let me tell you the snacks are awesome. It’s so nice to attend a children’s event where the snacks are not loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. They are the highlight of the book club for Henry and my body is thankful for them as well!
Last week Katie brought homemade Sunbutter Truffles. Absolutely delicious. I eagerly grabbed the recipe from her and decided I would make them to take to my Mom’s Night Out the next evening. The recipe below is based on Katie’s original recipe but with my own spin on it. Katie used sunflower seed butter, which is a great choice for a nut free environment. There are no nut allergies in our house and Henry isn’t in school yet, so I used what I had on hand – almond butter. I also added some flaked sea salt to the top of the cups but I would recommend leaving them off if you intend on sharing with your little ones (they don’t need the added salt!). There are endless ways to change up this recipe – you could use any nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, pumpkin etc.), and you could add anything else instead of (or with) the coconut flakes: dried fruit, hemp hearts, chia seeds. You could also top the cups with fresh or frozen berries before freezing them.
Now normally I like to share recipes that have well known/recognized ingredients. Even I was a bit stumped at “creamed coconut”. I initially thought it was the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk; it’s not. It also cannot be substituted with coconut oil. The recipe calls for 1 “package”, which had me really questioning the ingredient. A package of coconut? Hmmm… so, I did a bit of research before heading to the grocery store. Creamed coconut is actually the meat of the coconut, creamed. It is essentially the same as coconut butter, but for a fraction of the cost. It is super easy to find. I found a package right beside the cans of coconut milk in the grocery store. My only issue was that I couldn’t buy organic creamed coconut at the store I went to. I didn’t have time to hunt around the city, so I bought it anyway. It was just under $2 for the package.
These coconut almond butter cups are packed with nutritious ingredients. They are full of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Here’s a simple breakdown of the benefits of the main ingredients:
- Almond butter – healthy fats (monounsaturated), protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin E
- Creamed Coconut – medium chained fats which are easily absorbed and preferentially used for energy; contains lauric acid (saturated fat) which the body converts into an antiviral, antibacterial compound that helps destroy a variety of disease-causing organisms. Also a source of manganese, selenium and zinc
- Maple Syrup – manganese (for antioxidant and enzyme function), zinc
- Cinnamon – great for balancing blood sugar, which in turn can help to keep your hormone levels in check.
These seriously took me 10 minutes to whip up. The hardest part was waiting for them to harden in the freezer for an hour.
Give these a try and let me know what you think! Their fudgey texture and sweet but satisfying taste won’t disappoint! I’ve tested them on my family and other moms and they have been a big hit.
COCONUT ALMOND BUTTER CUPS
Makes 18 minis or 12 full sized (in muffin tins)
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
- 1 package of pure creamed coconut, softened
- ¼ cup almond butter (or your nut/seed butter of choice)
- 1 TBSP coconut flakes
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Sea salt
- Soften the creamed coconut (in a small saucepan on the stove)
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together, except for the salt.
- Once the creamed coconut is soft, add to the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Using lined muffin tins, distribute the batter evenly (12 full sized tins, or about 18 mini tins)
- Top with a pinch of sea salt (leave off if little ones will be eating them)
- Set in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days (I guarantee they won’t last that long!)