These things are a life-saver.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to reduce my sugar intake during the day – the last, stubborn remnant of my previously poor eating habits – but when that post-lunch slump hits me around 2:30 in the afternoon it becomes incredibly difficult to avoid. When I do go for sweets I still make sure they’re comprised of whole foods and have come from my own kitchen, but natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup can still do damage if eaten in large quantities. They might be healthier and more nutritious, but they’re still sugar.
It’s the little changes, added up over time, which make the difference between a successful change in diet, and an unsuccessful attempt at one. It’s important to consider the difference between changing one’s diet, and being on a diet. One is a lifestyle that is sustainable, while the other is temporary and potentially harmful.
For example, I stopped putting sugar in my coffee about two months ago, and on that first day I wanted to throw my cup out the window. Honestly. It was bitter and it was nothing like what I had come to expect from my morning coffee.
The second day was a little better. I still felt like my coffee was lacking an essential something, but it wasn’t completely unpalatable. So I persisted, and in less than a week I got to the point where I not only liked the taste of unsweetened coffee, but preferred it. I hate ordering a soy latte at Starbucks now because their milk is pre-sweetened and I find it overpowering.
A few weeks ago I started making my own almond-cashew milk (another small change), with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon, and it’s 1000 x better than what I was drinking before. My coffee now seems luxurious, and the freshly made milk complements the flavour of the coffee (which I can now taste) rather than masks it.
I will be sharing the recipe for this beautiful milk very soon!
Becoming more healthful can seem overwhelming to even the most knowledgeable, dedicated, and conscientious person, but making one small change every day (or week, or month) is something everyone can do. Eventually those small changes add up to a big improvement – one which would have seemed impossible to achieve standing at the starting line.
All of that leads me to these coconut butter cups. As I said, I’m having a hard time getting over my sugar cravings in the afternoon, and rather than drive myself crazy, I decided to come up with something that would provide me with the energy I craved without sending my blood-sugar levels through the roof.
These things taste incredible. 5 ingredients, 30 minutes, and you’re on your way to some serious afternoon delight. The bitterness of the tahini and the coffee paired against the sweetness of the dates and creaminess of the coconut butter make for one hell of a combination.
They are so cute, and easy + fun to make! Give the puree a little pat with your fingers to ensure they fill the cups evenly.
As always, my dates come from Pestacio on Yonge Street in Toronto, as they are the freshest I’ve ever had.
5 Ingredient Coconut Butter and Tahini Cups with Coffee Crème Filling (makes 24 mini cups)
Recipe barely adapted from Rawsome Vegan Baking
~ gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, grain free, nut free, soy free ~
- 1 cup melted coconut butter (if using freshly made, it will be liquid already)*
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup espresso or strong-brewed coffee
- Soak the dates in the freshly brewed espresso for about half an hour – longer if they are quite hard. If you have a glass measuring cup you can just pour the coffee straight in and save yourself from washing another dish.
- In the meantime, line your mini cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Once the dates are soft, pour them along with the coffee into a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Place into a small bowl, set aside, and give your blender a quick rinse.
- Add the melted coconut butter, tahini, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt to your blender and process until combined.
- Fill each liner about halfway to the top with this mixture, then place the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Once they’ve set, remove from the fridge and spoon the date mixture on top. It should fill go almost (but not quite) to the top – about 1 tsp per cup. Flatten with your fingers.
- Cover each cup with the remaining coconut butter (and rejoice if you have some leftover – it’s delicious on oatmeal or by the spoonful), then place the trays back into the fridge to set for another 10-15 minutes before enjoying.
- They are best kept in the fridge to keep from getting soft and sticky.
- You can buy coconut butter from health food stores but one small jar will run you at least $12 or so, while a big bag of unsweetened, shredded coconut from a bulk store will cost you maybe $5! The difference in price is pretty steep. I definitely recommend making your own coconut butter. The process is exactly the same as making nut butter, but takes less time, and for this recipe you need to use the blender/food processor anyway.