Matcha Balls

Matcha Balls, Lake Superior Kitchen, paleo snack

I’ve been a little absent around here lately.  The short story is that I’ve been really tired.  The long story is pretty long.  Here’s a little bit of the details…

I transitioned from being a stay-at-home mom to a working mom this past year.  I have been home full time with my kids for the past 5 years and recently started a full time job.  It has been a HUGE adjustment to say the least.  I’ve had to wrestle with a lot of emotions and thoughts about parenting, who I am as a mom, who I am as an individual, our family, and more.  It’s been a huge adjustment for me physically.  I was tired as a SAHM in many ways, primarily mentally and emotionally.  Some days were awesome and some I thought I was going insane.  My new tired is similar but different.  My job as a school counselor has been extremely demanding and, by the time I get home, I’m ready to collapse.  That, of course, isn’t an option, so instead I power through, trying my best to be fully present in the evening hours I have with my family.  It’s much harder to prep a good dinner, tackle laundry and other household chores, and find any break for myself.  It’s harder to stay connected with friends because work and family feel all-consuming.  Of course, there is good too.  I like my job and it’s been a fun change to be back in that setting.  It’s a good feeling to work this job and, in many ways, it helped me get through the long days of winter when being a SAHM was always the most painful.  But, man, it’s been hard.  I’ve had to focus on keeping myself and my family well and that meant cutting back on a lot of things.  Most changes in life have an adjustment period and I know I won’t feel this tired forever.  I’m glad I now have increased understanding into the world of moms and parenting.  Being a parent is tiring, no matter what.  I envied aspects of the life of working moms when I was a SAHM, and now I miss a lot of the perks of being a SAHM.  (Not having to wear pants is a big one).  I hope that, instead of wasting time comparing situations and assessing how others have this or that easier than me, I can extend grace and compassion to all my parent friends, knowing that we’re all tired, we all have boogers somewhere on our clothes, we’re all worried about something small and something really big, and we all can do this parenting this so much better when we are supporting each other.

I jumped aboard the matcha train.  These matcha balls are a delicious treat/energy boost to keep in the fridge for when you need it most!

Matcha Balls

makes about 15

Ingredients:

1 c walnuts

3/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened

1 c chopped dates

1/2 t matcha powder

1/4 t ginger powder

For “topping”

1/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened

1/8 t matcha powder

 

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until everything is chopped fine.  You will have to use a tamper, or something similar, to make sure everything is evenly chopped.  (If your blender doesn’t do this well, process the ingredients individually and combine them in a bowl)
  2. Mix the 1/4 c shredded coconut and matcha in a small bowl
  3. Shape the mixture in the blender into small balls, roll each ball in the coconut mixture and set on a plate so they are not stacked.
  4. Refrigerate to cool, then they can be stacked and refrigerated to store.

Matcha Balls, Lake Superior Kitchen, Paleo, snack, energy bites

Grilled Plantains with Drizzled Almond Butter

Grilled Plantains, Lake Superior Kitchen, Whole30 breakfast, Paleo, Grain Free breakfast

I’m feeling very positive about this winter.  The cold snap we just had is making these 20 degree days feel amazing.  I can do this for a few more months.  As often happens this time of year, my diligence for choosing healthy food is waning.  It’s much more of a struggle to resist eating half a loaf of fresh bread or a hefty pile of chocolate chip cookies.  I think part of it is my body searching for energy on the cold, dark days.  A quick sugar fix sounds like a good way to give myself a boost when it’s 3:00 and I just want to take a nap.  Which, by the way, I think naps should be part of the Midwest lifestyle during winter.  It would help us all.

So, anyway, I’m trying to be prepared with a lot of prepped food so that when I’m hungry and drained, I can quickly reach for some healthy fuel.  I made a big batch of Vanilla Chia Balls yesterday, which have been great to have around.  I’m also trying to keep jars of soup on hand in the fridge.

Plantains are one of my favorite healthy ways to mix it up.  Especially during these winter months, I find the starch and fiber to be really helpful to my body.  With this recipe, you need to use overly ripe plantains.  Mine were almost black.  Don’t throw yours away if they get to this point!  Plantains are hardier than bananas.  They are still great to use at this point.  This recipe is quick and easy.  It goes well with any meal: eggs, meat, solo, etc.  You do need to watch them carefully as they fry. Plantains burn very easily but you also want them to reach a nice browned state.  The almond drizzle is optional, but if you are having just these for breakfast, it is a very nice addition to make them a little more filling.  Enjoy!

 

Grilled Plantains with Almond Butter Drizzle

25 min, makes 6-8 fritters

Ingredients:

2 overly ripe plantains

1 egg

1/8 t salt

1/4 c coconut oil, softened

pinch cayenne

pinch cinnamon

1/2 c almond flour

3 T coconut oil for frying

Almond butter for drizzle, optional

Directions:

  1. Mash plantains thoroughly in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add the egg and whisk it into the plantains
  3. Add the salt, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir into the mixture.
  4. Add the softened coconut oil and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add the almond flour and fold into the mixture.
  6. Heat 3 T coconut oil in a nonstick skillet.
  7. Scoop dollops of the plantain mixture into the skillet and let simmer in the oil for about 4 minutes before flipping to the other side.  Watch them carefully, as plantains go from golden brown to burnt very quickly!
  8. Remove the plantains from the pan and put on a plate.  Serve warm with drizzled almond butter on top, if desired.

Grilled Plantains, Lake Superior Kitchen, Whole30 breakfast, Paleo breakfast, Grain Free recipes