When it comes to cleansing and maintaining a healthy diet, having nutritious, quick and easy snacks on hand is a must.
Enter raw nuts. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans – I love them all. Raw nuts are a staple in my plant-based diet. They’re so easy to grab in a pinch. They’re crunchy, filling and satisfying.
Nuts are also easy to overeat, leaving us feeling bloated and constipated, not to mention just plain sick to our stomach.
One of the hot topics we explore during our 14-day supported cleanse, is the idea that too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing.
Take for example almonds. Almonds are the heart-healthy, go-to snack of choice. They even have their own marketing campaign, unlike spinach or broccoli.
As is customary in our culture we tend to over-do things. We snack on almonds; we eat almond butter sandwiches; we drink almond milk. Heck, we even bake with almond flour.
Now instead of having the recommended handful of almonds a day, we’re ingesting almonds all day long in one form or another. This can leave us more susceptible to developing sensitivities or allergies to that particular food.
I’m currently on a break from cashews, my nut of choice, so I’ve been looking for alternative snack ideas and have turned towards raw seeds.
Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds – like nuts – are a great source of healthy fats. In fact they are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s. Both are high in magnesium too. Known as the “relaxation mineral,” magnesium is crucial for the immune system, for building strong bones and teeth. It also helps improve sleep as well as muscle cramping.
Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also filling and satisfying – making them a great snack. The bonus is that seeds also tend to be easier on the digestive system.
Knowing how much our cleansers love the Joy Ball recipe from our book (on page 260), I thought it would be fun to create a nut-free variation of this popular classic.
I hope you enjoy them and they help you take a break from your nut of choice.
Now it’s your turn. Are you in need of a break from nuts? Share your comments with me below.
With nut-free love,
Nut-Free Joy Balls
Yields 3 dozen balls
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, divided
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup dried dates, pits removed
- 2 TB maple syrup
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut (optional)
In a food processor, fitted with an S-blade, combine 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and sea salt for about 1-2 minutes until fine. Add dates and maple syrup, and blend again until a thick paste forms. Mixture will be sticky and dense.
Transfer to a bowl and using your hands, mix in extra ½ cup pumpkin seeds and raisins. Using your hands, roll small amounts of mixture between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Rolls ball in shredded coconut to coat (if using).
Place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate or freeze. Serve chilled or frozen.