I am choosing to avoid refined sugars. I don't like to admit this, but I feel physically better when I avoid these sugars. I love sweets and want to keep eating them; however, sweets seem to like me quite a bit too. The reality, in this extraordinary journey, is that I must master this vice rather than letting it master me.
During my recent 90-day challenge, one of my victories was eliminating iPad and iPhone games from my daily habit. I made this a goal because I realized how much mindless time I spent playing these games during the day and late into the night. It was tough at first, but today (nine days after completing the challenge), I still haven't played a game. It has definitely become a new, positive habit in my life.
Mastering my iTime played a role in my decision to eliminate refined sugar. The other motivation and encouragement in choosing this new habit is the inspiring story of my son, AJ, completing a one-year, No Candy No Soda Challenge. Here's what AJ had to say, "Without doing challenging things (like this challenge), I wouldn't be ready or able to do other challenging things God has for me later." He's right! I want to be ready. I want to inspire, motivate, teach and coach. I don't want to be in this same space, working on this same vice five years from now. It is a challenge, no doubt, but it is worth it.
I strongly believe in replacing old habits with new ones, replacing iTime with new productive habits, and old sweets that don't serve me with new ones that do. Simply eliminating anything from our lives without replacing leaves a gaping hole that desires to be filled. The easiest thing to put in the empty space is the old habit I am attempting to eliminate. Therefore, I must fill it with a new healthy, positive habit that serves my long-term goals.
I want to thank my friend and blog editor, Sharilyn, for this awesome recipe. If you would like to see the original recipe from Texanerin Baking, click here.
This recipe is delicious and relatively easy (necessities for me to choose a recipe). Here are a few pointers: 1) Make this recipe! 2) Use a food processor. I do not currently have a full-sized food processor and I would highly recommend that tool for this recipe because the ingredients are fairly dry. (Magic Bullet, which can do wonders with so many things, didn't work well here). 3) Follow the instructions for "natural peanut butter". 4) Enjoy a healthy, guilt-free, sweet treat.
- 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter or almond butter - room temperature
- ¼ cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave and maple syrup with success!)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
- ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (use vegan or dairy-free, if needed)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined.
- Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
- With wet hands, form into 1½" balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.
Don't want to bake but still want to enjoy yummy, healthy, sweet treats? Click here to see what I use and recommend.