Maca-Macadamia-Fudge Bliss Balls

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I have been on a macadamia nut kick this week.   This happens every so often and it doesn’t last long, only until the bag is empty.  🙂  I discovered these big 11oz bags at BJs, but don’t let the size fool you– they disappear FAST in my house:

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Buttery, rich and salty.  They are delicious and addicting, especially because they are salted– that’s what gets you to want to eat more, more more!  Think about certain foods that are difficult to stop eating– chances are they have added salt and/or sugar.  Food manufacturers know these additions make food more appealing so you eat more and therefore end up buying more.  Good for their business but not necessarily good for us eaters.

You don’t encounter this issue so much when you buy plain, unsalted nuts (which I recommend doing).  My raw walnuts, almonds, pecans and brazil nuts have been getting a little lonely because of the new nut in town.  Macs are also almost twice as expensive as the other nuts so I only buy them occasionally while sticking with my old favorites.  These salted macadamias do make for an indulgent topping for banana-peanut butter soft serve as well as in oatmeal, cookies and muffins so splurge once in a while.  Like any other nut, they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber and because of their high fat content are very high in calories (macs have around 200 per ounce) so savor them in small amounts.  Did you know that they are the nut with the highest amount of monounsaturated fats?

You know what macadamia nuts are but have you heard of maca?  It’s a starchy root vegetable sold as a supplement that people take for its purported medicinal uses for everything from stress to hormone regulation– although the research is pretty limited and weak.  It’s also supposed to increase stamina and enhance athletic performance.  When Chris played hockey he used to take a capsule before games and he swore that it worked.  Several women have told me that it is the only thing that has helped their menopausal hot flashes.  I have used maca on and off here and there over the years.  I feel there is something to the hormone-balancing claims and possibly increased energy– but it’s hard to tell for sure.  I’ve come to just really like the taste of it!  I have the Navitas Naturals  brand and often add 1/2 teaspoon to my morning oats.   I have also added maca to energy balls, inspired by the yummy Bliss Bars by Pulsin’.

First, a bit about maca:

  • It grows in the high altitude zone of the Andes Mountains in Peru
  • It’s hard to describe the unique taste.  Kind of butterscotchy but it’s very different and sort of has to grow on you.  I wasn’t sure at first but now I love it.
  • It is available in both raw and gelatinized forms.  From what I have read, the gelatinized is the way to go for better digestion and absorption.
  • As far as medicinal properties, like any supplement there are many claims about it, however when you look for the evidence you’ll find that the research is extremely limited.

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Maca-Macadamia-Fudge Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 T maca powder

Directions:

In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until a large ball starts rolling around the machine.  Roll into balls or press into a dish to cut into squares or bars.

Have you ever tried maca?  What is your experience with it?

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