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Feb 28, 2014

Naturopathic Medicine Supports Cancer Patients


Naturopathic medicine for cancer treatments is a valuable support for patients.  Such prescriptions are made in addition to and not instead of conventional care; any suggestions, recommendations or prescriptions, like all good medicine, are individualized to the patient, reviewed at regular intervals and understood in their relationship to conventional care. Naturopathic doctors are poised to work collaboratively with medical teams to offer their expertise in natural medicine.

Here are the main areas where naturopathic doctors might weigh in:

1. Nutrition: Food remains at very least one of our best medicines. One could expect recommendations on which foods are best to promote general health based on the individual person and their diagnosis. Also made are suggestions for a particular food or foods that have specific biochemical effects sought. One might also expect to be instructed as to which foods and beverages to avoid.
2. Botanical medicine: Many of our current pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, which can offer powerful and effective medicinal impact. A naturopathic doctor may recommend herbs that can be taken in a number of various forms and/or in combination with other herbs.
3. Supplements: Will likely be recommended to augment an appropriate diet and to address dietary deficiencies. Supplements may be prescribed for general purpose or for specific action. They may contain vitamins, minerals or herbs and may be utilized as single items or in combination.
4. Psychological/emotional elements: Naturopathic doctors, like medical colleagues, appreciate the role that the emotions play in health and are well equipped to refer patients as needed for that care. The field of psychoneuroimmunolgy is established and growing; it is imperative to address how the mind and emotions impact health. Many naturopathic doctors will also suggest stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, qigong, biofeedback, art therapy, movement therapy... the list is long.
5. Exercise is an important part of the naturopathic prescription for those with cancer. The recommendations are tailored to the patient, previous exercise history and current physical condition.
6. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that uses very dilute substances to address symptoms a patient may have. It can be used in a general way to support overall health or prescribed specifically for a particular set of symptoms, such as for pain management.
7. Acupuncture: Some naturopathic doctors are also trained in acupuncture and will offer that as part of a cancer prescription.
8. Depending on state licensure scope of practice rules, naturopathic doctors may have some prescriptive authority.

Understanding drug-nutrient interactions, drug-herb interaction and both the possible interfering or potentiating effect of natural medicines recommended is important and is an area where naturopathic doctors are well trained and experienced. There is a plethora of information about natural medicine approaches available to cancer patients; some accurate, some misinformed and some downright dangerous. For instance, green tea may well have positive impact for some, but for other cancer patients undergoing care it may interfere and may be detrimental.  Having a naturopathic guide, who has extensive training and expertise to help navigate my course, especially when my focus at this time is on resting and healing, as opposed to doing my own research to investigate options, has been an invaluable gift and complement to the rest of my medical care.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cleansing Soup Recipe















Ingredients
  • 1tbsp light olive oil
  • 75g onion, finely chopped
  • 175g carrots, diced
  • 150g  parsnips, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 800ml light stock
  • 350g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), sliced
  • 4tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate
To garnish
  • 4tbsp natural yogurt
  • 2tbsp walnut pieces (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion, carrot and parsnip for 5 mins until it starts to soften. Add the coriander and cook for a further 2 mins.
  2. Add the stock and beetroot. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins, adding 2 tsp of dill for the last 2 or 3 mins.
  3. Cut the pomegranate in half and extract the juice using a lemon squeezer. Blend the soup and add the juice to taste (up to 4 tbsp).
  4. Garnish with the yoghurt, walnut pieces and remaining 2 tsp chopped dill. Serve with walnut bread or granary or rye rolls (bread is optional).

Feb 26, 2014

Detox Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds












Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) quinoa
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds discarded, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 lime, halved
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds until crisp, lightly browned, and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well.

2.  In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow pepper, garlic, scallions, and red-pepper flakes; cook until the pepper is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

3.  Stir in quinoa, thyme, 1 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 7 minutes. Stir in zucchini, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender but not mushy, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Remove the saucepan from heat.

4.  Stir in celery, almonds, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil, season with salt, and fluff with a fork. Squeeze lime over salad, and enjoy!

Nuts about Nuts

When I was a kid, my father loved to snack on nuts. Driving with him in the car I still remember the peanut shells he tossed on the floor as he sang along to the radio and greased up the steering wheel with his salty hands. Because of this early association, I thought nuts were an unhealthy snack and not something you should think about adding to your diet if you want to eat well.
 
Getting our omega-3s with ease
Nuts are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which most of us are deficient in, said Dr. Deborah Wiancek, naturopathic physician and owner of the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic and Pharmacy in Edwards.
“Our diets have changed over the years,” Wiancek said. “We get omega-3s from fish, (but) people are not eating as much fish as they did years ago. … A lot of the fish we eat is processed or farm raised, so they don’t have all the omega-3s in there.”
Wiancek said omega-3s are crucial in protecting our hearts, as those who are lacking in them have a greater risk for heart disease. Omega-3s also help fight inflammation, could lower cholesterol and decreases our risk for stroke and diabetes.
“Raw is the best way to go,” Wiancek said. “Once they’re roasted, the heating process of the nuts reduces their nutrient content.”
If you can’t take the taste of raw nuts, Wiancek said with roasted nuts you’re still getting some of the health benefits but not all. Wiancek suggested rather than buying roasted or salted nuts at the grocery store, you can roast them yourself at home in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit and flavor them with sea salt, curry or turmeric powder, which can also reduce inflammation.

A new way to sauté
 Wiancek said olive oil is high in omega-9 fatty acids, which our body also needs. The issue with olive oil is it’s now being cut with other oils and yet still marketed as such.
“What’s happening with olive oil today is we don’t know if it’s pure,” Wiancek said. “It’s getting mixed with other oils, even those that say ‘pure’ on the bottle.”
In order to get all your omegas, it’s best to use a mix of oils but avoid corn or vegetable oil, which contain trans fatty acids.
Wiancek doesn’t necessarily think nut oils are better than eating raw nuts, or vice versa, but did point out that nut oils contain a higher concentration or nuts, as it takes 1/4 cup of nuts to make one tablespoon of nut oil. She said it’s best to get a variety of nuts in your diet because if you eat too much of one kind, then you could develop an allergy to it. Wiancek has seen an increase in almond allergies over the years because it’s all people eat, not just as a snack but by using almond butter and almond milk.

Trends on the horizon
Delling Zing, owner of Freshies Organic Market in Edwards, said macadamia nut oil was very popular a few years ago, but now people are excited about coconut oil, avocado oil and hemp seed oil, which aren’t nuts but have similar health benefits.
Zing expects avocado oil to become more common because it has a creamy, velvety texture perfect for soups and salads. It also has a smoke point on par with extra virgin olive oil. Zing said coconut oil is still king when it comes to alternative oils partially due to it’s high smoke point. Coconut oil is not a good source for omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, but it does contain electrolytes and can help build muscle mass.
 Using an oil that isn’t nut-based might be good for someone who has allergies, but nuts are still a great way to add protein, and there’s a lot of nutrients packed into just a handful of nuts. Eating more nuts won’t dramatically change your health, but it’s a simple addition to your diet that can go a long way. “Generally people who eat nuts tend to be thinner and healthier than people who don’t,” Wiancek said. “Studies across the board say that.”
 

Feb 24, 2014

The Benefits of Cranberries


 
Researchers at the American Society for Nutrition’s 2013 Advances and Controversies in Clinical Nutrition Conference in Washington D.C. reviewed new and existing evidence underscoring the positive health benefits of cranberry consumption.
 
David Baer, Ph.D., USDA-Agricultural Research Service Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, discussed the role foods rich in polyphenols (plant compounds found in wine, tea and many common fruits, including cranberries) could play in improving whole body health. Baer talked about research findings suggesting the potential value of incorporating polyphenol-rich foods like cranberries into the diet.

According to data, simply adding eight ounces of cranberry juice per day or one serving of dried cranberries to consumers’ diets would nearly double the U.S. population’s intake of flavonoids, a category of polyphenols found in colorful fruits and vegetables linked to improved cardiovascular and cellular health as well as reduced inflammation. A hundred grams of cranberries contains more polyphenolic antioxidants than the equivalent amount of strawberries, broccoli, white grapes, bananas or apples.
Janet Novotny, Ph.D, of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center discussed the emerging researching linking cranberries and improved heart health. A double blind placebo controlled clinical study found that subjects drinking low calorie cranberry juice cocktail had significantly lower C-reactive protein and diastolic blood pressure than subjects on a placebo beverage.  Novotny also presented the findings of a 2008 study suggesting that cranberries can help with blood flow through the arteries.
Researchers also highlighted the well-known power of cranberries in fighting urinary tract infections, the second most common bacterial infection, which poses a significant public health challenge in the U.S.  With more than 15 million reported cases of urinary tract infections in the U.S per year, the infection accounts for $8.28 billion in healthcare costs.

Feb 21, 2014

Omega-3 fatty acids Fight Dry Eyes


A Spanish study suggests omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may help ease the symptoms of dry eye, a syndrome that affects more than three million American women and 1.7 men age 50 and older, (PUFA Newsletter).

Spanish researchers gave 61 patients who had been clinically diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction (dry eye) DHA-rich n-3 LC-PUFAs with antioxidants of a placebo oil for three months. They were evaluated after each month. The total daily dose of n-3 LC-PUFAs was 1.3 g, providing 1.05 g of DHA, 128 mg of EPA and 30 mg of DPA.
Subjects who had taken the daily PUFAS showed “significant improvement” in their symptoms, including reduced eyelid inflammation and improved tear stability.

9 Tips for a Cleansing Spring Detox


Simple daily changes to your diet and lifestyle can add up to major health improvements, more energy, balanced moods, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Spring is the perfect time to do a detox and give our bodies a break, as we have been breathing in poor indoor air quality, had less sunlight, and our immune system has been working hard to fight of various viruses throughout the season. These tips will help get you started feeling healthy and refreshed this spring.

1.  Cut out the 3 Ps from your Diet- That is, processed, prepared and packaged food.  These tend to be full of trans fats, sugar and food additives.
 
2.  Cut back on Meat and Dairy- Meat is hard for the body to digest and can be a strain on the kidneys and intestines.  Dairy is mucus-forming and many people lack sufficient enzymes to properly digest it.
3. Overload on veggies- Enjoy a fresh vegetable juice, a large green salad or a plate of steamed, roasted or stir-fried veggies. The goal should be to make at least 70% of every meal vegetables.

4. Eat Frequent and Simple-.  Small, simple meals eaten throughout the day balance blood sugar levels and put less of a burden on your digestive system.  Unstable blood sugar levels coincide with weight gain and mood and energy fluctuations.

5. Give your Body an Herbal Boost- Dandelion and uva ursi can help restore the kidneys, milk thistle can detoxify the liver, flaxseed can help exliminate toxic material from the intestines and sea buckthorn extract powder can help regenerate the lungs.

6. Relax in the Tub- Add a cup of Epsom salts or baking soda. Both alkalize the water and neutralize acidic toxins.  Epsom salts help your body to absorb magnesium–a mineral some experts estimate is deficient in 80 percent of people.  Magnesium also relaxes the muscles and is required by hundreds of functions. Soke for 20 minutes or more.

7. Flush Out Toxins with Plenty of Filtered Water- For a really great detoxifying drink, add fresh lemon juice to a large glass of filtered water first thing in the morning and drink it either warm or room temperature. Lemons contain more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and help cleanse your liver, kidneys and colon.

8.  Eat more Legumes- Ad a half cup of cooked legumes (beans) to your daily diet to boost your fiber and nutrient intake and balance your blood sugar levels-one of the keys to balanced energy and weight.
9.  Get Moving-. Exercise revitalizes you and your organs and tissues by bringing fresh oxygenated blood, and improving circulation. 

Feb 19, 2014

Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers



blackbeanquinoaburgers2


Patties:
 

½ cup dry quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large egg
2/3 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 chipotle in adobo, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat flour


Yogurt Sauce:
½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard


Directions:

Place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and cook 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat. Note: this step can be done ahead of time.

Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté until onions are softened, 5-6 minutes. Place the mixture into a large bowl. Add black beans to the bowl and using a potato masher or fork, mash together until a pasty mixture forms.
Stir in the tomato paste, egg, corn, cilantro, chipotles, cumin and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in the cooked quinoa, oats, and oat flour until well mixed. Form the mixture into 6 equal patties, compacting them well with your hands as you form them. Place the patties on a baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.

To make the yogurt sauce, stir the yogurt, honey and mustard together in a small bowl.  When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 400 F or heat a griddle to medium-high heat. If baking, spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place the patties on the sheet cook 10-12 minutes until the patties are golden brown and crispy. Carefully flip the burgers over and cook another 10 minutes. If using a griddle, heat 4-6 minutes per side or until slightly golden. Serve patties with the yogurt sauce.



 

Feb 14, 2014

10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods that Fight Pain

Humans have been seeking relief from pain for centuries—long before there were pills to pop. These foods are still around today, and they can really help manage pain.

Oranges: These sweet citrus fruits are considered anti-inflammatory and are recommended in anti-arthritis diets. Oranges contain beta-cryptoxanthin, a phytochemical that has been shown to decrease the development of inflammatory joint conditions. Some other foods that have beta-cryptoxanthin are apricots, plums, watermelons, peaches and papaya.

Red Grapes: Red Grapes (and, to a lesser extent, green grapes) have resveratrol in their skins. Resveratrol inhibits the COX enzyme, which is what NSAIDs do. Resveratrol is also found in mulberries.

Seeds and Nuts: Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and hazelnuts contain tryptophan. This chemical helps reduce pain and sensitivity.

Beans and Whole Grains: Beans, whole grains and lentils also contain tryptophan. A good pain-fighting dish would be beans over brown rice with some nuts on the side.

Fatty Fish: Fish like salmon and mackerel contain large amounts of essential fatty acids (omega-3s), which are anti-inflammatory.

Cherries: Recent studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of cherries. Cherry juice works well too.

Blackberries, Strawberries, and Blueberries: These berries have antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage.  This can inhibit or prevent painful conditions like arthritis.  Other studies have also found these berries to be anti-inflammatory as well.

Chickweed: You may not recognize this as a food, but it is an edible plant that you can probably find in your yard. Chickweed helps reduce swelling and helps ease internal pain. It can be eaten as a salad green or brewed into tea.

Ginger: Ginger is a tasty anti-inflammatory that reduces those pesky prostaglandins. It seems to work especially well for muscular pain.

Celery Seeds: The anti- inflammatory chemical in celery and its seeds is apigenin. Celery seed is recommended for managing gout pain and preventing attacks of gout.
 
Brad and Kelli Shepherd

Feb 13, 2014

Vitamin D Levels Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Progression

New research links Vitamin D to the progression of Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord.  MS is a condition in which the immune system attacks components of the body as if they are foreign. Previous studies have found multiple sclerosis rates to be lower in areas with greater sunlight and higher consumption of vitamin D rich fish.
In a recent study, the vitamin D levels of MS patients involved in an assessment of early interferon beta-1b treatment were evaluated. Vitamin D levels were taken before the beginning of the study and then after six, twelve, and twenty-four months. Various outcome measures, including MS relapses and disability were analyzed.
It was found that MS progressed more slowly in participants with higher vitamin D blood levels, and increases in vitamin D levels by 50 nmol/L was linked to a 57 percent  reduced risk of developing new active brain lesions as well as 57 percent  lower risk of relapse.  Furthermore, higher vitamin D levels were associated with 0.41 percent less yearly brain volume loss and a 25 percent reduced yearly increase in T2 lesion volume.

Feb 12, 2014

Basic Hummus Recipe

Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus
This recipe is simple and the results are perfect, but here's the real coup: Most from-scratch hummus recipes involve simmering the chickpeas for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Ottolenghi and Tamimi's are done in 20 to 40 minutes. How? See step 2. Briefly cooking the soaked chickpeas directly with baking soda scruffs up the skins and allows them to cook much faster and puree smoother. (Without having to peel the chickpeas by hand.)

Makes 6 servings
  • 1 1/4cup dried chickpeas
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 1/2cups water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini (light roast)
  • 4tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 1/2tablespoons ice cold water
  • Salt
  • Good quality olive oil, to serve (optional)
  1. The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.
  3. Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about five minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
  4. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using straightaway, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Optionally, to serve, top with a layer of good quality olive oil. This hummus will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Recipe adapted slightly from Jerusalem (Ten Speed Press, 2013) (less)Genius Recipes

Feb 11, 2014

Maple Quinoa Granola

Maple Quinoa Granola




 

Makes 5 to 6 cups
  • 2cups whole rolled oats
  • 1/3cup pre-rinsed quinoa
  • 1/2cup raw walnuts, in pieces or coarsely chopped
  • 1/3cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3cup unsweetened coconut flakes (raw)
  • 1/4cup white raisins
  • 1/4cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 3tablespoons split hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1/3cup coconut oil
  • 1/3cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1dash cinnamon
  • 1dash nutmeg
  1. Preheat your oven to 225° F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients (excluding cinnamon and nutmeg) in a great big mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan over really low heat (or just in a bowl if your coconut oil is liquid), combine oil, syrup, and a dash each of the spices. You only need to get it up to a temperature that melts the coconut oil, then turn it off immediately. Pour your syrup/oil over the mixing bowl, then stir it all up until you don't see any more dry oats. Mix it up good.
  4. Spread the mix onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten it out so it's even; it should take up the whole sheet. Bake at 225° F for 60 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely. When cooled, lift the ends of the parchment and let it crumble to the center. I leave the big chunks big; they'll break up as you pour everything into your jar. You can also just grab them and eat them.
  6. Because of the coconut oil here, this needs to be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, or safely below 70°, otherwise it risks losing its crispety crunchety.

Feb 7, 2014

Banana Walnut Quinoa Muffins Gluten Free

Banana Walnut Quinoa Muffin Cups

quinoa muffin cups
The name alone is a mouthful, huh?  Wait until you taste one!  This is a delightfully healthy, moist, and hearty muffin for breakfast or a snack.  Or serve one hot upside down for dessert, topped with hot blueberry compote and/or a dollop of coconut yogurt (plain).   These cups have a similar texture to baked rice pudding.
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (typically about one cup dry – cooked), room temp or cold (Any variety of quinoa will work, though I recommend a 50:50 mix of red and white for hearty flavor.  All white will be a lighter flavor.)
  • 3 eggs, extra-large, at room temperature
  • 2 cups mashed, very ripe banana (or 1 cup banana + 1 cup frozen blueberries, as in photo)
  • 1/4 cup ghee (or butter or coconut oil), softened but not melted
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp seasalt
  • 20 drops liquid stevia (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground  flaxseed (or 50:50 mixture of flax and chia) – measure after grinding
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy.  Add banana, vanilla, ghee, all spices, seasalt, and stevia and whisk until well blended. Sprinkle baking powder and chia/flax over batter and immediately whisk in well.  Add quinoa and walnuts and stir until very well blended.
Scoop 1/4 cup batter into well-greased muffin cups and bake 30-35 minutes (until inserted knife comes out clean and muffin bottoms of golden brown. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing.  I recommend reheating in a toaster oven to recover the delicious contrast of a crisp outside and a custardy interior.

Real Almond Joys

Real Almond Joys




A healthy alternative to a long-standing favorite candy bar or other indulgences.  Make a bit batch for yourself – and your favorite Valentine.  Great for diabetics too!  This is one of my clients’  favorite treats.
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, slightly softened (NOT melted)
  • ½ cup almond butter (or organic peanut butter)
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional – if nut butter is unsalted)
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 15-20 drops  stevia extract (herbal sweetener)
  • 1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried coconut
Combine oil, nut butter, cacao powder, salt, stevia, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Gently, stir in almonds, chips, and half of the coconut. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll in remaining coconut. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Excellent high-energy snack!