Snack Attack — Dried Apple and Macadamia Nut Butter Bites (gluten-free, dairy free, no sugar added)

Five or six of these will chase away the hungries and get you to your next meal.

Five or six of these will chase away the hungries and get you to your next meal.

I had an afternoon meeting today, so I grabbed a quick lunch that wasn’t filling or satisfying, changed my clothes, and blasted outta here. Two hours later, I was crazy hungry. It was all I could do to not pull into every fast food drive-thru to grab some fries or an apple pie, which surprised me because I haven’t eaten that food in months.

Instead of succumbing to the MADness (Magnetic Allure of Destruction), I headed across town to Nourish, a local (Grand Rapids, MI) organic food market and one of my favorite little shops. I picked up a few necessities, and filled a small bag with some of their bulk organic dried apple slices.

I scarfed down a few slices in the car, then sat on my hands (mentally, for safety’s sake) for the rest of the 10-minute drive home. It didn’t take me long after walking in the door to make up a handful of these Dried Apple and Macadamia Nut Butter Bites to get me through the afternoon. Mmm hmm. Total goodness.

These are fast, simple, and you and your kids will love them. They not only are satisfying, they’re handy when you need a little something sweet, there are no apple peels or seeds or stems, and you’ll get a bit of protein and healthy fat, too.

Organic dried apples and some homemade macadamia-chocolate nut butter. A scrump-dilly-umptious combo for a quick power snack.

Organic dried apples and some homemade macadamia-chocolate nut butter. A scrump-dilly-umptious combo for a quick power snack.

Ingredients:

A few organic dried apple slices

Fresh Macadamia Nut Butter or any non-peanut nut butter you like. I used my homemade stuff laced with chocolate and cinnamon. You can find the recipe here.

These little wrinkly buggers like to stick together -- you'll have to peel them apart to get them ready.

These wrinkly little buggers like to stick together — you’ll have to peel them apart to get them ready.

Process:

Slather the nut butter on the dried apple slices. Or dip them. That’s it! Really. (Unless you want to top the little gems with some sliced almonds or shaved coconut.)

Crazy good. Unbelievably quick to make. Dried apple slices slathered with macadamia nut butter and topped with shaved coconut.

Crazy good. Unbelievably quick to make. Dried apple slices slathered with macadamia nut butter and topped with shaved coconut.

One note of caution: if you eat more than a few of these, it could trigger sugar cravings or give you sugar high followed by a sugar crash.

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Fresh Macadamia Nut Butter with Chocolate and Cinnamon

Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas. When you’re not eating sugar or sugar substitutes in your diet anymore, these holidays can ambush you in the grocery store with shelves of rich chocolates wrapped in bright colors and enticing packages. And then there’s the aroma — I don’t know about you, but I can smell the chocolate wafting from Hershey, PA. And I live in Michigan!

So for those times when you have a craving for chocolate — even if there’s no holiday in sight — here’s a simple, healthier way to get it without consuming enough sugar to give you a week’s worth of 3 o’clock slumps.

Ingredients

9 to 10 oz. raw macadamia nuts (or whatever nuts you want, just be sure they’re raw so you can avoid extra salt or roasting oils that aren’t good for you, like peanut or soybean oil)

3 to 4 Tbs. plain old everyday, seen-one-seen-’em-all cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. Saigon Cinnamon (also called Vietnamese Cinnamon, it’s pungent, very sweet, and worth the trip to the store)

This is one brand of Macadamia Nuts I use, but there are lots of different brands, including organic, that are on the market.

This is one brand of Macadamia Nuts I use, but there are lots of different brands, including organic, that are on the market.

Process:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until the mix is the consistency you want. If you like your nut butter chunky, process it just a short time (though that may mean the cocoa powder stays a little “sandy.”) If you like it smooth, process it longer. You’ll have to scrape the sides of the container often if you’re going for really smooth butter. And keep in mind that the longer you process the mix, the more runny it will become.

    Wha..? A man or a mouse? I'm betting it's the one with the opposable thumbs.

    Wha..? Who ate the …? Hmm. It’s either a man or a mouse. My money’s on the one with the opposable thumbs.

     

  2. Taste it to make sure it’s the flavor you want. If you want more chocolate or cinnamon, add more, process it and taste again.
    This is what I used -- a brand name spice and a local Michigan company's cocoa.

    This is what I used — a brand name spice and a local Michigan company’s cocoa.

    This looks kinda yucky, but it smells like chocolate.

    This looks kinda yucky, but it smells like chocolate.

  3. Pour the nut butter into a clean glass container that has a screw-on top or some other secure lid.

    This stuff is a little bit of heaven and really satisfies that chocolate craving.

    This stuff is a little bit of heaven and really satisfies that chocolate craving.

  4. That’s it! It takes less than 10 minutes. Your family will love you for making this stuff. It’s great on celery or apple slices. Or nuke some diced apple until it’s soft, add a dab of ghee, and stir in a couple tablespoons of the nut butter. Then eat it with a spoon while it’s still warm. A great taste treat for cold winter evenings.

NOTE: This Macadamia Nut Butter doesn’t need refrigeration, but if it’s too runny, a stint in the fridge will help thicken it a bit.