Motherhood requires a lot of sacrifices. I knew this going into it; but didn’t realize the extent of what it really meant until I met my son. I knew there would be the sacrifice of sleep, date nights and even a few social engagements after the baby came…but there is even more than that!
Sometimes I feel like an olympic athlete when I clean our house, make dinner, shower, etc…Everything must be done in lightening speed because the baby will soon wake up, lose interest in his toy, or will roll over and need help getting back on his back…you know. It’s fun! I don’t shower as much as I used to, almost all of my meals are rushed and my house is a total mess (I used to be very neat and tidy, I promise!) Despite all of the difficulties though, my son wakes up in the morning eager to snuggle, he plays with our faces when we talk to him, he “talks” back to us, he smiles…oh his smiles (and laughs!). It’s all worth it, believe me!
One of the things I didn’t expect to have to sacrifice though was food. Conrad has several (lots of!) food sensitivities and allergies. Honestly it’s easier to tell you what I can eat than to list everything I can’t. Before we figured out all of his sensitivities and allergies he was totally miserable. Breastfeeding was a constant struggle and there were moments that I considered giving up. Thankfully we have a friend who has been through the same situation. She came alongside me to help navigate my diet to figure out what has been bothering him. Since I cut out all of the offending foods, our little boy has been so much happier, healthier and is growing faster than ever! (Yay!) I miss a lot of my favorite foods, but am so thankful that I am still able to breastfeed my son.
Since I cut out so many things from my diet, my sweet tooth has been stronger than ever. I started to crave chocolate covered peanut butter balls a few days ago and decided to make some. MAN! The amount of sugar in those things! One recipe called for a pound (POUND!) of powdered sugar. WHAT? So I started digging and found a recipe on the Oh She Glows recipe blog (check out her site if you need some ideas for vegan and gluten free foods!) I adapted the recipe to better suit my taste and they were SO good! You won’t be sorry if you try them!
Oh, and they can be made in under 15 minutes; so we really really like this recipe! My little guy was kept occupied with his construction truck for the whole process (I may have felt like a super mom because of this…)We have a slight obsession with trader joes (as seen in our ingredients above.) I feel like I should work for them because I am constantly telling people to try things they are eyeing (because, yeah I’ve tried almost all of it.) Also, we LOVE this new maple syrup I picked up from our local farm stand! (Also the farm my husbands works at). This is me trying to be creative and have the chocolate chips and walnut pieces just oh so naturally spilled out on the table…but I have a baby who only has so much patience so this is what you get. (Yep that’s my leg in the corner. Oops!) (Also, I don’t totally understand why everyone spills their ingredients…but I can do it too!)
Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
Yield: 15-20 balls
Prep time: 15 minutes
Freeze Time: 15-20 minutes
1 cup natural peanut butter (only natural peanut butter will work for this recipe!)
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips but I have seen another brand at Target that works just as well!)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Add the peanut butter and maple syrup to a mixing bowl and mix vigorously for up to 1 minute (the mixture will become thicker the longer you stir it)
Stir in the coconut flour. (Use more or less flour depending on how sticky the texture is. You don’t want it to be too sticky; but also not too dry and crumbly!)
Stir in sea salt and walnuts
Shape into balls
In a small pot over low heat, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Allow half of the chips to melt, remove from heat and stir until all the chips have melted.
Cover a tray with parchment paper
Dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate and place onto the prepared tray
Place the tray in the freezer for 5 minutes
Drizzle any remaining chocolate over the peanut butter balls (add an extra sprinkle of sea salt if desired) and return to freezer for 10 more minutes