I don’t know how it looks like all over the world, but in Estonia, Christmas time often means overindulging big time. I am talking about eating way too much meat (mostly pork) in different preparations – roasted, as blood sausages and aspic. Aspic is a meat jelly, set with natural gelatin from cooking the bones and a pig’s head for a long time on a low temperature, and blood sausages are exactly what they sound like. Both of them may seem weird, but actually, they are much more delicious than expected.
Besides – if the poor pig is anyway, then I am always voting for the whole animal to be eaten. Next to this enormous amount of meat, there are also loads of different sides and sweet treats throughout December.
There is also a tradition for the kids in Estonia, that if they have been good throughout the year, then ’päkapikk’ (Santas little helper, similar to elves, but not quite), will bring them something sweet every morning from 1st of December through 24th of December. So, to summarise, there is too much eating going on here right now.
I love food and eating. Still, I always try to follow the logic that over-consuming is not good for my bank account, not good for the environment, and definitely not good for my health, so I try to stay reasonable and recommend everybody else to do the same.
In case the traditions are similar where you live I figured you might need the recipe for a sweet treat that is actually good for you, so you could give it as a small present for your dear ones and maybe get your kids to prefer this healthier treat instead of caramels and milk chocolate too.
Energy Balls: perfect for a small present
Yields: about 50 balls
Cooking time: 30 min
3.5 oz dates
3.5 oz dried apricots
3.5 oz prunes
3.5 oz sunflower seeds
2 oz raw cacao powder
2 oz vegan protein powder of your choice (I used pea protein)
A pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients to a food processor with the chopping blade and pulse until you have a coarse crumb.
Test if you have got the right texture – squeeze a little bit of the mixture between your fingers – if it sticks together nicely, you are good to go. If not, then add 1 tbsp of water and whizz for a few more seconds.
Have fun rolling out balls between your hands. I made quite small balls and got about 50.
*If you want to give them as small presents, then spend some extra time wrapping them nicely.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves healthy food and cooking and for her, these two are often the same thing. Cooking meals from scratch, you know exactly what goes in it and even without holding back with sugar or fat we end up using a lot less compared to ready-made frozen stuff from the supermarket.
She does love to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: http://www.kahvliga.ee/
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