Yesterday while I was in New York City shooting videos with The Daily Meal, an idea come rushing into my head. It raced around with many other thoughts, but it’s message was loud and clear – to write about my all time favorite Christmas cookie, Mexican wedding cakes.
During one of the videos, we talked about what to do if you are over indulging in or unable to stop eating sweets during the holidays. Being a former sugar addict myself, I get it.
So, I say one of the best ways to break free from sugar is to find a healthier sweet alternative. That bridges the gap. It helps keep the sweet tooth happy without causing inflammation, feeding the bad bacteria in the gut, depressing the immune system or zapping our energy and mood – just a few of the reasons why it’s a good idea to break the sugar habit. Also, having a delicious substitute avoids the feeling of deprivation and withdrawal that come from going cold turkey.
One of my all time favorite Christmas cookies are Mexican wedding cakes. We called them Mexican wedding balls – you know, the little white cookies coated in powdered sugar that melt in your mouth. Growing up, my mom baked them every Christmas along with the traditional cut out cookies with lots of butter, sugar, flour – yum!
Here’s a question – can you get that YUM feeling without having to use butter, sugar or flour? I think so! It may take a few tries, but give it a chance.
Besides it’s really all about the memories, the traditions, and wrapping yourself in comfort and joy. You don’t have to eat mom’s or grandmother’s cookies to honor the holiday or get that cozy, coming home feeling. It is possible to celebrate with new traditions while honoring the memories of the old. And with these cookies, you won’t feel like you have a ton of bricks in your belly after eating them. Best advice, eat just one. Wait. Then, if you have to have more, have just one. Wait again. Savor the sweetness and breathe in love.
Mexican Wedding Balls
1/2 cup almond or sunflower butter, stirred well
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup almond meal or 1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked raw coconut
Combine almond butter and raw honey in a bowl. Stir with a spoon until well mixed. Add walnuts and mix. Add spoonfuls, one at a time, of almond or coconut flour mixing until dough is no longer sticky. Spoon out dough with a tablespoon and roll with hands into balls. Roll or dust with the coconut. Refrigerate for 1 hour before eating. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. YUM!!
Notes: I buy the walnut pieces instead of whole walnuts – it makes it much easier. But if you can’t find the pieces, just process the whole nuts in a food processor until they are a consistency resembling gravel. To toast them, put them in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to be sure they don’t burn. I usually toast a batch and save the extra for putting on salads.