I love mini desserts. They are cute. They are fun. And they are the perfect little treat when I want a little sweetness in my life.
When I was studying Ayurveda, we learned about the 6 tastes by which all foods can be categorized: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent. It is recommended that we include all 6 tastes into every meal as each taste feeds our mind, body, senses, and spirit in its own unique way. From a modern nutritional perspective, the 6 Tastes satisfy each of the major dietary building blocks. Sweet foods, for example, are rich in fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and water, whereas Bitter and Astringent foods are high in vitamins and minerals. I love this. Instead of counting calories or measuring carbs and protein, you create a meal based on taste and flavor (and that’s assuming that you are eating a wholesome, real food diet, of course!!!)
What I also learned through Ayurveda is that sweet flavor is good for you, especially if you are a certain constitution or dosha. It balances and pacifies. It helps nourish and build vital body tissues, soothes mucous membranes and is beneficial for the skin. Learning this really gave me permission to not be so against sweets in my life. I realized how what we eat translates energetically into our lives. A little sweet flavor can bring a little sweetness in. And the opposite is true. Too much rigidity around avoiding sweets can create rigidity and unhappiness in your life.
Now, I am not talking about pigging out on refined sugars. Raw honey, pure maple syrup, dates, and coconut sugar are all natural sweeteners that can be used to make amazing treats. Unlike refined sugars, they are still full of nutrients and minerals that are all part of a healthy diet. And in moderation, of course. Read more about why natural sweets are an important part of a healthy diet HERE
So, go ahead and eat some sweets today. Enjoy EVERY little bite. It’s really OK. It may even be good for you.
I taught a gluten-free dessert workshop at a benefit for Spiral Food Cooperative, our local food co-op. I made these, along with my Grain-free Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are easy to make. They have just the right amount of sweetness and lemony zest. They are gluten and grain-free, dairy-free, and are sweetened with a little bit of honey. And they really do melt in your mouth.
- ¾ cup raw pecans, walnuts, or almonds (or any combo of the 3)
- ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 8 dates, pitted
- 2 pinches of celtic sea salt!Lemon Filling
- 1 cup cashew butter
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 TBS honey, raw
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of celtic sea salt salt
- lemon zest for garnish
- Line 2 mini muffin tins with mini paper liners OR place 24 doubled up liners (2 on top of each other for stability) onto a baking sheet
- Place all crust ingredients into food processor and process until broken down into coarse flour consistency
- Spoon 1and ½ tsp of crust mixture into each mini muffin liner and press firmly down with your thumb to create a solid crust
- Place into freezer for 10 minutes
- In medium bowl, stir cashew butter and melted coconut oil until completely combined
- Add rest of ingredients and mix until creamy smooth
- Remove crust-filled liners from freezer and spoon 1 TBS of lemon mixture into each one
- Garnish with lemon zest and place back into freezer for at least one hour (you want them to set completely before serving)
- Store in fridge and serve cold as these tasty morsels get pretty soft at room temperature