In my last post, I shared that I am working on getting my health back, and in doing so, I am focusing more on diet/nutrition, exercise, etc. I’m trying to be very aware of what I take into my system, and making sure that it promotes health & healing. I still don’t have much of an appetite, and at times, I have to make sure that I’m taking some sort of nutrients into my body for strength. Honestly, some days it’s 2pm before I realize that I haven’t eaten anything, which doesn’t do a whole lot for healthy blood sugar levels and/or energy. Or mood, for that matter. 😉 I’ve had to get fairly creative with snacks so that I don’t get bored or frustrated w/what I’m eating and make a poor choice. After tweaking some other recipes, I came up with this super-easy, super-addictive recipe for Crockpot “Candy” Nuts. I’ll share it in a minute.
In the meantime, here are some specific things I’m focusing on:
♦ Protein ~ this has always been a focus for me. I know there are some arguments as to how necessary or over-rated protein is, but for me, it makes a huge impact on my mood and energy levels. What does this look like? Maybe a hard-boiled egg, some cottage cheese, or a handful of nuts.
♦ Iron ~ I was told in the hospital that my iron levels are very low. Not wanting to fill my body w/more synthetic medicine, and not wanting to feel like absolute “poo” from the iron pills, I’m choosing to raise my iron levels through diet. This means more red meat, leafy greens, sunflower seeds, and beans/legumes. What does this look like? My husband is a meat & potatoes kind of guy, so incorporating red meat into our diet isn’t very difficult. I love kale and eat it in various forms (raw, sautéed, kale chips, smoothies). Chickpeas are an excellent source of iron, so homemade hummus is a good snack for me.
♦ Sugar ~ I try to avoid sugar anyway, but after being on some pretty heavy hard-hitting antibiotics, candida overgrowth is a problem. Yeast infections have always been an issue for me (which I will cover in another “for women only” post 😉 ), and sugar just feeds the yeast, exacerbating the problem. White flour also turns to sugar in your system, so that is out, as well. What does this look like? If I want something sweet, I’ll make a homemade treat with dates as a sweetener. I love dates, and they work really well to trick your brain into thinking you’re having a sweet treat. I also allow myself a small bit of local raw honey, as raw honey has many natural antibiotic and antiviral properties.
♦ Probiotics/Fermentation ~ Again, the antibiotics have thrown my system all out of whack, so I’m trying to rebalance the beneficial bacteria. And again, rather than take a supplement, I choose to do so through food and drink. What does this look like? I have many friends, and even dear family members that think I’m crazy, but I love kombucha. It’s my standard go-to for restoring gut health. Really. It’s good stuff. Another good choice is kefir, but kefir tends to be a bit sweet for me, and I have a hard time with the texture. I also love kimchi (a Korean fermented cabbage dish), which is an excellent choice for beneficial bacteria.
♦ Beverages ~ I tend to get dehydrated quite easily, and after 10+ days of fever, when I was admitted to the hospital, I was quite in need of some fluids. Bags and bags of saline through an IV drip are no party for me, so I’d rather not do that again. Normally I can tell right away when I’ low on fluids, but b/c I was so sick, I had no idea. Now, in a healthy state, this is no issue for me, as I drink a lot of water throughout the day. But again, I’m trying to focus on strong nutritional choices. What does this look like? I do allow myself some coffee in the morning, and an occasional latte here and there. A girl’s gotta live a little. 😉 I’m trying to incorporate more smoothies, which I make with almond milk or coconut water – which is great for electrolytes. I’m also drinking more herbal teas and sometimes make them over ice w/just a touch of honey. I try to incorporate beneficial herbs and spices into my drinks, and will be sharing a recipe for some awesome homemade ginger-ale in another post.
Ok. Enough of all that, on to the recipe, right? I was wanting a good snack, but didn’t want to just load up on empty calories. I also was having a bit of a craving for something sweet. I still don’t have a lot of energy these days, so I needed it to be something easy. TA-DA! D-lish.
Crockpot “Candy” Nuts
Here’s what you’ll need:
~ 3 cups mixed nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, and cashews, but you could use any combination of what you have on hand, or even just one variety)
~ 1/2t salt
~ 1t cinnamon
~ 1t vanilla
~ 2/3 C sweetener (I used 1/3c each of honey and maple syrup.)
~ 2 T butter
Grease crockpot. Add nuts, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and sweeteners, and mix to combine. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the top. Cover and cook on high for *1hr. Stir. Spread on parchment paper or Silpat and allow to cool. Store in covered container.
That’s it. So easy and I promise, you’ll have a hard time not eating the whole batch all at once.
*I cooked mine for an hour, but due to the honey, after cooling, they are still a bit sticky. Next time, I’d probably go around 90min to let them harden up a little bit more. Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think!
Until next time…