I know they're not much to look at, but trust me, they are gooood!

The inspiration for this recipe came from a blog called: Chocolate-Covered Katie and her “Fudge Babies” recipe. She has created many different flavors, so check out her ideas too! I have made several different varieties, and this one is my favorite- I love just about anything with almond extract...
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If you leave out the chocolate and replace the figs with more dates, you can use this “base” for any flavoring you want. You could make a citrus variety using lemon, orange, or lime zest. Adding in shredded unsweetened coconut is a really nice addition. Replace the figs with dried cherries to make a chocolate covered cherry variety. Oh, the possibilities...

You can double this recipe and spread it into the bottom of a 13X9 cake pan, allow them to harden up a bit in the fridge and cut into squares to make an "energy bar." 

And of course, make sure your dates and figs don't have any added sugar in them- check the labels!

CHOCOLATE, ALMOND & FIG BITES
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
6 medium-sized dates ("pitted baking dates")
8-10 dried black mission figs
1 Tbs solid coconut oil
10 drops liquid stevia*
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 Tbs cocoa powder

1. In a food processor, grind the nuts until they are a course texture- pieces the size of coffee grounds to rice is what I shoot for. Roughly chop the dates and figs to make it a little easier on the food processor. Add them to the food processor and whirl them around until they are ground along with the nuts.
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2. To the mixture add the coconut oil, stevia, extracts, and salt. Process until well combined. Taste the mixture at this point to see if you need any more sweetener or salt. The mixture should be moist and able form a ball, like the picture below. If your mixture is not moist enough, a little honey, agave, more coconut oil, or a wee-bit of water might do the trick. 

3. Add the cocoa powder and give everything one last whirl in the food processor. That’s it! Form them into balls, and store them in an airtight container. They do best stored in the fridge. 
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*I used liquid stevia, but use whatever healthy sweetener you have on hand. If you are using powdered stevia, it will be about two packets-worth. Just keep tasting and adding more until you get it right. 
 
 
Long name, I know...but I just had to give credit to all the ingredients! Everything about this salad is wonderful- tastes fantastic (this might just be my new favorite lunch), is exceptionally quick to whip up, and contains only powerhouse ingredients.
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To really jazz it up, eat it on top of a bed of lettuce and add some tomato wedges! 
This makes two good-sized and filling lunch servings. Omit the tuna and you have a nice side dish for dinner!

WHITE BEAN, TUNA, FETA, ALMOND, LEMON & PARSLEY SALAD
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed 1*
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds
¼ cup finely diced red onion
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese 2*
1 can tuna fish, drained and flaked
1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp dried oregano or dill….or both!

Simple: combine everything in a bowl and mix gently until combined.  Enjoy!

1* My favorite brand of beans, by far, is Eden Foods. You may also substitute garbanzo beans in this recipe, but if you haven’t had great northerns, I urge you to try them.

2* If you don’t like feta cheese, you could substitute some finely diced cheddar- that would be good too!