After school is a unpredictable. A time when calm can quickly morph into chaos depending on a number of factors. Moods could run from extreme joyousness to downright nastiness (bless her heart). The bonus is I get to see my daughter after being away from her for a whole 7 hours. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have some time in my day to do my work and catch up on “me” activities but in the presence of Coco I just feel the room shines much brighter. Sometimes my expectant mood is quickly replaced by irritation if childhood demands and resistance come at me in full force. Oh there are days! But one way I’ve learned to lessen that frustration is to have a homemade snack on the ready for when she gets in the car to head to lessons or home. Here’s one that has been especially helpful in calming the after school munchy rage that can turn clear skies into a downpour–Chocolate Walnut Fig Bites.
Walnuts, besides being such an excellent source of omega-3, are fabulous for brain health. I’m doing everything I can on this end to encourage healthy brain cells in my child so the wonderful teachers have the raw materials they need to help her be as brilliant as she can be. And I take my job seriously. There are just too many junky snacks out there that can unravel the genius potential in her little head. Walnuts (even shaped like little brains) can help improve memory and cognition by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. This is largely due to the high content of the good fat, polyunsaturated fatty acid, as well as polyphenols.(1)
And don’t forget how awesome Brain Octane oil is. This potent oil is a mitochondrial-revving fraction or isolate of coconut oil that is 100% caprylic acid–nearly 18 times stronger than coconut oil in its beneficial effects for our cells. It’s worth looking into this medium chain triglyceride especially if you have cognitive decline or want to optimize your brain.(2) (3) (4) Dave Asprey, author of The Bulletproof Diet and Head Stong is an advocate of this type of oil to help improve how your brain works.
And are you ready for the big new! Okay, it’s fairly old by now but chocolate is very high in antioxidants especially if it’s made with 70% or more dark chocolate.(5) Here’s even more awesome news. Cacao has even more antioxidants plus it has a high amount of magnesium. Sadly most of us are deficient in this mineral that helps smooth muscles relax.(6)
Chocolate Walnut Fig Bites
This tasty afters-school snack has loads of omega-3 and brain-boosting components from the nuts and oil. The brain octane oil which is essentially medium-chain triglycerides isolated from coconut oil improves your brain's mitochondial function. That's just a fancy way of saying it gives every cell in your body better energy. Enjoy!
- 1 cup walnuts (you might want to soak them overnight to improve their digestion)
- 3/4 cup figs
- 2 T tahini
- 2 T cacao powder
- 2 T brain octane oil (or coconut oil)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/16 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling (optional)
- Step 1 In a food processor, add walnuts and figs and blend for about 2 minutes until there’s a nice doughy consistency
- Step 2 Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again for about 1 minute
- Step 3 Roll balls in your hands then roll in the coconut
- Step 4 Serve with Love and Enjoy!