We just got back from Philadelphia, and a couple of super-fun Nutrition Workshops at CrossFit 215 and CrossFit King of Prussia. While in Philly, we were able to spend some time with Aimee and Jason Lyons of CrossFit KOP, who graciously hosted us in between workshops. We had a gorgeous dinner on Saturday night – thick rare steaks, sides of fresh vegetables and big green salads, with a bottle of wine to pull it all together. (Dallas and I always wonder if people get nervous when they have to eat a meal with us. We’re not the Food Police, and we’re not robots. We’re actually really fun. Really.)
Over dinner, Aimee was telling us about her recent experiences with removing certain food groups from her diet, and how those changes have positively impacted her health and performance. With these efforts, she’d been experimenting with different “Paleo” recipes and foods, trying new things and subbing out processed ingredients for those more natural. And at one point, she referenced a special treat she just started making called “fudge babies”. Turns out they’re a chocolate fudge-y concoction made with fruit, nuts and some flavoring – more natural ingredients than traditional processed sweets. Aimee mentioned she’d made them a bunch of times and raved about how delicious they were. Then she mentioned she had a batch sitting in the fridge at home.
Now, I’m (Melissa here) not particularly big on sugar. That wasn’t ever my hang-up, I don’t even really like chocolate. If I get a taste for something chocolate, a single spoonful of Turtle Mountain’s Chocolate Obsession usually does me just fine. But after that amazing dinner, some chocolate sounded kind of good. And as we wanted to be good guests, we figured we should at least be polite and TRY them.
For the record, Dallas and I only had three apiece. For the other record, we are notoriously bad counters.
The recipe for Aimee’s Fudge Babies is posted on her Nutrition Blog. They’re simple to make, with only four ingredients – dates, walnuts, organic raw cocoa powder and natural vanilla. You can make a batch ahead of time, keep them in the fridge and pull them out just before a party or after dinner. And, for the understatement of the day… They. Are. Good.
Before I let you at them, however, a word of caution. You have never, ever seen recipes for ANY “Paleo” sweets posted on ANY of our web sites – not on Urban Gets Diesel, not on our CrossFit sites and not here on the Whole9. There’s a reason for that, kids. “Paleo” or not, THIS STUFF IS CANDY, and you don’t get a free-for-all just because it’s made with fruit and nuts. It’s not just the nutrition behind these babies – dates are very high in sugar, sure, but that’s not our biggest concern. Mentally, sweet treats like this are simply replacing your old Snickers bar, chocolate glazed or fudge brownie. The ingredients are better for you, but your brain doesn’t know that. Crave-Sweets-Eat-Sweets is a bad cycle to get into, and the worst thing you can do when trying to change your life is to try to shove your old, crappy diet into a shiny new “Paleo” mold. So don’t think we’re okay-ing these for unlimited consumption, just because they’re made with fruit. Treat them as you would any candy, and eat in serious moderation (both in frequency and serving size).
End lecture, let’s get to the good stuff! You can find Aimee Lyons’ Fudge Babies on the CrossFit KoP Nutrition Blog. Give them a whirl the next time you have a bridal shower, birthday party or friends over for dinner, and drop us and Aimee a comment to let us know what you think.
Big thank you to Aimee, Jason, Jay and Micah for taking such good care of us this weekend, and to everyone who came out for our Workshops!