I don’t know about you guys, but I ran out of groceries and money somewhere around the 50th of January. I honestly don’t know how I managed to live in London for 8 Januaries. It’s hard enough over here with the sunshine and beaches, but add freezing grey weather to your dry salticrax and what is life – honestly, wtf is it! London peeps, I’m giving you a virtual hug.
My cupboard is bare and my motivation is pitiful – except for drinking wine. In that, I am Olympic-level motivated. However, even though I don’t have much to work with (in our house we call this time of year ‘playing Survivor’), I do find that you can actually stretch what you have so much further when you really need to. There’s a moral lesson in here about minimalism and not buying more than you need…sod it though. Let’s be morally superior after pay day.
Tough times January has given me an idea, though. I’m seeing a lot of posts on Instagram about 4 or 5 ingredient recipes, ostensibly to encourage people not to be scared of trying them, because how hard can a 4 ingredient recipe be. So I’m going to post a few of my own, adapted from my more-than-4 ingredient recipes. Not because I think you’re scared to try them, but simply so you have ideas for the last week of the month when pay day is plodding along like…well, January.
We’ll start with a super easy staple, the humble date ball.
4 Ingredient date balls
- 1 cup soaked dried dates (or medjool dates if you prefer – I always use dried)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3-4 tbsp cacao
- Desiccated coconut for rolling
- Add dates, oats and cacao to a food processor and blend well
- Roll into balls, roll in coconut and refrigerate for half an hour before eating
- Dates are high in fibre and make an excellent natural sweetener, although their high sugar content means you should enjoy them in moderation (ie don’t eat all your date balls in one sitting).
- Oats are a complex carbohydrate which provide the body with an easy to absorb source of energy. The ‘complex’ refers to the rate at which our bodies absorb the glucose from carbs – complex carbs are absorbed slowly and give us energy over longer periods, while simple carbs are absorbed and used very quickly, often resulting in a blood sugar crash.
- Cacao – raw chocolate in its most nutritious state contains loads of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, with none of the bad stuff.
- Coconut – made up of medium chain fatty acids that are an excellent source of energy and help to increase good cholesterol in the blood (although yes, it is high in saturated fat so don’t go drinking the stuff).