When I contemplate my top 10 favorite things in life, chocolate would probably fall in the top five. That rich, melty goodness that floods my body with warmth and happiness…Awwww, perfection! Chocolate and I have been friends for as long as I can remember…
In elementary school, her name was “Hershey Kiss”. We would always have lunch together, for Mrs. Case, my fourth and fifth grade teacher loved chocolate as much as I did. Feeding Hammy the Hamster, each day before lunch, was my classroom job. Mrs. Case would leave a Hershey Kiss on my desk, as a token of thanks. She never missed a single day thanking me and I never missed a single day feeding Hammy.
My relationship with chocolate grew to a deeper level in middle school. I wanted to take shop class, like my twin brother. But, I was a girl and therefore expected to take home economics. At first, I was not thrilled about making stuffed pig pillows and baking cookies, but when I realized my teacher had an affection for chocolate, I knew it would be manageable. During that semester, I learned the power and beauty of this one simple ingredient…I was sold. From that point on, I knew that Ms. Chocolate and I would have a friendship that would last a lifetime. This also meant that it was probably time to introduce her to my family…
My parents were extremely opinionated about my choice in friends, but they highly approved of Ms. Chocolate. They often reaped her benefits through freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, gooey chocolate brownies and my dad’s favorite, german chocolate cake. Ms. Chocolate was a friend that always listened, was there when I needed her, and continually brought a sweet smile to my face. And, my family approved of her… What more could I have asked for in a friend?!
As I entered high school, I witnessed many of my friends begin to explore the world of dating. This unpredictable interaction made me feel extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. I would’ve rather been romping through the woods or playing Monopoly with my dear friend Derek, before partaking in that drama filled pastime. It didn’t help that I was 5′ 10″ and lanky as ever. It was obvious, considering my breast buds had not yet emerged, that puberty had come and gone ever so quickly. Even so, chocolate was always there for me during these hormonal years. When I think back, she presented herself in the form of a ” Ms. Whachamacallit”. At least she brought me some passion, for the dating world surely did not!
Ms. Chocolate has continued to follow me through my 20s, 30s and 40s. To this day, she remains a constant in my life. Although, I have to admit, Ms. Chocolate has morphed a bit over the years. She now presents herself in the form of dark chocolate. Ms. Dark Chocolate is one powerful antioxidant, therefore she is health food! Unfortunately, my dear friend doesn’t visit as often, for my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. But, when she shows up on the scene, she is always welcomed with open arms and most often, surrounded by healthy goodness.
One of my favorite experiences with Ms. Chocolate is when she joins forces with my energy bite recipe. I love to create many variations on these bites and I tend to cook creatively. This basically means, I throw ingredients together and see what magic emerges! Today, when I created these balls of health and happiness, I thought I would write things down, so I could share the love. A little love from Ms. Chocolate goes a long way!
Roda’s Energy Bites
1 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 C hemp protein powder
1/2 C banana granola
1/2 C slivered almonds
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/4 C flax seed
1/4 C chia seed
1/4 wheat germ
1/4 C unsweetened coconut
1/2 C mini chocolate chips
1 C crunchy peanut butter
1/2 C honey
1 t pure vanilla
Mix everything together! (I let my Kitchen Aid do the mixing.) Form into bite size balls and refrigerate! Enjoy 💚
Reminder…Do not hesitate to be creative and add your own twist to these amazing bites! On a side note, many of the ingredients listed above are available through Bob’s Red Mill products! I love them!
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You!