Fat; we love it, we hate it, we crave it, and we need it. (recipe alert...)
Fat is one of the three macronutrients that our body needs for health and well-being. The flavor of fat will, of course, vary depending entirely on what kind of fat it is. What gives fat its distinctive mouthfeel? Fat is a lipid. It is not water soluble, so it is not as easily broken down by saliva. The fat molecules end up rolling around in your mouth like tiny, silky, smooth beads.
Tiny science lesson: The concept of fat can be confusing because it’s used to describe different things. Fat can be a word describing a type of tissue, which is what we talk about when we talk about the fat on our bodies or from an animal; or the word fat can be used to talk about a particular cell type, which actually begins to encompass all types of fat. Fat tissue is made up of fat cells.
Molecularly, fat is a triglyceride; which simply means it is a combination of three fatty acids and one glycerol molecule. The properties of a ‘triglyceride’, whether healthful or harmful, are dependent on the structure of the fatty acids. This is why the science around triglycerides and fat consumption can be so confusing...we really have to know what kind of fatty acids we are talking about before impact can be identified.
Interestingly, fat as a tissue, is actually considered an organ, expressing its own biochemical messages to your brain and body via hormone secretion and other chemical signaling. The amount and type of fat you carry on your body influences your nervous system and all the other systems in your body.
Your brain and body need healthy fats to stay balanced and well. So, although it may seem counterintuitive that you would lose fat by eating fat, if you’re eating the right kind of fat, it’s absolutely true. Good fats include; omega 3 fatty acid rich foods (sardines, salmon, anchovies, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, avocado...), medium chain fatty acids like coconut oil, palm oil and ghee, as well as mono/poly unsaturated fats like olive oil.
What can happen if you aren’t eating enough of the right kind of fat? Not only can it make you fatter, but it also can make you depressed, anxious, fearful, and contribute to any number of mood disorders, including panic attacks.
Peanut Butter Cacao Fudge
- 1 c. virgin coconut oil, melted (melt on really low heat)
- 1 c. high quality raw cacao powder or good cocoa powder (the quality of this ingredient makes a huge difference in the taste)
- 1/3 c. raw honey (you can also use date paste or 6 pureed dates)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- dash sea salt
- 1/3 c. chunky natural peanut butter (or more to taste)
Add all ingredients except peanut butter and beat on medium to high with a hand or stand mixer for 5-7 minutes. Mixture should be smooth and glossy. Add peanut butter and blend until combined.
Scoop mixture into a glass dish and refrigerate to set. Once set cut into small squares and enjoy! These actually keep for a while if you keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. Lovely little squares of energy to nibble.