Saturday, August 24, 2013

Power Balls and Broken Bones

The GAL has a challenge on her hands and it’s an unexpected one at that.

This is my father in law's childhood wheelbarrow, aka "Bone Breaker."

A couple of weeks ago, the above antique toy fell on my crossed legs. Actually my father-in-law's childhood toy wheelbarrow was thrown down by a certain two year old. But what grandparent is going to rat out her grandchild?

You know the rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."  Well, the two year old didn't have the attention getting vocabulary words she needed so she threw the wheelbarrow at me instead.  Bless her. It's tough going from being the baby to becoming the middle child.

The wheelbarrow hit the end of my femur. I swallowed words but didn't swallow my tears. My five year old grandson kept running into the bathroom and getting squares of toilet paper to put on my booboo. He's going to be a doctor some day. I just know it. So proud. 

I broke down and went to the doctor when the pain kept getting worse. X-rays told the tale. Think cracked hard-boiled eggs.

It’s what the end of my femur looks like at the moment.  A cracked hard-boiled egg shell.

Now you might think you don't have to pay attention to this post because your bones are fine. I have osteoporosis due to decades of thyroid supplement use and probable gluten issues.  But the doc says  “regular” people also dent their bones all the time. No one eats as much calcium as they should.

As far as my own healing process, not much to do but take anti-inflammatories and eat high calcium food to help in the healing process. I can't take calcium pills. They, like so many meds, have ingredients that spell allergy trouble for me.  

What foods are high in calcium? Some little known facts:

Smelt - The fish not the metal production process. Sardines too. But you have to eat the little bones (sticks). Nope, not going to happen for me.

Condensed milk - two tablespoons give you 10% of your daily requirement.

Sesame seeds and almonds (stones if you will) - who knew an ounce has almost as much calcium as a cup of milk?

Arugula- if you eat a salad made with three cups, that is almost 400 mgs.

Now there are more common calcium boosters: Milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, broccoli and dark leafy green veggies.

I have the common calcium boosters covered.  What intrigued me the most was the seed and nut idea. I need a snack to keep my blood sugar regulated. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone (or a few). I'd make Power Balls.

No, no, no. I didn't go out and buy a lottery ticket. But I might be able to afford one now! Power BARS are an expensive snack to take hiking or rely on. Most cost over a $1 a bar, more if sold individually. Ah, but Power Balls are a different story.

Power Balls, some without coconut for my friends who are not fans.

Homemade Power Balls, Raw Balls or Nut Balls are the latest craze in the raw food world. Raw food means you stick as close to natural states in food. No cooking to take out the nutrients. Power Balls are the perfect snack when you just need a little something to keep you going  or a snack to take hiking. Yay, it's almost hiking season again. And I plan on being healed up and ready to go.

As with most of my recipes, I looked at a bunch of recipes on Pinterest and adapted them to make my own version. The great thing about Power Balls is you add a dab of this and a dab of that. Some folks like to add a bit of coconut oil. Some like to add honey. Some add a nut butter. Some soak their nuts to make them bind better (ewwwwww! I just couldn't do it.)  I just wanted to keep the calcium high and the sugar lower than some of the recipes.

Going nuts! You'll have plenty leftover for the next batch. They won't last long.

 Julie's High Calcium Power Balls

15-20 small pitted dates (fewer if they are larger)
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sunflowers
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (you can also use honey or maple syrup but I wanted the calcium)
Dash salt (if you like a sweet and salty taste), optional
Coconut, sesame seeds, cocoa powder or confectioners sugar for coating, optional

Step 1: Chop dates and then process in a food processor or blender until they almost make a paste. Remove and put in mixing bowl.

Step 2:  Add almonds and pecans to processor, pulse gently until rough chopped. Add to date mixture. Stir to distribute dates in with nuts or use your hands.

Step 3: Add sunflowers and pumpkin seeds.  Mix again.

Step 4: Add sweetened condensed milk, salt, and stir until evenly distributed.

Step 5: Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, drop balls in coating, rolling around to coat.

Step 6: Place on parchment or wax paper and place in freezer for at least one hour.

Step 7: Transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator one week.

Makes approximately 20 one-inch balls.  One ball equals one serving.  

So what is your favorite high calcium food? Have you ever broken a bone? Recited the rhyme Sticks and Stones more often than you'd like?




  1. Oh, Wow!

    I'm not a fan of power bars. When I was in college, every one of my friends was a runner and everyone ate them. Yuck. I'm a hot fried pickles and cold ranch dip kind of girl.

    But I'm older and wiser now (and most of my friends are not runner, so I feel pretty good about myself, haha). I know I need calcium.

    I have everything for these except the pumpkin seeds. Going to try them this week, maybe to take camping!

    Feel better soon! I'm so sorry you're in pain!

    (P.S. You had me snorting my coffee at 'aka Bone Breaker'.)

    1. These bars are tasty. And most power bars are NOT good for you.

      You can also add rice crispies, raisins (chop them too).

      If you are camping, you may want to use honey rather than a milk based product since you won't have a refrigerator.

      The pain is better! Thanks.

  2. never had a broken bone though I'm pretty sure I did and just didn't know it (my mom figured if I was walking on it and not screaming that it wasn't broken but it sure hurt - and never mind how I hurt it trying to dance to some scottish bagpipe music.sigh)
    these power balls sound kinda good 'cept don't see any butter in that list...
    I'm not sure about calcium- definitely don't do milk all that often but sometimes I eat light Greek yogurt and I think I read somewhere that spinach has calcium and I like that in soup and salads..
    sigh..if that had happened to me I'm afraid a 2 yr old would've gained an entire vocabulary and not of the good kind. sorry you're hurting :-(

    1. Thanks, Susanna. I can just see you dancing. I love bagpipes.

      I walked around on a broken foot when I was a teen by tripping up the stairs. Not fun.

      You are right about spinach!

  3. Ouch, Julie -- praying for a speedy recovery. Love how understanding you are with your granddaughter! :-)

    Hmmmm....I like the idea of getting all my calcium from sweetened condensed milk -- is that allowed? (making pleading puppy dog eyes.)

    I was just trying to think of some healthy high power snacks I could start bringing to work to give me some umph during the day and this looks like it might just do the trick. I'm going to give them a try! Thanks!

  4. Oh -- and a question. To make them last longer, do you think I could keep them in the freezer and just take one out a day?

    1. Kav, that's exactly what I do! And yes on getting calcium from condensed milk. Ha! Love those puppy eyes.

  5. I had a sprained ankle a couple of times, but no broken bones, praise God.

    I am glad to hear that you are recovering--take care around those wild and crazy grandbabies!

    I take calcium pills since my doctor told me to. They are like horse pills and are very unpleasant to swallow. I much prefer one of my hot or cold salmon pasta bowls with green leafy veggies and some form of cheese. And I do crush up the bones, and don't mind eating them at all!

    1. I much prefer your meal over the pill option!

      Don't forget the vitamin D along with the calcium.

      Peace, Julie

    2. Yeah, the vitamin D is in the same pill.....maybe that's why it's so hard to swallow....

  6. Lifting a glass of coconut milk to healing bones.

    This recipe sounds WONDERFUL!!!!! All my favorite stuff. Thank you.

    1. Do they add calcium to coconut milk? I love coconut milk ice "cream".

      The best part of the recipe is you can make it your own. Glad you already love it.

  7. Yes, I broke my foot a few years ago (5th metatarsal--dancer's break). Was awful to be in that book for weeks and weeks!

    I did have a bone density scan a year or so ago, and my bones are strong. I drink almond milk (30% RDA) in 8 oz. serving. I think that's the same as cow's milk. And I eat a LOT of greens.

    I'm glad to know arugula is high in Ca! I love that in my salads.

  8. BOOT, not book. LOL Although I'm often found in books as well. :)