What the heck is a Fat Bomb?
So I get this question a lot.
In my handout materials, it suggests fat bombs under snack ideas. Many of my clients are already a bit overwhelmed by the suggestions that I make to boost the intake of healthy fats in their diet, and there comes a point in almost every education session where the client says, "Are you kidding???" Usually about the point where I suggest they start a jar in the fridge for bacon drippings, to reuse for other frying.
The goal of the LCHF diet is to achieve "metabolic flexibility", meaning that we train our bodies to have the metabolic pathways to burn both carbohydrates and fats for fuel. In order to create an internal environment that stimulates the body to create this flexibility, we need to keep carbohydrate intake low and healthy fat intake high. Most of us are walking around with only the ability to metabolize carbs, leaving us dependent on a regular intake (like every two hours or so, for most people...). And minimal to no ability to burn our own fat stores for fuel. A recipe for being "hangry", and overweight...
Sometimes we need to be able to eat a little something that supplies calories, but mostly as fat. And sometimes we just desire a wee snack or a bit of a flavour hit. Enter the fat bomb.
It's a cutsy name, but it really is a good description of what they are. They are small, single bite items that you can pop in your mouth. Generally, they are made almost entirely of pure fats, with a burst of flavour to give you enjoyment. They can be sweet or savoury. The sweetness comes not from sugar but from the natural sweetness that is already present in the fats, such as creamed coconut, coconut oil, cream cheese or nut butters. A little bit of sweetener, such as stevia or erythritol, can be added, but you don't want these to be really sweet. They are not meant to sabotage your development of a much more subtle sweet appreciation. Spices and flavours that we associate with sweetness add to the perception of sweet. Things such as cinnamon, ginger, cocoa, or lemon zest.
Savoury fat bombs are often cream cheese based with other more strongly flavoured cheeses, bacon, savoury spices, pesto, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, etc. I haven't played with savoury fat bombs much yet.
There are lots of recipes online for fat bombs of all descriptions, so Google away if you like. Here are my current favourites:
Cinnamon Fat Bombs
About 1/2 cup of creamed coconut (I use the whole 141 g package for simplicity)
1/2 cup almond butter, unsweetened and unsalted (raw, organic if you have it, but any kind is fine)
Heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
(You can add 1 packet of stevia sweetener if you want - I don't. The cinnamon is enough.)
Mash together in a bowl with a fork. You can warm slightly in the microwave to make this process easier, about 15 seconds is enough. Scoop mix into a small container lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Level out and chill in the fridge until firm. Turn out onto a breadboard (this is where the lining comes in handy...), then cut into pieces of about 3/4 inch square. I make about 32-36 individual fat bombs using this recipe.
Each piece is 50 calories, 0.8 g net carbs and 5 g fat. I usually have about 3 with an evening cup of tea, not every day, but when I am still feeling peckish after dinner.
*I recently made these with a heaping tsp of cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves, to replicate the spices in my favourite gingersnap cookie recipe. They were awesome!
My latest favourite is Lemon Fat Bombs:
4 oz cream cheese (half a brick)
1 pkg (141g) creamed coconut
1 pkt stevia/erythritol sweetener
Zest of 1/2-1 lemon
Mash together with a fork, softening slightly in the microwave first if desired. Pat into lined small dish and chill until firm. Cut into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces (mine was a 7 x 5 grid, making 35 pieces.
Each piece is 40 calories, 0.3 g net carbs and 4 g fat. They taste like lemon squares - wonderful! Again, an appropriate portion would be 3-4 pieces.
Eating a treat that is all fat has the benefit of not stimulating any insulin response, a good thing when you are trying to encourage your body to lose weight. Eating healthy fat doesn't make you fat - that's a message that needs to get out. Just remember to Eat W.H.E.N. - When Hunger Ensues Naturally. Don't eat by the clock, or by routine. If you are actually hungry between meals, a few fat bombs can satisfy you. If you are struggling with a craving for something sweet, these can be just the ticket to getting satisfaction, but without compromising your health goals. Enjoy experimenting!