We love the feeling of making something that is delicious AND nutritious! To us, that feels like a true accomplishment; I guess you can say that’s the nutrition nerds in the two of us starting to show! Why should dark chocolate be a healthy habit, not a junk food fiend? Let us enlighten you:
- Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA) that is a mild mood elevator. It’s the same chemical that our brain produces when we feel happy or “in love.”
- Chocolate contains chemicals that help keep blood vessels elastic and increase beneficial antioxidants in the bloodstream
- Chocolate is full of flavonoids—naturally-occurring compounds found in the cacao plant, as well as in red wine, tea, fruits and vegetables. Recent research suggests that these flavonoids may have potentially beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.
- The flavanols in chocolate can actually protect you from sun burns!
- Just be sure to stick to dark chocolate to reap the benefits.
Now onto what’s more important here, raw chocolate truffles…
- 1 cup dates
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons raw cocoa powder
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup agave, honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon mint extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Raspberry juice
- Orange zest, optional
- Extra coconut, cocoa powder or nuts for finishing.
- In a food processor blend together the dates, walnuts and almonds until they form a crumbly paste. If it's too thick, add a little water, but only enough for it to just come together. Depending on personal taste, the truffle mixture doesn't need to be totally smooth; some nutty pieces and chunks can be a good thing. Add the cocoa powder and blend until mostly incorporated. (I used a Vitamix. You do not have to have one to make this recipe but it does make it much easier. Be careful to stop the blender every so often to scrape the nut mixture off the blade so that it does not get stuck.)
- Remove the nut mixture from your food processor and place it in a large bowl. Stir in your sweetener of choice, vanilla extract, mint extract and mix until smooth.
- Dab a small amount of mint extract and orange zest (just the juice) on your hands. This will give your truffles an extra coating of flavor. Roll the truffles into balls and then in your desired topping such as coconut, cocoa powder or nuts. If you want to make your truffles a little extra special, dye the coconut with a teaspoon of raspberry juice to make pink coconut...it just shows people you care 😉
- While these could be eaten right away, the truffles are best when cold. For best results place the truffles in the freezer and allow to them harden at least 1 hour. Store the remaining truffles in the freezer and allow them to soften at room temperature about 10 minutes before serving.
Here’s what our lovely Alpha Chi sorority sisters had to say:
Sierra: “The Chocolate Truffles were divine. Really fun and yummy!”
Hayley: “The Chocolate Truffles were really yummy. Great chocolate flavor and I loved the texture. I think you could always add more chocolate to them too, they seem really versatile.”
Cheers to falling in love this Valentine’s Day, even if it is only with your dessert 😉
As always, we send you LOVE and PEACE without GREASE!