On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love chocolate?
I think I’m a cool 6.5 but know some girls that are a solid 17. If you are that kind of chocolate fanatic as well, this recipe for raw vegan chocolate truffles is for you! And just in time for Valentine’s Day…
To create these little decadent yet completely refined sugar-free morsels, I used this recipe as a starting point and just changed it up a bit to further enable your chocolate addiction. Also, I doubled the amounts because…who are we kidding? These babies won’t be around for long.
For the truffles (makes about 20):
- 2 cups dried dates, roughly chopped
- 2 cups unsalted raw pecans and/or walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Dash of cinnamon
For the shell:
- 1 unsweetened dark chocolate baking bar (I used this one)
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- Shredded coconut, Himalayan pink or sea salt, cocoa nibs, chopped nuts, goji berries and/or seeds to add as toppings
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Put the dates and nuts in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder and stir until evenly combined.
- Put half of the dates-and-nuts mixture in a food processor and blend for a few seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and keep processing until the mixture is smooth and holds together. Repeat with the second half.
- Take a (measuring) tablespoon to portion the mixture for each truffle, then form with your hands into a ball. Set aside.
- Heat the baking bar in a double boiler or the microwave in 20-30 second intervals until melted, then stir in 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup.
- Dip each truffle in the melted chocolate, cover evenly and remove with a fork. Set aside on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with your favorite toppings (I used coconut flakes, cocoa nibs and Himalayan pink salt) and refrigerate for an hour or until the chocolate has hardened.
- Dried dates work beautifully as a natural, vegan sweetener! I use them a lot in cereal or snack bars and like adding one or two to my smoothies. Dates provide dietary fiber and contain a wide range of vitamins (A, C, E, K, B2, B6, niacin and thiamin) as well as many essential minerals (iron, potassium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and copper).
- Cacao and cocoa, what’s the difference? The seeds of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) are called raw cacao beans if they are dried at a low temperature. They can be consumed whole, broken into pieces (cocoa nibs) or ground (raw cocoa powder). If they are first roasted then ground, they become cocoa, and if processed further, the basis of chocolate. Cacao is rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant compound, that promotes general health and might lower your risk of several diseases including heart disease and cancer.
- Modifications: Feel free to substitute the unsweetened with a semi sweet baking bar. Instead of maple syrup, you can use raw organic honey. Also, if the dipping chocolate feels too thick, you can add a tablespoon melted coconut oil to make it a little thinner and more manageable if desired.