Hi friends! Lately I've been in the habit of making a stash of some kind of sweet treat to keep in the fridge or freezer for my afternoon snack. I collect big Tonju from school and we all sit down to eat our snack at the dining table (or rather, I spend ten minutes telling him to sit on his seat, stop walking around and eat his snack without getting it all over the room, by which time he's finished and I haven't even started mine, and he wants me to do something with him!) I ran out of said stash a few days ago, and yesterday I really fancied throwing something together quickly after lunch, to chill in time for snack time. I pulled my old faithful cookbooks down from the shelves, but nothing grabbed me at that particular moment. It was then that I thought, "I'll just make something up myself!"
Having been in the habit of eating a lot of raw foods for the last couple of years, I have plenty of ingredients to hand which I use frequently for various recipes. Creating treats like these is not like baking, where ingredients have to be carefully measured and weighed to avoid any disasters occurring. Conversely, it is a very forgiving way of experimenting with some exciting and nutritious foods which you can pretty much guarantee will be edible in the end, even if they don't look stunning. Happily, my experiment was a great success, and even looked rather attractive which is a bonus, so here it is for your enjoyment too. I'm hoping the prettiness of the photos is enough to make you want to eat them!
Raw Cacaonut Truffles
Ingredients (makes 22)
300g Medjool dates (if you keep your dates in the fridge ensure you take them out a good hour at least before making this recipe. Hard dates will impede the process)
1 tbsp dessicated coconut, plus extra for coating
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp raw cacao, plus extra for coating
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and grind, then set aside in a bowl.
Deseed and chop the dates...
...then put them in the food processor along with the coconut oil and maple syrup. Blitz until completely combined.
Next, add the raw cacao, ground hazelnuts and dessicated coconut, plus a pinch of salt. Blitz until combined.
If the 1 1/2 tbsp raw cacao isn't quite enough, add the other half a tbsp. Taste until it's right for you.
Put the remaining cacao and dessicated coconut into two bowls, then roll the mixture in the palms of your hands into 22 balls. Roll half the balls in the cacao and the other half in the coconut, to coat each ball nicely.
Arrange on a pretty plate (optional!) and refrigerate for an hour or so. I found this mixture was pretty strong and not at all runny, so I really just refrigerated them to harden them up to make the texture even better for biting into.
Oohhhh these really are so delicious! And one of each is just the perfect afternoon snack, providing a sweet hit plus energy and fibre through the dates, and calcium, fibre, potassium, magnesium and iron from the cacao pawder. My favourite is the cacao coating, so I've been eating the coconut covered ball first! They really do have a truffley texture, and are so reminiscent of truffles, it seemed the perfect title (along with my play on the words cacao and coconut...).
I really hope you enjoy making and eating these little balls of deliciousness. Once you've finished admiring their prettiness, store in a baking paper-lined tupperware container in the fridge. I packed them in two separate layers so the cacao doesn't rub off all over the white flakes of coconut!