Vegan-friendly Chocolate Truffles

Healthy Chocolate Truffles I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hello! Happy Saturday. Hope your weekend is off to a great start.

It has been absolutely gorgeous in Minnesota lately. I mean, just look at these pics I snapped the other day:

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The weather has been in the sixties (pushing 70!) and I am in love. Gotta soak it up before the cooler weather hits. Last night I was at the fiancé’s first football playoff game (that they won – whoop whoop!) and it was in the sixties. This next Friday’s high is only 44. Brrrr! I suppose that is pretty on par with Halloween however….

Speaking of Halloween, the fiancé and I made a trip to Target today to stock up on candy for the hopefully trick-or-treaters. We will be gone that night as his playoff game, but are hoping kiddos will still stop by to get some candy. Besides, we can’t be those new neighbors that poo poo on Halloween. :)

Looking at all the candy made me realize how much I just love chocolate. I mean who doesn’t love chocolate? (Although I know there are some of you out there, and I just don’t understand. Sorry guys.)

I am a HUGE chocolate lover. In fact, I don’t actually like candy without chocolate. And although I love chocolate candy, brownies, and malts, I actually dislike chocolate ice cream and cake. Weird, huh?

So a couple of weeks ago I made these insanely delicious Vegan-friendly Chocolate Truffles. Made without refined sugar, but you would never know the difference (kind of like my Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls). They are just so good!

You want to know the secret to moist delicious vegan chocolate truffles? Dates. Yep, you read that right. Fresh succulent dates. I never knew they could be so good (and good for you!). Rich in antioxidants and full of fiber, they are actually the lowest moisture whole fruit (30%, compared to 75-95% for most fruits). Crazy!

I’ve never eaten dates before (or not that I remember anyway!) and I’m sure they don’t sound appealing when you try and tell someone you are putting them in their dessert. But by golly, they are seriously the most surprisingly delicious food hack I’ve experienced in awhile, and before you poo poo on them, you should try this recipe out. It might make you a date lover for life (it did for me!).

vegan-friendly chocolate truffles

Ingredients:

14 medjool dates, pit removed

1/2 cup walnuts (or any nut will do!)

2 TBSP flax meal (or almond meal)

1 TBSP agave or other favorite sweetener (optional)

1/4 cup cocoa powder + extra for rolling

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste

Directions:

1) Remove the pits of the dates by squeezing the date until pits are visible. Pull out pit and discard.

2) Soak pitted dates in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. This will help increase their stickiness which is essential for this recipe. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

3) Place the nuts into the food processor and pulse until ground.

4) Add in the remainder of the ingredients and pulse until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go.

5) Taste mixture to determine if more salt, vanilla, or sweetener is needed.

6) Roll the dough into small balls (think the size of truffles!). If you find the dough is too sticky to roll, add more flax meal until it reaches a consistency you can work with.

7) Meanwhile, pour cocoa powder onto plate. Upon finishing rolling a ball, roll in cocoa powder until completely covered. You could also roll in melted chocolate, sprinkles, coconut flakes – the possibilities are endless!

8) Lay balls out on baking sheet. Once all balls are finished and on baking sheet, place in freezer until set enough so won’t stick together. Store in airtight container in the freezer (the centers will not freeze).

9) Enjoy!

Vegan-friendly Chocolate Truffles

 Just look at those teeth marks!

Healthy Chocolate Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Deliciously moist and healthy chocolate balls. Made without refined sugar means they are healthy too!
Ingredients
  • 14 medjool dates, pit removed
  • ½ cup walnuts (or any nut will do!)
  • 2 TBSP flax meal (or almond meal)
  • 1 TBSP agave or other favorite sweetener (optional)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder + extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp sea salt + more to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove the pits of the dates by squeezing the date until pits are visible. Pull out pit and discard.
  2. Soak pitted dates in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. This will help increase their stickiness which is essential for this recipe. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  3. Place the nuts into the food processor and pulse until ground.
  4. Add in the remainder of the ingredients and pulse until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go.
  5. Taste mixture to determine if more salt, vanilla, or sweetener is needed.
  6. Roll the dough into small balls (think the size of truffles!). If you find the dough is too sticky to roll, add more flax meal until it reaches a consistency you can work with.
  7. Meanwhile, pour cocoa powder onto plate. Upon finishing rolling a ball, roll in cocoa powder until completely covered. You could also roll in melted chocolate, sprinkles, coconut flakes - the possibilities are endless!
  8. Lay balls out on baking sheet. Once all balls are finished and on baking sheet, place in freezer until set enough so won't stick together. Store in airtight container in the freezer (the centers will not freeze).
  9. Enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Ahhhhh. The end of a long weekend. Nothing better than having an extra day to enjoy with loved ones, spend time outdoors, or get a few extra things done.

(And eating these chocolate peanut covered babies.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

But more on that later! :)

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend as well.

Saturday we golfed up in Albany, a little over an hour from the cities. It was my second time out this summer, and I always like to think I’m getting better as the summer rolls along. Or at least that’s what I’d like to think. :)

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com  Perfect day for a round of golf.

We then spent the rest of the weekend hanging out at our friend’s parents house on the lake. The weather was beautiful, although the water was pretty darn cold! I jumped in anyway, and it was definitely a shock to the system. We also grilled, took a few pontoon rides, and had a fire each night. A successful weekend to say the least!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com A view I will never get sick of. 

Today we got up and left right after breakfast, in order to beat traffic and get a few things done. I ended up laying outside for awhile, reading and soaking up the sun. It was too nice to not be outside!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls  I www.eatcleanwithkate.com A few of my favorite things.

I put a few lemon slices in my water as it has a few added health benefits to just drinking plain water, not to mention it’s a bit more refreshing! If you want to learn more about the health benefits of lemon water, check out this article here.

After I got done getting my daily dose of vitamin D, I went inside and whipped together these Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls. Now that my 10 days of no sugar is done, I can actually bake again. Although it was 85 degrees out today, and humid as heck. So too hot to actually turn on the oven. Besides I was craving something sweet, yet cold.

I now know what they mean about sugar acting like a drug in your body. Although my sugar cravings subsided towards the end of those 10 days, now that I have spent an entire weekend eating s’mores and other good things (filled with sugar, I’m sure!), I can’t seem to stop craving it! My body also feels a bit out of whack and I’m extremely thirsty lately. Bah! Time to start another detox perhaps. :)

Anyway, that didn’t seem to stop me from making these bad boys. Although I did try to make them with the least amount of refined sugar as possible. They are smooth on the inside, with a crisp outer chocolate shell. I just used the chocolate chips we had in the house, but next time I’d like to try melting down the no-sugar added chocolate that I talked about in Day 9 Fed Up Challenge.

Did I mention these are frozen? Melt in your mouth on a too-hot-to-bake kind of day. Enjoy! :)

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Adapted from minimalistbaker.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-natural (no sugar added) peanut butter, or other favorite nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter)

3 TBSP honey

1 1/2 TBSP coconut flour

1 TBSP flax meal (optional)

1 TBSP cacao nibs (optional)

1 tsp fine sea salt

3/4 cup favorite chocolate chips

1 TBSP coconut oil

Directions: 

Mix peanut butter with honey in medium mixing bowl until smooth.

Add in coconut flour and mix well. If mixture is still a bit runny, add more flour until thickens into cookie dough-like texture.

If using flax meal or cacao nibs, add in and stir to combine evenly. These just up the nutrition value of the final product!

Roll “dough” into small balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mine made 16.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat.

When chocolate is completely melted, take off heat.

Using a spoon, place ball in chocolate and coat evenly, then place ball back on parchment. Repeat until all balls are coated.

Place baking sheet in freezer and freeze 10 to 12 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.

Serve cold and store leftover in plastic freezer bag. (If you have any leftovers, that is!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Chocolate and peanut butter, a perfect combination!

OK friends, that’s it for now. Got any favorite no-bake desserts of your own? Feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (Gluten-free and Vegan)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Gluten-free and Vegan No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Easy to make and delicious on a hot summer day!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-natural (no sugar added) peanut butter, or other favorite nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter)
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 1½ TBSP coconut flour
  • 1 TBSP flax meal (optional)
  • 1 TBSP cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup favorite chocolate chips
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Mix peanut butter with honey in medium mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Add in coconut flour and mix well. If mixture is still a bit runny, add more flour until thickens into cookie dough-like texture.
  3. If using flax meal or cacao nibs, add in and stir to combine evenly. These just up the nutrition value of the final product!
  4. Roll "dough" into small balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mine made 16.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat.
  6. When chocolate is completely melted, take off heat.
  7. Using a spoon, place ball in chocolate and coat evenly with chocolate, then place ball back on parchment. Repeat until all balls are coated.
  8. Place baking sheet in freezer and freeze 10 to 12 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  9. Serve cold. Enjoy!

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Make Your Own: Gluten-free Chewy Granola Bars

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Stayed home from work today with a sore throat and earache (teaching always proves to be extremely difficult with a sore throat!). It has been ridiculously cold/rainy here (but of course it’s sunny as I write this), and I have spent a lot of time outside coaching soccer in this oh-so-peachy weather (sense my sarcasm?). Have been fighting off the sore throat for a couple days now, but after running with my kids at practice last night (in the cold/rain of course), I was in for it.

So I slept in. Cleaned the kitchen. Did some laundry. And made these delicious chewy granola bars. I have been meaning to make my own granola bars since forever. However, time has been scarce lately (especially for experimenting in the kitchen!) and I just haven’t gotten around to it. I haven’t been buying granola bars lately either, as I’ve been telling myself I will make my own soon. And the time finally came!

These were really easy to make, and just as tasty (if not more so!) than even the best store-bought brands. Plus I know exactly what went in them, and that’s always a plus. :)

In terms of what ingredients you want to add in, the options really are endless. Here’s how you start:

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup agave (can substitute honey)

1/3 cup coconut oil (can substitute melted butter)

2 cups gluten-free oats (I like Udi’s!)

1/3 cup favorite nut or nut/seed mix (slivered almods, toasted pecans, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.)

1/3 cup favorite dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with butter

3) Beat egg in large mixing bowl

4) Add in peanut butter, brown sugar, and agave

5) Add in coconut oil, oats, nuts, and fruit

6) Stir to combine and fold in chocolate chips (if using)

7) Pour onto baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread mixture evenly, pressing down as you go.

8) Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown

9) Remove from oven and let cool for at least an hour before cutting. NOTE: If you try and cut them up while still warm, the bars will fall apart!

10) Cut into squares or rectangles (or whatever you prefer), and enjoy!

11) Store leftovers in airtight container or bag


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These ones are made with slivered almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, currants, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. Yum!

Make Your Own: Gluten-free Chewy Granola Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Delicious, gluten-free chewy granola bars that are so simple to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup agave (can substitute honey)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil (can substitute melted butter)
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • ⅓ cup favorite nut or nut/seed mix (slivered almods, toasted pecans, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.)
  • ⅓ cup favorite dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with butter
  3. Beat egg in large mixing bowl
  4. Add in peanut butter, brown sugar, and agave
  5. Add in coconut oil, oats, nuts/seeds, and fruit
  6. Stir to combine and fold in chocolate chips (if using)
  7. Pour onto baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread mixture evenly, pressing down as you go.
  8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for at least an hour before cutting. NOTE: If you try and cut them up while still warm, the bars will fall apart!
  10. Cut into squares or rectangles (or whatever you prefer), and enjoy!
  11. Store leftovers in airtight container or bag