You may be asking, how can truffles be healthy? And with good reason. Normally, truffles are buttery, silky smooth balls of intense chocolate. They melt in your mouth and overwhelm you with their richness. They embody indulgence.
People in grad school tend to do a lot of stress eating. (Although, let's face it, I've always been a stress eater anyway, so I can't blame it entirely on grad school.) Truffles, and chocolate in general, are an obvious default candidate for those frenzied hours of studying and snacking. So I am in an ongoing quest to make my stress eating a little less awful by developing healthier versions of some of my favorite snacks. My friend Sarah (whose adorable children I babysit) and I have been tweaking this recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough balls a little bit each time we make them, which is often (her kids devour them as quickly as she makes them.) Sarah had the brilliant idea to add cocoa powder to the regular version to make a sort of "brownie bite," and from there, we just kept tweaking until this version came about. In my chocolate-addled state of mind, I decided to take it a step further and roll them in cocoa powder (just to add to the chocolate quotient). And, ta-da! Truffles.
I brought some of these to school with me to share with some of my classmates, who loved them. One friend said that the texture was great because it really fools you into thinking you're eating a truffle; another said they were simply amazing overall. The best part is how quickly and easily you can whip up a batch because it's truly just a matter of throwing all of the ingredients into your food processor and hitting "blend." And you can't really mess these up because you can always tweak them by adding a little more of one ingredient or a little less of another until you find the combination and texture you personally like. The recipe is very forgiving in that way. And if you don't feel like rolling them into balls, just put the mixture in a bowl and eat it with a spoon. I won't tell (because I've definitely done that before).
So go ahead. Indulge. Because now, it's healthy.
7 Trader Joe's Fancy Medjool Dates (with pits removed)
1/3 cup cashews
1/4 cup gluten-free oats
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp. Marshmallow Fluff or Vegan Ricemellow Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 tbsp. pure cocoa powder + 1 tbsp. for rolling truffles
1-4 tbsp. So Delicious Coconut Milk, as needed
1 tbsp. granulated sugar (for rolling truffles - optional)
Place the dates (be sure to remove the pits!), cashews, oats, vanilla, coconut, Fluff, and cocoa powder in a food processor and blend on the highest speed. When the food processor seems to have done as much as it can with those ingredients, start adding the So Delicious Coconut Milk one tablespoon at a time. You want these to be very creamy so the texture is like the inside of a truffle, but still firm enough that you can roll them into balls. Continue to pulse on the highest speed so that they are as well-blended as possible.
On a plate, combine the 1 tbsp. cocoa powder and the 1 tbsp. sugar (you can leave the sugar out if you want, although they will taste slightly more bitter). (If the mixture is too thin, you can put it in the fridge for a little while to harden it up before you roll it into balls.) Remove the chocolate mixture by tablespoonful and roll into balls with your hands, and then roll in the cocoa and sugar mixture to coat. Place on a plate. Refrigerate them for at least two hours before removing them to a container where they are touching each other. Eat as needed.