These simple, yet delicious truffles will warm your loved one’s heart and make a great alternative to refined sugar treats usually available in shops around Valentine’s Day. Modern research has shown that cacao (raw, unprocessed cocoa), contains the precursor (Tryptophan), to dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters: responsible for feelings of happiness, love, and reward, making chocolate the ultimate lover’s treat. Cacao (and cocoa) also contain powerful flavonoids (naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants) that provide a potent anti-inflammatory effect; and are also a great source of iron, potassium, and magnesium. Top that off with sweet, yet nutritious, dates, and antioxidant-laden hazelnuts, you’re left with an irresistible (and healthy*), Valentine’s Day treat.
Recipe (Makes 16 truffles)
- 2 x cups (340g) Medjool dates (pitted)
- ½ cup (80g) activated hazelnuts (plus 16 extra for garnish)
- ¼ cup (firmly packed – 30g) raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa (plus extra for rolling)
- 2 tbsp (melted) coconut oil
- 2 tsp LSA powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Place dates, nuts, cacao (or cocoa if using), LSA, coconut oil, vanilla & salt into a food processor and blitz on low for 2-3 minutes until a sticky dough forms.
- Take 1½ tsp of mixture and form into a round disk. Place a hazelnut in the middle of each disc, top with ½ tsp mixture, and roll into 16 even balls using your hands. The hazelnut should sit in the centre of each ball.
- Using a sieve, dust raw cacao (or cocoa if using) onto a clean surface and roll to cover each ball.
- Eat straight away, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition (per truffle):
580kJ (energy), 2g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 13g sugar (from dates), 6.6g total fat, 2.3 saturated fat, 3.2g monounsaturated fat.
* Note: dates have a naturally high sugar content, eat in moderation.