Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chocolates Without Guilt – Tropical, Chocolate Truffles

Sometimes research presents us with facts we don’t want to hear but every now and then we receive a gift. Like, finding out that chocolate is actually good for us! Anyone who has ever eaten chocolate is familiar with its ability to “lift our moods”. There is also evidence that chocolate can lower high blood pressure. In addition, the flavonoids (polyphenols) in chocolate are very powerful antioxidants which can counteract harmful free radicals. The good news just keeps coming! But before we go buy a bag of snickers bars, you need to know a few factoids:

• Data showed only dark chocolate was effective in lowering blood pressure

• Studies indicate milk may prevent the antioxidant absorption from chocolate so here’s another vote for dark over milk or white chocolate

• Flavonoids are weakened when cacao is processed

• Many chocolate treats are very high in saturated fat and calories so they should be eaten in moderation no matter how good they are for you

I have a recipe that can give you all the benefits of chocolate but none of the guilt. This RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE recipe has no milk, very little saturated fat, ZERO cholesterol and no unnecessary processing of the cacao. It makes a perfect Valentine gift and is VERY AFFORDABLE and easy to make. Compared to a Godiva truffle, our recipe has 75% of the calories, 60% of the fat, only 20% of the saturated fat and twice the fiber at a fraction of the cost.

I have served these guiltless chocolate treats to dozens of people of all ages and food preferences, who gobbled them down and pleaded for the recipe. With all the goodness of these precious morsels, I haven’t been able to remove the calories so if you are trying to lose weight, you will have to restrain yourself to several a day.


Tropical Chocolate Truffles, With Mango And Coconut [makes 28 truffles]

1 ½ cups of raw walnuts
12 pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup of raw cacao
1/3 cup of finely chopped, dried mango*
3 T of raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut (optional)

*Mango can be replaced with other dried fruit, like dried apricots or cherries

Cut dates in half, remove and discard the pits, and set dates aside. Take ¼ cup of walnuts, chop and set aside. Put remaining 1 ¼ cups of walnuts in a food processor with an S blade and process until fine. (In an 11 cup food processor, this will take about 20 seconds). Add the pitted dates and blend until the nuts and dates stick together, around 45 seconds. Add cacao and salt and blend until the mixture is smooth (another 20 seconds). Times may vary depending on the size of the dates and the food processor. Put the mixture into a bowl and, by hand, mix in the chopped mango and chopped walnuts until they are evenly distributed throughout. From this mixture, make about 28 round truffles by shaping and gently rolling them in your hands. After each one is made, roll immediately in shredded coconut. Refrigerate truffles for several hours before serving. They will last for a week in the refrigerator; however, they usually disappear long before that!

Each truffle has 81 calories, 4.6 g of fat, .8 g of saturated fat, NO cholesterol, 1.3 g of protein, 10.7 g of carbohydrate and 1.8 g of fiber.

No comments: