Today I’m traveling to London to spend the weekend geeking out with other food bloggers from around Europe at Food Blogger Connect. I need to thank, so much, Steenbergs Organic for sending me to the conference; it would have otherwise been prohibitively expensive on my student budget, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go.
Although the flight from Stockholm to London isn’t a particularly long one, when you factor in taking the train out to the airport, waiting, flying, and then the trek across London to get to my sister’s flat, it’s a good 6-7 hours of travel. I always like to pack snacks when I travel to avoid paying for expensive and usually crappy food along the way. I’ll be packing these chocolate date truffles and some stove-top popped corn for travel snacks.
These chocolate date truffles are the perfect marriage of three of my favourite travel snacks: nuts, fruit, and chocolate. There are a lot of different versions out there, and you can certainly switch things up to suit your personal tastes and dietary needs. I love the intense chocolateyness this version, with the occasional salty crunch from a touch of coarse sea salt. They’re sweetened only with dates, and bound together with ground almonds and unsweetened shredded coconut. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and I’m pretty sure they’re also paleo friendly.
Chocolate Date Truffles Recipe:
The recipe I adapted these from started not with raw almonds, but with almond butter. If you don’t have raw almonds on hand and would rather use almond or peanut butter, reduce the amount to 1/3 cup.
Makes about 15 truffles, depending on how big or small you roll them.
Recipe adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
1/2 cup raw almonds
20 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 1/2 cup more for rolling
1/3 plus 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse several times to break them up, then let it run for a few minutes to grind them into a fine powder. Add the dates and vanilla, and again pulse to break the dates up, then let the processor run for 30 seconds or so. Add coconut, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse until well combined. The mixture should be slightly crumbly but should keep together easily when you press it together with your hands. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a small amount of water and pulse to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more coconut.
Spread 1/2 cup coconut onto a plate. Scoop tablespoons of the date mixture into your hand and roll them into smooth balls. Roll the balls in the coconut, then place on a plate or sheet of parchment.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats – this is a healthy fat when consumed in moderation, the same type as is found in olive oil. Almonds are also a good source of manganese, vitamin E (which has antioxidant properties) and magnesium. Dates are a great source of natural sweetness, are rich in antioxidant polyphenols, dietary fiber, potassium, and manganese. Coconut is contains saturated fats, which, for ages were demonized as being ‘bad fat’s. Current research indicates there are actually different types of saturated fats, and some types of saturated fats, including those found in coconut, are good for you. Raw Cocoa is antioxidant rich, and the flavanoid content appears to be helpful in protecting blood vessel linings and thus preventing high blood pressure.
These Chocolate Date Truffles are made from energy dense whole foods. Here is nutritional info per date ball if you make the recipe into 15 balls: 130 calories, 3.6 g fat, 3.6 g dietary fiber, 2.0 g protein. Everything in moderation.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012