Monday, January 12, 2015

Raw Vegan Nut-free Oil-free Cacao Truffles

Yes, you read that right.  Low-fat chocolate?  Did hell just freeze?  Possibly.  It's been pretty cold around here.  When the lady hormones kick into high gear and all I want to eat is rich, creamy chocolate, I have to get creative. We all know that raw cacao has plenty of health properties, but when you have to make candies by adding oils or nuts, it can get pretty heavy and calorie-dense.  Now, I'm not one to count calories, but I do like to go light on my digestive system, especially since I've been juicing a bunch lately.  When I received my latest ten-pound box of medjool dates from, I had an idea.  And it was a good one!  If you are looking for a low-guilt alternative to the standard chocolate bar, enjoy these... Lots of these. 

Raw Vegan Nut-Free, Oil-free Cacao Truffles
Makes 20-25 truffles

12-15 soft medjool dates (you could use a harder variety of date soaked for an hour or so in warm water, just drain the water before processing.)
4 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp plant-based milk
Shredded coconut for rolling (or other toppings such as crushed walnuts, cacao powder, etc)

Add the dates to a food processor and pulse until a ball forms.  Open the processor and break the date ball apart leaving pieces evenly spaced around the blade.  Then, add the cacao powder, vanilla, and salt.  Replace the lid and pulse again until you see that the moisture has broken into small crumbles.  At that point, as the processor is running, add just enough milk to turn the mixture into a smooth and creamy texture.  Once the texture is smooth, you're ready to form into balls, but wet your hands first to keep it from sticking.  Prep a bowl for rolling your balls into the coconut or other toppings.  I just put a few tablespoons of coconut in a small bowl.  I scooped about one teaspoon of the truffle mixture at a time and rolled into a ball between my palms before dropping into the coconut and rolling around to coat.  Once coated, place on a parchment-lined plate and refrigerate.  They will be very soft, but once cooled, they will firm up and be the perfect rich and creamy texture that we all love our truffles to have.  

The most difficult part of this recipe is not eating them all at once.  Holy geez, they're amazing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Favorite Green Juice Recipe

If you've been following me on Instagram, you've probably noticed that I drink a lot of fresh vegetable juice.  I love how I feel when I get that big glass of nutrient-dense liquid down my trap first thing in the morning.  I have tons of energy, and my body just feels good.  I can drink a juice and not get hungry for hours.  It's amazing what happens when your body is fueled on nutrients instead of sugar.  Lately, I've been trying to drink two juices per day, so I usually make a green one for the morning and a a root vegetable based juice for later in the day.  That way, I'm getting lots of variety, which means more vitamins and minerals.  My favorite green juice is easy and quick to prepare, yet also tastes great.  This can also be a very cost-effective juice that anyone can make.  

My Favorite Green Juice

1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
2 apples, any variety
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 cup fresh parsley
2-3 cups kale, or any green you like

I made this one today using dandelion greens with the kale.  I made a trip to Whole Foods yesterday and decided to be adventurous with some new green leafy veggies.  There was a tinge of bitterness from the dandelion, but I really didn't mind.  I love trying new stuff.  Give this a try and see if you love it as much as I do.