I am addicted to these truffles. Seriously, so good. I made the first batch of 22 earlier this week, and by the evening that figure had whittled itself down to 8. Granted Tony and Mila ate 3 and 2 respectively, but where did those other 9 go…? In any case, I trust it means you’re going to love them too. They’re the perfect thing to make and give as Christmas gifts, to have in the freezer for when guests come around, or to take to lunch on the big day. Reminiscent of traditional Christmas cake, that's gotten all grown up with a dip of decadent dark chocolate, and without the 6 hour+ wait time a regular Christmas cake might take. If you’ve been wanting to add something fruit cakey/pudding-y/mince tarty to your December menu, but don’t want to put in the time (or because nan does that Xmas cake way better anyway), then you have to try these beauties.
These Spiced Chocolate Truffles are…
Whilst the ingredient list might look a little long at first, there are really just 4 easy parts to them - nuts (or seeds if you’re nut free), dried fruit, spices, and of course that chocolate. I highly recommend booking this one in for at least one of your Christmas do’s this season (because let’s be real, I know you have multiple booked in the calendar). I’ve also included down below a list of my top 10 recipes for Christmas, as many of you have asked for them! So grab your processor, your kitchen helper, and let’s get truffling.
Relax your muscles and heart with Magnesium
The coating of these delicious truffles is made with none other than my favourite cacao. I’ve spoken about cacao many times before (read this post for a full run down), and it’s one of my most regularly used ingredients. In fact, I’ve just done a search of our Recipe Index on the blog here, and there are no less than 32 recipes with this star food – 33 including this one! Raw organic cacao powder, like this one I’ve used here from BioBalance, has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, is the highest plant-based source of iron (three times more than red meat), has 30% more calcium than cow’s milk, is a natural source of mood boosting serotonin and dopamine, and contains over a quarter of your daily magnesium in just a single 20g serving.
So magnesium, you’ve no doubt heard of it before, but what’s it good for? Magnesium is one of the six major minerals we need in our bodies, alongside calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and chlorine. These minerals are different to their more commonly known vitamin cousins, but equally as important for optimal functioning. Magnesium in particular is required for energy production, muscle contraction and relaxation, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure management, nerve function, bone strength, protein synthesis, and is a catalytic cofactor for more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body.
Many people with muscle aches or sleep onset/maintenance issues find these to be alleviated by increasing the magnesium in their diet. Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium to allow our muscles to contract optimally, then also relax. Without magnesium, you might find your muscles are in a constant state of hypercontraction and can’t rest – which can be compounded if you have high stress levels (aka fear). So our cacao helps in two ways here – to relax us via the serotonin/dopamine content, as well as assist our muscles to chill out and rest. I love having something cacao based (like these truffles) in the evenings as find it very relaxing, but if you are sensitive to caffeine (which cacao does contain), you might like to have your cacao based treats in the afternoon instead. Regardless, you are going to love these!
Outside of these delicious cacao coated truffles, magnesium is also found abundantly in other plant-based foods such as green veges (eg. spinach, silverbeet, kale), legumes/beans/pulses (eg tofu, tempeh, peanuts, lentils), whole grains (oats, brown rice, wheat bran or whole wheat, barley), nuts (almonds, cashews) and spices. So with the nuts, spices and cacao in these, we're in fact getting a triple-Mg hit.
All these truffles require is a quick blitz in your food processor or blender, roll them into balls, then dip in your gorgeous homemade chocolate coating. Sprinkle with some festively coloured toppings of choice – I’ve used BioBalance’s beetroot powder, spirulina, and sustainably sourced bee pollen for a red, green and gold effect. As well as an added nutrient boost.
I would love love love to hear if you make these – they’re truly such an easy and rewarding treat. And for that top 10 list of Christmas recipes I promised, here are my picks for the season:
And these Spiced Chocolate Truffles! If you try them out, leave me a comment below, share your creations on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, or on my Facebook page here. I love seeing your food, and would love to see a peek of these in your Christmas celebrations!
Have an amazing week, remember to breath and enjoy the season. And as long as you eat a plant-based whole foods diet at least 80% of the time, you’ll feel simply amazing.
Til next week, stay happy and well.
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Makes 22 mini truffles
Takes 20 minutes
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c brazil nuts
1/2 c desiccated coconut
1/4 c sour cherries
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c dried apricots
1/4 c dates
2 dried figs (stalks cut off, quartered)
Zest of 1 orange
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch clove powder (optional)
Large pinch sea salt
1/4 c cacao powder
1/4 c cacao butter (melted)
2 tsp liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, brown rice malt syrup or yacon syrup)
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
Pinch sea salt
OR 1 block dark chocolate melted (80-100g)
Spirulina, beetroot powder and bee pollen to top
These deliciously dark and mysterious tarts are just a little bit special, with a secret ingredient. Modestly sweet, with an earthy, nutty flavour- a lovely change from the usual fruity/chocolate affairs - give them a go, and fall in love!
These light and fruity muffins use one of my favourite fruits – feijoas! If you’re a feijoa fan you’ll love these (and if not, come to NZ to try them). Best of all, they have no added sugar – just the natural sweetness of feijoas, coconut, dates, and vanilla.