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…
- Done in 20 minutes
- A one bowl wonder
- Filled with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, protein, vitamin E, and healthy polyunsaturated fats
- Sweet, sour and oh so delicately spiced
- Super forgiving so you can use whatever nuts/seeds, dried fruit and spices you have on hand
- So easy your 2 year old could make them, and
- Even nan will be impressed
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:
- White Chocolate Christmas Cake
- Pomegranate Cauliflower Couscous Salad
- Roasted Garlic Hummus with Vege Platters
- Summer Strawberry Cheesecake
- Tamari, Sesame and Karengo Almonds
- Raw Beetroot Salad
- Mango & Turmeric Cheesecake
- Italian Broccoli Salad
- Chocolate Raspberry Tart
- Pesto Potato Salad
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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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 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
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until they stick together when pressed, but still have a little bit of texture. Roll into teaspoon sized balls with wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to your fingers, then put in the freezer to set.
- Melt cacao butter and mix with the rest of the chocolate ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Dip truffles into the chocolate with two teaspoons (see the photos above for my methodology!) and place in mini muffin tins to set (not 100% necessary, but helps to keep any errant chocolate in a nice concentric circle).
- Sprinkle with bee pollen, spirulina and beetroot powder if desired, then put in the freezer for at least an hour to set.
- If you’re short on time, or chocolate topping ingredients, you can substitute this for a melted bar of good quality dark chocolate (the Loving Earth 85% is my personal favourite, you can check it out here.)
- To make these nut free, simply replace the nuts with a blend of sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or watermelon seeds – or whatever you have to hand.
- You can use whatever dried fruit you have in the pantry too – a combination of cranberries, prunes and sultanas would also be lovely in this recipe.
- Likewise, if you don’t have all these spices available, just use whatever you have. As long as there’s some cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and a touch of mixed spice/clove/turmeric, they’ll taste like Christmas.
- Another festive idea for toppings which some readers have tried is to sprinkle with desiccated coconut too – like snow flakes!
- These truffles are only very mildly spiced (to keep everyone happy), but if you prefer more zing you could easily double the spice quantities for an extra zesty truffle experience. My suggestion – blend using the above measures first, then add extra if you desire!
- Any leftover melted chocolate, pour and spread thinly onto a baking tray, sprinkle with more festive toppings (any of the dried fruits/nuts in the recipe), and place in the freezer to set. Once set break into shards and store in the fridge, for a delicious Christmas chocolate bark!
- I’ve used mini muffin tins to keep any dripping chocolate in a nice concentric circle, but you could also just place these on baking paper if you don’t have the tins.
- These can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months – I love them straight from the freezer so they’re extra firm and chewy.