After a long summer vacation to Europe, complete with gelato, pastries and wine at every meal, my husband and I decided to go on a strict paleo detox upon our return home. These days I continue to try and keep sweets to a minimum but when I do crave a little treat these gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free truffles, with no added sugar, are the perfect answer. They’re so tasty I almost forget that they’re actually good for me.
These cacao balls (am I the only one who can’t say “cacao” without thinking of Portlandia?) were originally inspired by Oh, Ladycakes’ Raw Cacao Truffles. I modified the recipe a little to include coconut, followed up with a sexy bite of cayenne. If you’re dubious let me reassure you that sweet and spicy is a perfect combination. In food and in life.
Here’s the recipe:
2 cups raw almonds
1/4 cup cacao powder, plus more for coating
1 cup coconut flakes, divided
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on how badass you are
12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 15 minutes
1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat and from a can OR water
In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the coconut flakes until they’re in small enough flakes to work for coating the truffles. Set aside 1/2 cup for coating – leave the rest in the processor. Add the almonds, cacao powder and salt to the blended coconut chips. Blend into a fine meal. Add the dates and pulse until combined. Add the water and pulse until a batter starts to form. Using a small cookie scoop, drop the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 25-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and roll into round balls, then coat half the truffles with cacao powder and the other half with the ground up coconut chips – you can sprinkle additional cayenne on top if you can handle it. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or the freezer for long-term – or eat all of them immediately, if you so desire. Serve chilled.
Yield: approximately 24 truffles
Kathleen Shannon is an art director turned free-spirited champion for the small creative entrepreneur through her business show co-owns with her sister, Braid Creative & Consulting. Her don’t-just-dream-it-do-it style pervades everything from her clothes, to her home, to her food. She’ll follow a whim from painting larger-than-life stripes in her living room hallway, to trekking the foothills of Mount Everest – just to have a good story to tell.