As summer ended, I found it difficult to stay motivated and stick to my exercise routine and diet. Lacking energy, craving sweets, and as a result, not getting all needed nutrition made me feel even more powerless and guilty. The way to fuel my body and keep my cravings under control was out there somewhere—I just was not able to see it. Then, completely by mistake, I soaked dates instead of dried figs to make my favorite stuffed figs candies. Obviously, I had an urgent need to use them somehow—and this recipe came alive.
There are uncountable recipes for truffles and similar bites on the Internet. Yet many make the center of the candy soft. Although that is completely understandable, I actually like biting a truffle and even chewing it a little. I notice that I feel full faster and eat less when I chew sweets rather than when I regale myself with sorbet or something similar. That is why I made these truffles a little crunchy.
Another reason why I like them firmer is that they don’t smash easily. You can take them to a gym or on a trip in a plastic bag. They do not need to be refrigerated at all times (although I find them tastier when they are chilled).
So why did I mention my lack of energy earlier, and what do dates have to do with it? First, they are sweet, and sweets make us alert. Second, they are a great source for muscle development. Dates are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are useful for preventing abdominal cancer, suppressing hunger, and regulating digestive processes. They are also helpful for heart problems, anemia, and many other issues. I always have dates in my kitchen for smoothies, date sugar for baking, and date paste for desserts. Chopped dates can substitute for chocolate in frozen desserts (I know that is going to make some mamas very happy). Honestly, I even eat dates when I crave something sweet or simply want a snack but have nothing else handy.
One more ingredient worth mentioning here is cacao nibs. Why do I like cacao nibs? The answer is simple: they are one of the best products to use if you crave chocolate. They are crunchy (nibs are pieces of a crushed cacao bean that are dried out and fermented), so they work well in almost everything: smoothies, baking, oatmeal, ice cream—you can even eat them by themselves. And like any other chocolaty product, they are mood changers. Just 1 ounce of nibs provides 18 percent of the daily value for fiber and 21 percent for iron. Those who live a meat-free life should definitely appreciate the last number. I do! They are not as sweet as processed chocolate, so nibs do not make your sugar level spike and then drop significantly. Just remember, because it is still a cacao bean, it does contain caffeine, so children, pregnant women, and others who try to stay away from caffeine should be cautious.
OK, let’s stop talking and make some truffles! Of course, the main ingredients are highlighted; others feel free to substitute.
200 g dates, pits removed
35 g cacao nibs
35 g unsweetened shredded coconut
35 g hazelnuts
Unsweetened shredded coconut for coating
Cocoa powder for coating
- Soak dates in boiled water for 10 minutes.
- Cut dates into small pieces and transfer to a bowl.
- Chop hazelnuts into rough pieces.
- Add nibs, coconut, and hazelnuts into the bowl with the dates.
- Using your hands, mix all ingredients together, making sure they are incorporated into one mass.
- Form fairly evenly sized truffles with your hands.
- Divide the truffles in three groups.
- Roll the first group in cacao powder, making sure each truffle is equally covered with powder, and then place them on a chopping board or a plate.
- Roll the second group in shredded coconut and add to the cocoa-coated truffles.
- Leave the remaining truffles without coating, and add the rest on the chopping board or plate.
- Place your truffles in the fridge for a couple of hours, and enjoy!
This seriously takes 20 minutes to make, including soaking time! It is easy, it is yummy, and it is healthy! I now make them every time my husband and I are going on a car trip or a hike. And I also make sure to have plenty on hand to enjoy when we are back home from our travels. Cheers!