I've had a lovely week, it was my birthday and I was spoilt rotten with flowers, chocolate and Prosecco, three of my favourite things!
I have to admit the after effects of too much chocolate and wine are not great but sometimes worth it!
So I thought I'd share one of my favourite healthy chocolate truffle recipes. These truffles are delicious, pretty much free of everything bad for you, incredibly quick and easy to make. In fact they are so delicious it's hard to believe they are packed full of healthy ingredients.
They are a perfect wee sweet treat to end a meal, and make a fabulous last minute Christmas gift for a health conscious friend.!
These truffles are vegan so dairy free, contain no saturated fat or added sugar. All the sweetness comes from the dates and coconut, both natural ingredients with health benefits.
I love dates, they are deliciously sweet and although they are fairly high in sugar, they more than make up for it with the dazzling array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, supporting health on so many levels.
The walnuts and sunflower seeds add protein, fibre, minerals and omega 3 fats so these truffles can definitely be enjoyed guilt free!
Medjool dates are the king of dates and are sweet, caramelly and moist and are always my first choice. Deglet Nour Dates are also delicious. Lidl are selling them for £1 a bag just now and they are also pitted which saves you precious time! It's well worth having a few bags on standby. Some of the dates are really quite dry and need to be soaked before you can use them and they are never sweet or sticky enough, don't buy them!
You really need a food processor to make these. The dates need to be blitzed to a paste, although I guess at a push you could use a hand blender. Dates are so sticky though you would have to do it in batches and blitz the nuts and seeds first. Always make sure there are no stones in your dates, that could wreck your processor. Another point to note, for those of you lucky enough to own a Vitamix, don't use it for dates! They are just too sticky and there was a horrible burning smell from mine when I tried it
You have been warned!
If you have any sweet superfood powders like lacuma or maca, you can add a spoonful to up the health benefits even more. Chia seeds are also a good addition!
These truffles are best kept in the fridge to firm them up. I'm not too sure how long they will keep, ours are always scoffed within a few days, but I guess they would be fine for a week or so!
Preparation: 30 minutes
Makes: 20 bite size truffles
. ......your health in your hands......
I had another OMG moment this week when I finally got around to trying out this 2 ingredient chocolate mousse!
Why is it magical, you may ask?
Well one of the ingredients is the liquid from a tin of butter beans!
Yes you read that right !! It's called aquafaba in foodie circles and literally translates as bean water!
A rather smart french chef noticed that bean water had a similar consistency to egg whites so he whipped it up and Voila, it formed perfect peaks exactly like egg whites!
Now this is very good news for vegans and folks with an egg allergy!
Meringues, macaroons and the most deliciously light chocolate mousse are now on the menu!
Now I was a bit sceptical and thought the bean water would impart a beany taste but it didn't at all!
I thought I'd start with the simplest recipe I could find and it doesn't get much simpler than this chocolate mousse and I have to admit, it is absolutely delicious, fluffy, chocolatey, light and airy!
You really have to try it out, it's truly magical!
I used a bar of dark chocolate with orange but you could use any good quality chocolate. I'm thinking that chocolate mint would be a great and I'll be trying that next!
So impress your friends and family with this most delicious and healthy dessert this Christmas!
Oh I forgot to say, you can use the butter beans in Broccoli, Spinach & Bean Soup so nothing is wasted. I detest food waste and this is a great way of using everything!!
So here is the recipe........enjoy!
MAGICAL CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Makes 6 small or 4 medium dishes
1 100g bar of chocolate, preferably 60 or 70% cocoa solids
1 or 2 tablespoons sweetener, maple syrup or brown rice syrup (optional)
liquid from a tin of butter beans or chickpeas
pinch of sea salt
1. Break the chocolate into pieces and put into a glass bowl. Put the bowl on top of a pot with some boiling water. Keep the water on a gentle simmer and stir the chocolate occasionally until it's fully melted.
At this stage you can add sweetener, if you prefer a sweeter mousse.
Put aside to cool
2.Put the liquid from the beans into a bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and whisk until peaks form. I used my mixer but a hand whisk or a hand blender would also work but will take a little longer. You need the mixture to form stiff peaks. A good test is to turn the bowl upside down and the mixture should stay put! If it slides then its not stiff enough!
3. When the chocolate has cooled a bit, gradually add spoonfuls of the whisked bean mixture and gently fold it into the chocolate. You want to keep as much air as possible to keep the mousse light and fluffy so don't be tempted to beat it too hard. Just be patient and take your time.
4. Pour into nice glasses or ramekin dishes and decorate with cacao nibs, grated chocolate, lemon or orange zest or chopped nuts!
Chill in the fridge for an hour or so.
5. Serve and enjoy!!
...........your health in your hands............
I've just come home from a fantastic wee pre Christmas break to New York with 3 of my lovely girls and we had a fabulous time! So now I'm in the mood for Christmas and will be posting lots of lovely, healthy, recipes to see you through the Festive Period and beyond......!
So I'm kicking off with this delicious Christmas Chocolate Crunch recipe.
This is a real family favourite at any time of year but is ideal to have in your freezer for any unexpected guests over Christmas! The cinnamon and mixed spice gives it a lovely festive flavour and its so easy to make.
This is a really useful recipe: make a batch, break it up and keep it in the freezer. It can be served straight from frozen! It may taste decadent, but the ingredients are all very nutritious!
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, oatcakes provide fibre, seeds and nuts provide protein, minerals and good fats. Goji berries boost the immune system and cinnamon is useful in controlling blood sugar. Coconut oil boosts metabolism and lowers the GI of any food it's cooked or eaten with so this is most definitely a treat you can eat guilt free!!
Here is the recipe, enjoy.....
200g (7oz) dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken into chunks
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
125g (41/2oz) rough oatcakes
50g (2oz) goji berries ( soaked for 10 mins to soften, then dried)
50 (2oz) Brazil nuts, hazelnuts or walnuts, roughly chopped
50g (2oz) pumpkin seeds
2 tsp ground mixed spice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil, stirring occasionally, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
2. Put the oatcakes into a mixing bowl and crumble into small pieces. Stir in the goji berries, nuts, seeds and spices.
3. Stir the nut butter into the melted chocolate and mix until fairly smooth. Stir the chocolate mixture into the remaining ingredients, making sure the ingredients are evenly coated.
4. Spread the mixture over a baking sheet and put in the fridge or freezer to chill and harden. Break into shards or cut into rough pieces when set, ready to serve.
🍃 Health educator🍃