Bliss balls, energy bites, vegan truffles... whatever you want to call them, I'm teaching you how to make them! I snack on these little nuggets all throughout the day - especially before a workout or after a long day of farming - and they're the best + tastiest boost of energy without the sugar crash an hour later. All you need is a food processor and a few key ingredients, and once you get the hang of it, I encourage you to switch up the spice / flavor combinations to whatever strikes your fancy.
Today I'm sharing my one of favorite Energy Truffle recipes inspired by the flavors of fall - Cacao, Cardamom + Orange Zest - but first, I'm going to geek out and dig into each of the superfood ingredients in these truffles, so you'll be even more inspired to hop into the kitchen and whip up a batch ASAP !
Recipes certainly vary, but here are some of the standard Energy Truffle ingredients & some of their nutritional benefits:
- Dates are a great source of several key vitamins and minerals, and they are high in fiber, which slows the introduction of sugar into the bloodstream and prevents sugar crashes. Dates are also naturally rich in carbohydrates, making them an excellent source of energy.
- Almonds are an awesome source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. Both raw and roasted almonds pack a high dose of nutrients and minerals. Roasted almonds have actually been found to be easier for our bodies to digest, but just try to avoid almonds roasted in excess oils and/or salt.
- Cacao powder is one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature, and is especially high in magnesium and iron. To make cacao powder, cacao beans are milled at low temperature to protect the nutrients and flavor. Separated from the oily cacao butter, cacao powder is also a concentrated form of healthy dietary fiber. Cacao is slightly different from unsweetened cocoa powder - both come from the same cocoa bean, but cocoa power is processed at a higher temperature theremore some of the nutrients are lost during processing. In my opinion, cacao powder is best but can easily be swapped 1:1 with unsweetened cocoa powder (which is typically easier to find in grocery stores).
- Chia seeds are one of the most digestible plant proteins, an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds contain all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein that our bodies need to building and repairing tissues and cells in our bodies. Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning the seeds actually absorb liquid and form a gel, which make them especially useful as a thickening agent in smoothies, pudding, and overnight oats.
- The highly digestible protein in hemp also includes all 9 essential amino acids which our bodies cannot produce, making it an complete source of plant-based protein. Hemp seeds are also a plentiful source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Although it is a 90% saturated fat, coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easier to digest and are converted into energy rather than stored in your body as fat. There are tons of different kinds of coconut oil - I recommend purchasing organic raw unprocessed extra virgin coconut oil.
CACAO, ORANGE ZEST & CARDAMOM ENERGY TRUFFLES
Makes about 20 truffles
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- Kosher salt to taste
- Optional toppings: ground pistachios, ground almonds, unsweetened coconut
If your dates are dry or still, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain well and pat dry.
Place almonds in a food processor and process until nearly the consistency of almond meal. Next, add the dates and pulse until the dates are in very small pieces and fully combined with the ground almonds.
Next add the cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, orange zest, vanilla extract, cardamom and a pinch of kosher salt. Pulse to combine, stopping occasionally to push the mixture down, and pulse until very smooth and fully blended. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water. Don't rush this part, as it can take up to 2-3 minutes of blending - you want everything to come together in a ball in the food processor. Taste adjust seasoning if needed.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. With a spoon or tablespoon, scoop the mixture and roll into balls - make them as big or as small as you'd like. At this point, you can also roll the truffles around in an assortment of toppings: finely chopped nuts, shredded coconut, cacao powder, etc.
Enjoy immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.