Guest/Healthy Food for Living: Dried Fruit & Nut Truffle Recipes

| April 18, 2011

Dearest Readers, please welcome our newest guest contributor, Ms. Lauren from Healthy Food for Living.  She has come to us with the most delectable recipes and a food philosophy that resonates with Zomppa.  We are sure you will find Lauren’s recipes and perspective refreshing & awe-inspiring.

Hello Zomppa readers! My name is Lauren and I blog over at Healthy Food For Living. I strive to find a balance between the two basic food philosophies of “eat to live” and “live to eat“.  I believe that food should be (and is!) one of the great pleasures of leading a healthy lifestyle. I am drawn to the eating habits instilled in me by my health-conscious parents; gravitating towards unprocessed foods and cooking with fresh ingredients. My goal is to make food that is simultaneously wholesome and delicious, and my blog is the main vehicle through which I share my love of healthful foods with others.

A prime example of a food that is both healthy and delicious is my burgeoning array of dried fruit and nut “truffles”. Comprised mainly of raw nuts and naturally sweet dried fruit, these truffles are tasty enough to satisfy a dessert craving but healthy enough to enjoy at any time of day. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I have a near insatiable sweet tooth, but I prefer to steer clear of processed sugars. The natural sugars in dried fruit won’t cause your energy to plummet, as it would if you feed your body white table sugar.

The nuts in these truffles provide a healthy dose of fat and protein, and the no-sugar-added dried fruit contributes both a sweet flavor and delightful chewy texture. If you have a food processor, the truffles couldn’t be easier to make! The process is as simple as whirring together the nuts and dried fruit, and tossing in the additional ingredients called for in each recipe.

I think you’ll be surprised at how similar each truffle tastes to its respective indulgent inspiration. You could have Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough, Apple Crisp, or Blueberry Coconut Pie as your next dessert; each in a two-bite, decadent-tasting, healthy truffle!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Yield: 10 truffles


Ingredients:
•    1/2 cup raw (or dry-roasted) unsalted peanuts
•    1/2 cup raw (or dry-roasted) unsalted cashews
•    6 large soft Medjool dates, pitted
•    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
•    1/2 tsp Kosher salt
•    2 Tbsp grain sweetened chocolate chips, such as Sunspire, coarsely chopped

Directions:
1.    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peanuts and cashews. Process until finely crumbled – mixture will resemble coarsely ground flour. Remove from food processor bowl and set aside.
2.    Place dates, vanilla extract, and salt into the food processor bowl, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add the ground nuts to the date paste and process until the mixture comes together to form a crumbly “dough”. Remove mixture from food processor.
3.    Knead the chopped chocolate chips into the dough by hand, until well-incorporated. Form mixture into a large ball and refrigerate for about 5-10 minutes.
4.    When the dough has chilled for a bit, take it out of the fridge and roll into 10 balls.
5.    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Truffles
Yield: 10 truffles

Ingredients:
•    3/4 cup raw (or dry-roasted) unsalted cashews
•    1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
•    1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp raisins, divided
•    3 large pitted Medjool dates
•    1 tsp ground cinnamon
•    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
•    1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Directions:
1.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cashews and rolled oats. Process until finely crumbled – mixture will resemble coarsely ground flour. Remove from food processor bowl and set aside.
2.  Place 1/3 cup raisins, dates, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt into the food processor bowl, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add the ground nut & oat mixture to the raisin & date paste and process until the mixture comes together to form a crumbly “dough”. Remove mixture from food processor and place in a mixing bowl. “Knead” in the 2 Tbsp raisins until evenly distributed.
3.   Form mixture into a large ball and refrigerate for about 5-10 minutes.
4.    When the dough has chilled for a bit, take it out of the fridge and roll into 10 balls.
5.    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Apple Crisp Truffles

Yield: 8 truffles

Ingredients:
•    heaping 1/4 cup chopped soft Medjool dates (about 3 pitted dates)
•    heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apple rings, preferably unsweetened & unsulfured (about 4 full rings)
•    1/3 cup raw pecan or walnut pieces
•    1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
•    1/2 tsp apple pie spice
•    1/4 cup finely chopped raw pecans or walnuts

Directions:

1.    Place chopped dates and dried apples into the bowl of a food processor, and process until they form a chunky paste, about 20-30 seconds.
2.    Place 1/3 cup pecan pieces into the food processor bowl along with the dried fruit paste, and process until mixed, about 10-20 seconds.
3.    Add the applesauce and apple pie spice to the mixture. Process until incorporated, about 10-20 seconds. Remove mixture from food processor.
4.    Form 6-8 small balls out of the mixture by rolling them between your palms. Set aside.
5.    Place the 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans onto a cutting board or plate and roll the balls around in the nuts until fully coated.
6.    Once again, roll the balls between your palms so that the nuts adhere and create a “crust”.
7.    Store in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Coconut Pie Truffles
Yield: 8 truffles


Ingredients:
•    heaping 1/4 cup chopped soft Medjool dates (about 3 pitted dates)
•    heaping 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp dried blueberries, (preferably unsweetened & unsulfured), divided
•    heaping 1/3 cup raw cashews
•    1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:
1.    Place chopped dates and heaping 1/4 cup dried blueberries into the bowl of a food processor, and process until they form a chunky paste, about 20-30 seconds.
2.    Place cashews into the food processor bowl along with the dried fruit paste, and process until mixed, about 10-20 seconds. Remove mixture from food processor.
3.    “Knead” the remaining 1 Tbsp dried blueberries into the dough, until well-incorporated. The mixture will be sticky.
4.    Form 8 small balls out of the mixture by rolling them between your palms. Set aside.
5.    Place the shredded coconut onto a cutting board or plate and roll the balls around in the coconut until fully coated.
6.    Once again, roll the balls between your palms so that the coconut adheres and creates a “crust”.
7.    Store in the refrigerator.

 

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Category: Dessert, Featured Articles: Health & Nutrition, Health & Nutrition, Recipe Vault

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Comments (13)

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  1. Cakewhiz says:

    these truffles looks splendid! i love the variety and i am dying to grab the blueberry coconut one and pop it in my mouth! mmmmmmm! lol

  2. Nutty and delicious! I could eat a few now!

  3. claudia lamascolo says:

    Good lord these look so good and what a bonus they are healthy! Great post!

  4. a Nordn'Ireland dad says:

    Look really great, Lauren. Your description and recipes really tempt my taste buds. Can ship some over the pond this way any time.

  5. Sommer says:

    What a wonderful little snack. My kids would LOVE these.

  6. Juliana says:

    Oh! All of the truffles look fabulous, nutty and fruity…this is the kind of treats that I like. Have a great week :-)

  7. Steph says:

    This has me convinced for sure now, dates are my new secret sweet tooth weapon. Great recipes! Can’t wait to try!

  8. Amanda says:

    These are fantastic! I just salivated through your post. I’m going to make some of these for my 6 year old’s lunch box. Thank you!!!!

  9. I love truffles made with a good dose of dates! These remind me of some famous Saudi truffles that I made and the variations with the nuts are delightful, adding a welcome crunch to an otherwise (perhaps) overly sweet goodie. Great post, thanks for the ideas.

  10. Jason says:

    I’d like to have one each of those with my coffee in the morning!

    Great post and thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop 44.

  11. Lauren says:

    I’m thrilled that you all enjoyed the post! I have some other flavor combination ideas brewing, so you can expect more dried fruit & nut truffles on my blog in the near future :).

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, these look so yummy! Thanks for posting.

  13. Barhi says:

    I guess I just found my next biggest snack. The dried fruit nut tuffle recipe is great, and I am gonna try it out sometime myself.