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Chocolate Covered Raspberry and Cashew Truffles

 

 

Yields:  about 24 truffles      

Hands-On Prep Time:  20 minutes (plus 2 hours soaking time for cashews & freezing)     

Total Time:   2.5 hours

 

These decadent bites taste like mini ice cream truffles, yet have only 5 simple ingredients, no refined sugar and are full of nutrition!  Cashews offer healthy fats with no cholesterol and raspberries bring vitamin C and antioxidants to this little treat!  With the right chocolate chips, these truffles can be gluten free and vegan, too.

 

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*

 

1 1/4 cups semi-sweet (can be vegan) chocolate chips

2 teaspoons coconut oil

 

*you may want to use a glycerin based vanilla instead of alcohol, as the food is not cooked.  While safe for consumption, the alcohol flavor can be very strong when not cooked and overpowers the truffles.

 

Directions

1. Cover 1 cup of cashews in water and soak for at least 30 minutes (but not longer than overnight if you forget - which has happened to me when I plan to make these, and then something comes up!)

 

2. When nuts have been soaked and are soft, drain and place in food processor with 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries (frozen helps keep the truffles cold), 3 tablespoons maple syrup and vanilla.  Pulse until forms a smooth paste.  Again, the longer the cashews are soaked, the less chunky the paste will be.  Some prefer a coarser texture as well.

 

 

3. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of raspberry mixture into a ball and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray.  Continue until all of mixture is used.

 

4. Freeze mini balls for at least an hour until they are hard. 

 

5. When the truffle balls are frozen, remove from freezer.  In a saucepan, heat 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips on low and add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, continuing to stir.  When chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat.

 

6. Using a fork (sometimes two at a time is helpful), roll mini truffle balls in the melted chocolate and place back on parchment paper lined tray.  This is a timely process, as the balls will start to melt and it is important they stay frozen.  You can also keep the balls on the paper, and simply drizzle the chocolate over them, creating designs of chocolate.

 

7.  When the chocolate coating process is complete, place back in freezer for at least 30 minutes.  Chocolate should be hardened and enjoy!  These little guys are best kept in the freezer, in an airtight container.

 

I’ve been into coating things with chocolate lately.  Eating chocolate on a daily basis is nothing new, but melting it and putting it on fruit to cookies is a new hobby – because I like chocolate.  Have I mentioned this?

 

I always thought it was some challenging process (don’t ask me why) to create melted chocolate.  It’s actually super simple and makes things look really fancy.  The little bit of coconut oil in the saucepan with the chocolate not only helps it from sticking to the pan, but also helps it harden when placed in the freezer.  This way, the chocolate is almost like a chocolate shell.

 

This is one treat where temperature is really important.  The inside of the truffles gets soft easily and while still delicious, it just changes the overall texture.  So, these are not a snack you can just leave out at a party.  If I was serving to guests, I would treat like ice cream, and serve immediately when I want it consumed.  Also, putting them in a dish on a bed of ice is another idea.

 

The nutritional value (aside from the chocolate – although, I firmly believe that chocolate is good for the soul) of these little guys is fantastic.  Raspberries are high in vitamin C and many antioxidants known to support immune health and help decrease inflammation.  Containing no cholesterol, cashews are a nutrient dense nut that boasts vitamin E, iron and other minerals such as magnesium and copper.

 

I have made a truffle-esque treat with coconut butter and apricots also (see here Easy Apricot and Coconut Healthy Truffles).  I thought about using coconut butter for these as well, but opted for cashews.  I may try the coconut butter down the road as another option.

 

I used maple syrup as a sweetener to keep refined sugars low.  Depending on the chocolate you use, dark chocolate, milk chocolate or even dairy free, these treats are definitely one you can feel good about eating!


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