|Who ever decided that giving your Valentine candy to show your affection for them was a great idea? Few of us could say that we have NO desire for sweets at all, but when there are really wonderful, healthy options available, why choose treats that contain sugar, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavors and colors or other unnecessary ingredients?|
Especially for those dealing with health issues, and those who have “kicked the sugar habit”, doesn’t it make sense to buy or make something that not only tastes good, but is actually healthy?
I must have gone through five pounds of coconut during the holidays making these coconut truffles. And when I was finished, there were even a few left over to give as gifts! 😀 Seriously, though, these are good! Good right after a workout, good with a cup of tea as a snack, good as dessert. (Yes, I’ve tested. You’re welcome.)
For those friends and family who haven’t left the sugar habit behind, this is an excellent way to demonstrate how delicious healthy foods can be. For them, and for those on Phase Two, I used organic maple syrup as a sweetener, and cloaked them with just the thinnest coating of 80% dark chocolate. For those on Phase One, stick to the original, using stevia and/or xylitol to sweeten; you shouldn’t need much, as both the coconut and the coconut oil are naturally sweet. I used toasted pecan pieces, but feel free to use any other healthy nut (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts) or no nuts at all. (If you skip the nuts, decrease the amount of oil slightly.)
Remember, coconut is a superfood! Coconut oil is a saturated fat that contains lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride that not only helps to improve cholesterol ratio levels, but is also a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral and – maybe most important to those with fungal issues – it fights off yeast, fungus and candida. It’s naturally sweet flavor lends itself well to all things dessert-oriented, as little additional sweetener is necessary.
For a traditional presentation, you can find little heart-shaped boxes at the craft store. Or just pile a half dozen or so into a cute cellophane baggie with a bow. However you package them, this is a very “sweet” – and healthy! – way to say, “I love you!”
1/2 cup dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened (If your oil is solid, place the jar in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (for Phase One, omit the maple syrup and substitute stevia, starting with one packet and adding more according to the level you like.)
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces, chopped quite small (Large pieces of nuts will make it difficult to form the balls.)
2 ounces 80% dark chocolate
about 2 teaspoons coconut oil
Place first five ingredients into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until throughly combined and cohesive. With clean hands, form into small (about 1/2 ounce) balls, roughly the size of a large marble.
Optional: For those on Phase Two, melt 2 ounces of very dark chocolate (80%) with enough coconut oil to thin. One by one, drop the “truffles” into the melted chocolate and toss with a spoon until thoroughly coated. Set each coated truffle onto a sheet of waxed paper until chocolate is cooled and hardened.
Store truffles in refrigerator until ready to serve.