These Raw Chocolate Truffle Balls are delicious, nutritious, and super easy to make.
One day a couple of months ago, I opened the refrigerator at Villa Kali Ma and found a plate of these Raw Truffle Balls sitting there, and immediately I thought, “Wow! These look amazing! Most likely loaded with saturated fat and sugar, but I have to have one!” I bit into it and was like, “oh yeah, these are decadent, probably made with melted chocolate and coconut cream.” Then I asked our Vegan Chef Jenny what was in them and I couldn’t believe her reply……. “only two ingredients……. dates and cacao”!
To make these tasty treats, only two ingredients are necessary, but you can always add more to it and get creative. You can make them into extreme “Superfood” balls if you like, adding things like Hemp or Spirulina, but they are already super nutritious with just the two main ingredients.
1. Organic Raw Cacao Powder
Many health practitioners and nutritionists have touted organic Raw Cacao as a superfood, and many research studies have revealed the various benefits of this compound. Cacao is a delicious source of many minerals vital to our health, such as magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. Most clients who come to us to begin their recovery journey are also suffering from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals due to poor diets and the repeated ingestion of toxins that deplete the body of nutrients. Because of this, we like to ensure that all the meals and snacks served at Villa Kali Ma are not only delicious but are also loaded with health-boosting benefits.
Raw Cacao also contains chemical compounds that increase our ability to focus and improve our memory and raise endorphins in our brain, which helps us feel good. It contains Flavanols, which are known to increase nitric oxide in the blood, which improves the function of our arteries and blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke and improving the blood supply to the brain. Other benefits include reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and improved blood sugar levels.
And last but not least, the flavanols in cacao have been shown to act as a natural mood stabilizer, reducing stress and increasing calmness and sense of wellbeing while lowering anxiety and symptoms of depression.
2. Organic Dates
For this recipe, we used Organic Medjool Dates, which naturally contain various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that positively affect your health. Dates supply vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, B vitamins, copper, magnesium, manganese, and calcium, as well as a significant amount of fiber.
The variety of antioxidants present in Medjool Dates have been studied and shown to lower LDL Cholesterol (the bad type) and prevent plaque in arteries, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. This rich source of antioxidants also fights against damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to heart and brain diseases and cancer. Animal studies show that the antioxidants present in dates lead to lower inflammatory markers and decreased brain plaque present in those that end up with Alzheimer’s disease.
Medjool dates also contain more calcium than any other type of date, and provide a healthy dietary fiber source that promotes healthy digestion, vitally important for overall health and wellbeing. Our clients at Villa Kali Ma are usually detoxing off substances, including alcohol, which leaves them craving sweets to fill the void. Most people will reach for things like candy, cakes, ice cream, or doughnuts when experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but here at Villa Kali Ma, we help them meet that craving with deliciously sweet but healthy alternatives.
Additional ingredients are optional but definitely make it more fun and appealing. You could add extra ingredients to the dough before rolling, such as organic unsweetened shredded coconut or sea salt; you can experiment with multiple different organic flavorings or extracts such as vanilla, almond, orange, cherry, mint, rose, hazelnut, pistachio, etc. Coat the exterior of the Truffle Balls in all your favorite toppings! The possibilities are endless, and it’s so easy to be creative with this recipe!
Raw Chocolate Truffle Balls
Time: About 1 Hour
The recipe makes about 20 balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
2 packed Cups of Fresh Organic Medjool Dates
1 Cup Organic Cacao Powder (Extra for rolling the balls in if desired)
Optional Organic Coatings: Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Cacao Nibs, Goji Berries, Toasted Coconut, Hemp Seeds, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Cacao Powder, Berry Powder, etc.
*For firmer textured Truffles, add 3 tablespoons of Coconut Flour. For richer, more decadent truffles, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. (This is not necessary, and I did not add it to any of the Truffle Balls pictured in this recipe.)
First, remove the seeds from the dates, place them in a bowl, and pour enough (boiling) water to cover and soak for 10-15 minutes to soften the dates for easier blending. (If your dates are very soft and gooey, you can skip this step)
While dates are soaking, you can prepare your desired coatings. I use small bowls and a chopper (like a Slap-Chop) to prepare each of the coatings. I chop each of the coating ingredients I want to use and place them in separate bowls. You can also combine some of the toppings if you want a combo topping. For example, I used a mix of toasted coconut and macadamia nuts in one bowl, goji berry and cacao nibs in another bowl, and toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds toasted coconut in another. Be creative and make your own coating mixes!
After soaking, drain all the water out of the dates and place them in a high-speed blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix). Now add the Cacao powder 1/4 cup simultaneously, blending until smooth and fully incorporated each time before adding more. You may need to use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides to ensure all the powder is absorbed into the date blend. If using a Vitamix, you will need to use the plunger through the lid hole to continue pushing the dates down into the blade.
Once it is thoroughly blended and all of the cacao has been added, you should have a thick gooey dough-like texture. If your blend is not thick enough or you would like your truffles to be more firm than soft, you can blend in up to 3 tablespoons of coconut flour to firm it up. If you want a more decadent Truffle, you can now add the coconut oil.
Once you’ve completed the blending process, use the rubber spatula to scrape all of the mixes out into a bowl. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a heaping teaspoon of dough, enough to make a 1-1/2 inch ball, and drop it into the coating of your choice. Sprinkle some of the coatings on the top and then press the dough into the coating mix on all sides till coated, then roll the ball in the palms of your hands to make it round. Continue until all of your Truffles are coated, and then place them in the refrigerator to firm up. Store Truffles in the refrigerator for up to one week, or you can freeze them for up to one month.
Even though these Truffle Balls taste sinful and decadent, you can enjoy these healthy treats completely guilt-free anytime you have a craving for something sweet or if you want a little extra fuel to keep you moving on a busy day!