Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles (A Healthy Ferrero Rocher)

There is a great deal of pressure for people around Valentine’s Day and it drives me nuts!  Although this is the time of year that my husband and I had an accidental first date and fell in love, it was not because of some holiday that the card companies made up. So instead of naming these here balls something clever that rhymes with Valentines, how about we call them like we see them: Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles or A Healthy Ferrero Rocher.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle (Healthy Ferrero Rocher)

As I spent the day on Monday making these as thank you gifts to those who helped me out, I was DYING to eat them. Only one problem: chocolate and breast-feeding an infant does not always mix. I’ve had to cut it out to have a less gassy and less refluxing baby, allowing me to get more sleep. Yup, that’s right. I cut chocolate out. Very hard to do I may add, but worth it if it means I get more sleep!

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle (Healthy Ferrero Rocher)

So I realized something the other day. Men, or boys, have a thing about their penis’ from the beginning of their lives people! My son was playing in his toy room and came out with a large pole. As he was holding it where his privates are, he looked up at me than looked back down at the placement of the pole, than back up at me and declared “Mom! My penis is GIGANTIC!”.

Ummm, hello? It took every once of me not to burst out laughing. An who taught him that?!?!? NO ONE!!! HE WAS JUST GOING ON INSTINCT!

But I held it together (ish) telling him that was not an appropriate thing to say and to put the pole down. Then I repeated it awkwardly several times “Put the pole down, put the pole down, put the pole down…” Oh Jeez, Fraud would have been proud of this moment. And God give me strength for the teenage years…

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle (Healthy Ferrero Rocher)

And on that note! These Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles (or A Healthy Ferrero Rocher) are packed full of vitamin and mineral rich nuts and seeds, coconut oil to help your body absorb that goodness and chia seeds to boost your energy. These take effort to make but are worth the guiltless pleasure they bring to ones mouth and body. Enjoy them anytime of year, not just as a Valentine’s Day chocolate.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle (A Healthy Ferrero Rocher)
 
Serves: 36
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dates, soaked in water for 10mins
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • ¼ cup raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4-6 tbsp non-dairy milk or water
  • 36 raw hazelnuts (good-looking ones)
  • ¾ cup raw hazelnuts chopped + ¼ cup for topper
  • 6oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar + 1 tbsp for topper
Instructions
  1. In a food processor with the 'S' blade, combine almonds, walnuts, pecans & pumpkin seeds until a meal consistency. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add cocoa powder, sea salt & chia seeds. Mix until combined.
  3. Next, place soaked dates into food processor and blend until a paste. Add the dates and the non dairy milk to the meal blend and mix well.
  4. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Take the whole hazelnuts and begin to cover each one with approximately a tablespoon of chocolate mix, rolling until about a 1" sized ball. Set aside on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining whole hazelnuts until chocolate mixture is gone. About 36 balls.
  6. Now you are going to coat your balls and you will need to move quickly so lets set up the candy making station. Place ¾ of a cup of chopped hazelnuts in a bowl, next an empty bowl to put chocolate coating mixture into and the third bowl will have ¼ cup of chopped hazelnuts mixed with 1 tbsp of coconut sugar (topping).
  7. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the unsweetened chocolate, coconut oil and 4 tbsp of coconut sugar. Keep an eye on the pot, stirring regularly. Once melted remove from heat and place half of the mixture in the bowl that is between the chopped nuts and the topping. Place hot-pot of chocolate on a trivet to protect your countertop in front of the chopped nuts.
  8. Your order should look like this: melted chocolate, chopped nuts, melted chocolate, topping.
  9. Moving quickly, using two forks, roll one ball at a time in the melted chocolate mixture, then roll in chopped hazelnuts, then in the second bowl of melted chocolate mixture and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with topping while still wet. Repeat until all balls are done.
  10. Place in freezer until all balls cooled then transfer to an air tight container and store in fridge. Remove from fridge when ready to serve.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle (Healthy Ferrero Rocher)

 

A Hell of a Bark!

Last night I found myself questioning the holiday season and what it brings out in people. We were at our local grocery store grabbing vegetables and usually my husband and I tag team each other: he takes Little Q in the cart and entertains him (quite loudly – so I always know where they are) while I run around grabbing what we need, dashing around the store trying to catch up with them to put the groceries in the cart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that my husband has a VERY big voice. You know what they say about big voices, right? Uh…yeah, I thought I could go somewhere with that joke but looks like no…Anyways, the point is I always know where the two of them are when we are at the market because I can hear them. I’ve seen the odd person giving us a dirty look for being the loud family, but last night it was as though everyone was in a bad mood at the store. I was just waiting for someone to start barking at us. The looks pretty much said enough. As we left the store, my son turned around, started waving at all the angry customers and said with a big smile “Have a good night everyone!” I turned as well, hoping to see someone crack a smile. No such luck.

It reminded me that not everyone is excited about the holiday season. Whether it’s Christmas baking, holiday shopping or end of year stresses that come up. Not everyone has ’12 Days of Naughty made Nice’ to fuel them through the season. The truth is, for some, the holidays suck. Maybe they’ve lost a loved one, maybe they have no money to buy gifts for even their closest loved ones, or maybe they will be spending the holidays alone. What ever it may be, the moment reminded me that I should take a few minutes to give thanks for the good in my life; a healthy son, laughing with my husband and a trip back to Ontario for Christmas. When was the last time you thought about the good in your life? Think of three at this moment. Now take a deep breath and recognize that these are the things that are important to you at this time. Anytime you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed about the holidays or depressed, just think of those three things. Trust me you will immediately feel some relief. And maybe you will smile at that two-year old in the grocery store who just threw you that smile ;)

A Hell of a Bark!
 
Ingredients
  • 7 oz of unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roast almonds on baking sheet on low heat for 40mins, turning half way through. Once roasted, set aside while making chocolate.
  3. In a saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate, coconut oil & coconut sugar. Once smooth remove from heat.
  4. Add almonds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts and pinch of salt. Mix together.
  5. Pour mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for at least 15mins.
  6. When ready to serve, break into bite sized pieces.