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)

 

Grief and Date Squares (A Gluten-Free,Updated Version!)

Gluten-Free Vegan Date Square

I mentioned in my last post that there had been a lot of crazy things that had happened in my 6 week postpartum period.  One thing that I have been dealing with, is the loss of my Grandmother. A woman who influenced almost every decision in my life – from the way I part my hair, to the man I chose to live my life with and how I make stuffing for a turkey. She was a woman who I wish all women had someone like her in their lives. Because my Grandmother always made me feel good when I saw her and supported me through and through. She was so much of an influence on me that I named my most recent child after her.

Gluten-Free Vegan Date Square

My Grandmother would be the first person I would call when I had new and exciting news. It is hard for me to think that I can no longer pick up the phone and call her and tell her some good news. I don’t think I’ve ever felt grief like this before. Last year when we lost our dog, I did feel grief for a short period, but not like this. It is that feeling in your throat where you want to clear it all the time, in fear that you may break into tears if you don’t. The simplest thing can trigger it – a song on the radio, a flower at a park, or a glance at your children’s smiles.

So what do I do when the grief begins to take over my day? How am I to cope with this emotion that I have never really experienced before? I have two children that I am responsible for taking care of. My fear is that the grief would take over my day – making each day harder to get through and eventually lead to depression. Some people may cope by delving into work or a bottle of wine. Since I’m on maternity leave and breastfeeding, those are not options for me. But don’t get me wrong, I have consumed a lot more chocolate lately… However, I am trying to recognize the emotions I’m feeling as they come in the day. When the day is hard to get through, or I begin to feel terribly home sick, I reach out to my family and friends for conversation. It may be a quick talk to my husband or a text message to my sister to help me. Usually the conversation ends with a happy memory of my Grandmother which allows me to feel some comfort knowing that she lived a long life and was able to experience all that she did. And how lucky am I to have had a woman in my life who was such a positive influence? She made each of my brothers and sisters and me feel special in an individually unique way. I am go grateful to have had that.

Gluten-Free Vegan Date Square

This recipe was originally posted here on Roll With It on December 3 of 2012 during the ’12 Days of Naughty made Nice!’. It is the number one post that brings people to my site from a google search. When I was dealing with gestational diabetes, there were several recipes that I adjusted so I could still eat some sweets without spiking my sugars. My gluten-free, vegan date square was one of them. I changed what I used to sweeten the squares and what was use to bind them. These changes added more fiber and lowered the carbohydrate amount making them even nicer! Better in nutrition AND in texture. So, you are welcome!

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Date Squares
 
Updated from original recipe posted on December 3rd, 2012.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup dates, pitted & diced
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • zest of ½ lemon, juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup of walnuts, blended in food processor until crumbly
  • 1¾ cup quick oats (gluten-free)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in ½ cup water for at least 5mins
  • ½ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. Combine the dates, water, sea salt lemon zest and juice in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Heat for about 10 mins until soft and paste-like. Set aside in bowl and let cool before using.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, walnuts, brown rice flour, oats, coconut sugar, soaked chia seeds & baking soda to make the crumb.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with some coconut oil. Take half of the crumb mixture and press into pan. Layer on the cooled date paste. Cover with remaining crumb mixture.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-45 mins. Let cool before cutting into squares. Can be stored in the freezer for several weeks or in the refrigerator for one week.