If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, then my ongoing battle with sugar isn’t news. My body really, truly hates refined sugar. It gives me headaches, joint pain, acne, mental fog, and a cornucopia of other unsavories dramas that I don’t really like to talk about. As someone who comes from a long line of sugar fiends — as well as being the girlfriend of a particularly avid sweets lover — sugar is an especially thing to avoid in my life.
You would think that after years of battling a sugar addiction, it would get easier to avoid. Not true. There are entire months where I’m good, and then I’ll spend a week on a Boogie Nights-esque sugar bender, leaving a trail of cookie crumbs and chocolate sprinkles in my wake. (Thankfully I have yet to wake up in the morning to find a layer of cocoa powder from under my nose) I’m good at avoiding sweets, but if there’s a dessert right there in front of my face, staring me down, my carefully cultivated self control shatters like the glassy top of a creme brûlée. I’ve even avoided going out to eat with those I know are likely to order a parade of desserts, because there are days I know I won’t be able to turn down a bite. And we all know what one bite turns into.
What’s worse than the physical malaise after eating something sweet is the feeling of weakness, that I let myself down. I am a strong person — I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, surviving back-breakingly difficult situations through sheer force of will. Over the years I’ve weathered parental abuse, spousal abuse, drug abuse in those very close to me, crippling illness, divorce, unemployment, and rock-bottom brokeness. I have pulled through all of that, without faltering, and it’s sugar that gets the best of me? I find it utterly ludicrous that sweets, of all things, are my potential downfall.
Ok, enough whining for today. Let’s move onto something fun: raw chocolate truffles.
I’ve dabbled in making goodies that are free of refined sugar, like this super hippy-fied banana bread, and I’m generally really happy with the results. I get my sweet-fix and avoid the refined ick that causes my body to go completely plaid. A few years ago I had a craving for fudge, and I developed the recipe below. As a fudge, this recipe is lovely; thick, rich, lightly sweet with a hint of bitter chocolate. While preparing dessert for a vegan dinner party, I decided to scoop the mix into balls and roll them in cocoa powder. The truffles lasted about ten minutes at the party, and then people were pawing me asking for the recipe.
FYI, these babies are RICH. They’re made primarily of cashews, and nuts have a lot of fat. I’d not recommend eating more than a few truffles, or else you’ll end up feeling like you ate five handfuls of nuts (which, is essentially what you will have done). Also, if you like a little texture, feel free to stir in a handful of cacao nibs before you roll the fudge into balls. If you’re a fan of crunchy sweets, you’ll be in raw dessert heaven.
If you like this recipe, you might be interested in the following resources:
- Raw Chef Heathy has an entire blog dedicated to raw desserts.
- What’s the difference between raw chocolate and regular chocolate?
- If you think raw truffles are good, you should try raw chocolate ice cream.
Almost-Raw Chocolate Truffles Recipe
Summary: Made with all natural ingredients and absolutely no refined sugar, this classically sweet treat won’t leave you feeling like ick after indulging. A super blender will work best here, as the cashews will be ground to a finer texture.
Yield: 12 truffles
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in water and fully drained
- 6 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon food-grade cocoa butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + more for coating, if you like
1. In the pitcher of a blender, combine cashews, agave, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and salt. Using a sharp paring knife, slit the vanilla bean down the center and use a spoon to scrape out the tiny beans, adding them to the blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add cocoa powder and continue to blend until you’ve got a smooth, velvety texture.
2. Spoon fudge into a bowl and cover. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to solidify. While the fudge is chilling, line a plate with a piece of parchment.
3. Once the fudge has chilled, use a cookie scoop to drop teaspoon-sized balls onto the parchment. Place the fudge back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, and once they’re cool, use your hands to roll the fudge into truffle balls. If you like, toss them into a bowl of cocoa powder to coat. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.