Luckily, making 'healthy' desserts is no new concept - people have been trying to think for better ways to sneak a little treat into their healthy lifestyles for years and the recipe I have today combines my Mum's traditional recipe for 'khajoor' or date roulade with the much newer trend of 'protein balls', of course with an entirely optional coating of dark chocolate.
These protein truffles are filled with dates, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, pistachios, coconut, and cacao so each one packs a punch of goodness. They are also gluten and dairy free, and can be eaten as part of a vegan or raw food diet. If you don't have any of the nuts or seeds to hand just substitute with a little extra of what you do have - the ingredients are really flexible.
200 g dates
3 tbsp grated or desiccated coconut
3 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp chopped/ground pistachios
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp cacao powder (can use cocoa instead)
1/2 tsp cardamom
100 g good quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
- Peel and pit the dates before adding them into a food processor.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients apart from the dark chocolate and pulse to combine everything really well. You should end up with a kind of sticky dough. Your dough might be more or less sticky depending on your ingredients but if it feels too wet add some more coconut or ground almonds, and if it feels to dry add another date or two.
- Tip the dough into a mixing bowl and knead lightly just to make sure everything has come together really well.
- Take a tablespoon of the mixture in your hands and roll into a smooth ball - I find rolling the ball in a tablespoon sized rounded measure helps get the shape really smooth, and place on a tray or plate lined with greasproof paper.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture, you should get around 16 - 20 balls.
- If you wish to leave it here and not dip the truffles in chocolate just place them in the fridge to firm up and then transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until required.
- Otherwise place the tray in a freezer and allow the truffles to firm up for 30 mins - 1hr.
- Once the truffles are nice and firm gently melt the dark chocolate either in a bain marie or in a microwave, whichever you prefer.
- Use a fork to help you carefully dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, ensuring it is fully coated remove and transfer back to the lined tray.
- The chocolate should start to set quite quickly as the truffles are cold from the freezer.
- If you wish, once the chocolate has almost set but before it dries completely, roll the truffles in cacao/cocoa, ground pistachios, coconut or almonds for a decorative effect and added texture. Or you can leave them plain, either way once they have fully set at room temperature transfer them to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until required.
- Wishing you a happy and healthy Raksha Bandhan! :)