These got rave reviews from people who aren't even gluten free or dairy free! And they really couldn't be easier to make. This recipe is also fully customizable- don't have green tea powder, leave it out. Add a tsp of fresh orange zest instead. Add extra vanilla, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, add some toasted nut pieces.
Plus, look at that list of power-house ingredients. These are the very definition of a healthy treat!
Matcha tea is a fine ground green tea leaf (a special kind, I think) and is available at many natural food stores. I have even seen it sold in individual serving packs at some tea shops (if you don't want to commit to a $10+ jar of it). I used Republic of Tea Brand Matcha Powder,
which I found at Fresh and Natural Foods
in Hudson, WI. It is grassy and adds a unique and interesting hint of earthiness to an otherwise ordinary chocolate. GREEN TEA CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
1 can of full fat coconut milk
3 tsp matcha green tea powder, divided
5oz unsweetened chocolate
1 Tbs coconut oil
¼ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup natural cocoa powder
Be careful not to shake or jostle the can of coconut milk (in fact, I often put mine in the fridge overnight just to ensure that it will harden up nice); open the can and measure out ¾ cup of the thick cream from the top. Place the coconut cream in a small saucepan along with 1 tsp of the green tea powder
; heat over low-medium, gently stirring, until it starts to just boil around the edges.
Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-safe bowl along with the coconut oil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the bowl, let sit for one minute, and then stir with a fork until well combined. Add in the honey and vanilla and stir again until very uniform. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan (like a bread pan), cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
To make the truffles, use a tablespoon to measure out a portion of the chocolate, quickly roll it between your palms to form a ball and then roll it around in the cocoa powder to cover. Or if you aren't feeling so fancy that day, just scoop out a spoonful of chocolate and put it right into the cocoa powder, no need to make them into balls....they will just look, well: rustic.
Place the finished truffles close together and use the reserved two teaspoons of matcha powder to sprinkle over top of them.
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these will keep for over a week.
I know they're not much to look at, but trust me, they are gooood!
The inspiration for this recipe came from a blog called: Chocolate-Covered Katie
and her “Fudge Babies”
recipe. She has created many different flavors, so check out her ideas too! I have made several different varieties, and this one is my favorite- I love just about anything with almond extract...
If you leave out the chocolate and replace the figs with more dates, you can use this “base” for any flavoring you want. You could make a citrus variety using lemon, orange, or lime zest. Adding in shredded unsweetened coconut is a really nice addition. Replace the figs with dried cherries to make a chocolate covered cherry variety. Oh, the possibilities...
You can double this recipe and spread it into the bottom of a 13X9 cake pan, allow them to harden up a bit in the fridge and cut into squares to make an "energy bar."
And of course, make sure your dates and figs don't have any added sugar in them- check the labels!
CHOCOLATE, ALMOND & FIG BITES
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
6 medium-sized dates ("pitted baking dates")
8-10 dried black mission figs
1 Tbs solid coconut oil
10 drops liquid stevia*
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1. In a food processor, grind the nuts until they are a course texture- pieces the size of coffee grounds to rice is what I shoot for. Roughly chop the dates and figs to make it a little easier on the food processor. Add them to the food processor and whirl them around until they are ground along with the nuts.
2. To the mixture add the coconut oil, stevia, extracts, and salt. Process until well combined. Taste the mixture at this point to see if you need any more sweetener or salt. The mixture should be moist and able form a ball, like the picture below. If your mixture is not moist enough, a little honey, agave, more coconut oil, or a wee-bit of water might do the trick.
3. Add the cocoa powder and give everything one last whirl in the food processor. That’s it! Form them into balls, and store them in an airtight container. They do best stored in the fridge.
*I used liquid stevia, but use whatever healthy sweetener you have on hand. If you are using powdered stevia, it will be about two packets-worth. Just keep tasting and adding more until you get it right.