Even as a child I had a fascination with healthy food. I read labels, challenged the calculations on nutrition facts (you’d be amazed how many don’t add up!), and had an addiction to all things produce. That said, we didn’t fully understand whole foods versus processed foods at that time, and put little emphasis on specific ingredients.
But when I became aware of my need to be strictly dairy-free in adulthood, I took my label reading up a notch, and was amazed by all of the mystery ingredients in my favorite “healthy” pasta sauce and “whole grain” bread. Dairy-free living didn’t just save my immediate health, it also opened my eyes to what I was really eating and permanently changed my outlook on food.
Going strictly dairy-free also forced me into the kitchen. At that time, there were no breads, snack foods, or desserts at my local grocery stores that were completely dairy free (my, how times have changed!). So I learned to enjoy the art of making everything from scratch. Baking became my therapy and easy homemade snacks and treats are my indulgent hobby.
I actually don’t crave full-blown desserts these days. Little no-bake bites usually offer both satisfaction and nourishment – something that cake can’t do! These easy little chocolate truffles are part snack, part dessert, and completely customizable to your current sweet tooth.
Healthy Dairy-Free Chocolate-Almond Truffles
Yes, unprocessed chocolate is naturally dairy free! Be sure that the brand you use is made with pure fair trade cacao and uses only non-GMO ingredients. I like Pascha Chocolate - they're one of the most unprocessed brands out there.
Recipe and photo from GoDairyFree.org.
- 4 large, pitted Medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons 85% to 100% cacao dark chocolate chips melted
- 1 tablespoons raw almond butter
- Natural sweetener optional to taste (see note)
- 2 tablespoons almond meal plus additional as needed
Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain.
In a medium bowl, mash the soaked dates with the melted chocolate chips and almond butter, until relatively smooth. Mix in sweetener, to taste, if using.
Scoop the date mixture by the generous ½ tablespoon and roll it into balls.
Place the almond meal on a plate, and roll the balls in it to coat.
Refrigerate the truffles for 30 minutes to set-up. Store the balls in an airtight container or zippered plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. These healthy truffles will actually stay tender when frozen, so they can be eaten straight from the freezer.
Sweetener Options: I use a few drops of pure liquid stevia just to heighten the flavors (here's how to make your own stevia extract). If you prefer another sweetener, start with just 1 teaspoon of finely ground coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Nonetheless, you may find that the dates alone are sweet enough for a wholesome snack.
About the Author
Alisa is also Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine and a product ambassador, writer, and recipe creator for the natural food industry.