The holidays are made for indulging in delicious treats. But while I just saw a commercial for Pot of Gold boxed chocolates, I want to give y’all a healthier option (I bet those chocolates are also full of paraffin..bleh).
So, today I am going to present my case for vegan, dairy-free chocolate nibbles that are guilt-free. Okay, maybe just less guilty. They aren’t sweetener-free, but they use whole ingredients, and I say if you’re going to indulge, do it with high quality stuff instead of junk.
Exhibit A: Maple butter filled chocolate truffles
Exhibit B: Cocoa dusted almonds
But an exercise in alternative treats has its risks. I will say that after spending two hours last night making them, my habit of adjusting recipes resulted in a bit of a hot mess. While they turned out deeeee-lish, they weren’t as aesthetically pleasing as the recipe I was supposed to follow. Ah well, kitchen casualties all for a good cause.
Maple butter filled chocolate truffles
I got both these great recipes from the I Heart Wellness Blog – but while she calls them Fleur de Sel Maple Truffles, I didn’t want to add salt. This recipe is super easy and turned out pretty well. I only eye balled the recipe then did it by intuition and it still came out great, so I’m pretty proud. But next time I will be using mini paper liners because getting them out of the baking tin caused some of them to break a bit.
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips (got mine at Whole Foods)
Organic Maple Butter (also from Whole Foods…couldn’t find it anywhere else)
1. Melt the chocolate chips.
2. Pour half of the chocolate evenly into a mini muffin baking pan (my pan holds 12 portions).
3. Bang on the counter to flatten chocolate blobs out. Put this in the freezer for 5 mins.
4. Add a dab of maple butter to each truffle and place in freezer….this is when I remelted my chocolate again. You can also only melt half the chocolate in step 1 then do the second half now. Its probably a better idea so your chocolate doesn’t get lumpy.
5. Pour the other half over each portion.
6. Place in freezer again….et voila!
Cocoa dusted almonds
I made some adjustments to this recipe. Instead of using raw almonds with their skin on, I used blanched almonds. This is because I wanted to roast them a bit…I always associate roasted nuts with the holidays, so thought I’d give it a whirl. The problem is that the heat made the cocoa stick onto the nuts unevenly and melted in an odd way. So, my almonds are less attractive than the I Heart Wellness ones that don’t involve any cooking. They look a little like chocolate mud almonds, but they are very, very tasty!
1.5 cups of blanched almonds
2 tblspoons of coconut oil
3 tblspoons of organic cocoa powder – no sugar/ unsweetened (mine was from the camino brand…I use it all the time for tofu chocolate pudding, vegan hot chocolate etc…good investment)
4 tblspoons of coconut sugar – its low glycemic!
1 tsp spoon of cinnamon
1. Put the almonds on a baking sheet and brush with the coconut oil. If you get proper coconut oil, you’ll need to melt it a bit to de-solidify it…took me a minute on low heat.
2. Put in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (watch them brown and take them out when they are as toasted as you like. While this is cooking, prep the powder.
3. Place all other powder ingredients in a blender or food processor to make the sugar particles fine.
4. Let the almonds cool (I placed in the freezer), then dust over the cocoa powder mixture…and tah-dah!
Now I’m stock for the holidays with my own indulgences – no more chocolate envy for me!