Coconut & Lemon Truffles
After a crazy, stressful week of finals, projects due, and presentations for my Nutrition classes, I so loved plunging back into the kitchen to experiment and play around with some fun ingredients. So often, life takes over and we’re left flying and fumbling through our daily routines with hardly any mindfulness to speak of. This was me these past few weeks before the end of term: crazed, too tired to think of new recipes, and completely brain-occupied with school.
Phew. My current two weeks of break before fall term is going to do my body, mind, and belly very good. And it’s going to start with these ah-mazing coconut and lemon truffles. To be honest, I made these little truffles at the beginning of finals to keep in my freezer as the most ideal snack for studying and running about. They started as chocolate bliss balls, until I realized I lacked cacao powder, almond butter, and almonds. Hmph. What I did have in surplus were lemons – about 7 of them, in case you were wondering. So many lemons, so little time. So instead of cacao, these truffles got a bright and sweet makeover with freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, and a loving and nourishing amount of coconut buttah.
Coconut butter – not oil, is something you need to have on hand at all times in your kitchen pantry. Not only is it incredibly delicious in smoothies, baked goods, spicy curry dishes, and more – it also packs some hefty nutritional clout as well. Coconut butter, also known as coconut manna, is essentially pureed raw coconut meat. Just like the oil and the fruits themselves, coconut butter is filled with heart loving, health supporting, gut-friendly, liver processing, cholesterol friendly, superior insulin functioning, glowy skin creating, saturated fat. Yes, fat. Yes, the saturated kind.
Goodness Worthy Fats.
Coconuts are abundant in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) a type of saturated fat with some serious health benefits. As the name suggests, coconuts contain a medium amount of carbon fatty acids (6-12) as opposed to long chain triglycerides (12-18 carbons). This medium carbon chain length allows MCT’s to be processed in the liver without the need of bile, which leads to less strain on the liver itself. Their processing time is quick, easy, and digestive-friendly, which in turn gives you a boost of energy after consumption. MCT’s may also induce satiety, help with weight loss, prevent atherosclerosis (the formation of icky plaque in the arteries), and aid in diabetes, as it may reduce insulin resistance. Finally, coconuts contain lauric acid, a type of fatty acid that is converted into monolaurin in the body. Both lauric acid and monolaurin have proven to be anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-microbial, and all around beneficial for your functioning gut flora and beautiful body.
The other wonderful ingredients in this simple recipe are sweet medjool dates, heart healthy nuts, zesty lemons, and fiber filled chia seeds. These truffles are a wonderful dessert, quick snack, lunchbox addition, pre-post workout treat, or sweet tooth craving. I hope you enjoy making (and eating) them as much as I did.
Sweet and sticky dates + heart loving pecans and cashews + tropically divine coconut butter + crunchy chia seeds + bright lemon = Sweet and easy lemon & coconut truffles adored by all.
Coconut & Lemon Truffles
Makes 16 small truffles
1 cup medjool dates, pits removed
½ cup pecans
¼ cup hazelnuts
¼ heaped cup coconut butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of ½ a lemon
½ cup finely shredded coconut flakes (to roll truffles in)
Combine dates, nuts, coconut butter, chia seeds, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse for about 30-60 seconds, until mixture turns into a big, sticky ball. Pause to scrape down sides every now and then.
Roll a heaping teaspoon of truffle mixture in between your hands to form a small ball. Roll in shredded coconut flakes to coat. Continue until all mixture is used up. Place truffles in an airtight container and store in the freezer. Enjoy!
-If your medjool dates are rock hard, remove pits and let dates soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and add to food processor with all other ingredients.
-Feel free to swap pecans and hazelnuts with another type of nut if necessary. Almonds are a great swap for the hazelnuts.
-If your coconut butter has hardened on top, place entire jar in a bowl of warm water. Allow to sit, stirring often until coconut butter becomes smooth and creamy once again.