Happy March Friends! We made it- the end of winter is nearing. When March hits I usually feel pretty good about saying goodbye to the white fluffy stuff and hello to sunshine and longer days. However, I do need to be realistic as here in Ontario, Jack Frost could come around well into April. Sigh… I’ll remain stubbornly optimistic about spring and warmer weather coming our way.
In celebration of warmer weather (and being done #whoe30) I made these truffles. They are not only a sweet treat but are also adaptogenic. Adaptogenic herbs help the body deal with stress and normalize any imbalances. Kind of cool the power of food, eh? Let’s do this!
Soft, dense, chewy and the perfect combination of chocolate and hazelnuts makes these truffles an ideal sweet treat. The blending of maca powder and ashwagandha to help balance out that mood also makes these an optimal midday snack (side note: check out my maca collagen protein bars for another no-bake maca treat).
Maca is one of my favourite adaptogens to use because it is so versatile and tastes good. Unlike ashwagandha (which tastes gawd-awful), maca is easy to add to smoothies, desserts, elixirs, power bars, granola, you name it! Maca root powder, native to the Andes in Peru, is a high elevation crop that has shown to help balance out hormones while enhancing energy and mood. It has also shown to boost libido… need I say more?
Ashwagandha, on the other hand, IMO, is harder to sneak into food. It really doesn’t taste good but does provide some useful benefits. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine it has shown promise in balancing blood sugar, improving mood, and helping with adrenal fatigue. It can also boost your immune function and studies have shown that supplementation can help endurance athletes by increasing VO2 max!
The secret to these truffles is processing the hazelnuts to the right consistency. Grind them until just before they release their oils and turn into a nut butter. It will be a dough that you can form into balls quite easily with your hands. If you do accidentally over-process, not to worry and just add a little less coconut milk and a little more cacao powder or throw in some almond flour just so they are not too runny.
Once you have mixed in the coconut milk, cacao and superfoods I like to let the batch sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes so that rolling the balls is a lot easier. My favourite things to roll truffles in are: cacao powder, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, and freeze dried fruit(like raspberries).
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Adaptogenic Hazelnut Truffles
A decadent chocolate and hazelnut truffle that has maca and ashwagandha added in for extra boost in your dessert!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Blending
- Cuisine: Raw/Vegan/Paleo
3 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (I used this one)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/3–1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp maca (optional)
1/2 tsp ashwagandha (optional)
pinch sea salt
extra cacao powder and cacao nibs for rolling truffles
Preheat the oven to 350° F and lay your hazelnuts evenly on a sheet pan. Place the hazelnuts in the oven for 12-13 minutes until fragrant and a little browned. Once cooled slightly, use a dish towel rub the skins off of the hazelnuts in batches (this doesn’t have to be perfect!).
Add the hazelnuts to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until a dough is formed, scraping down the sides every so often. It will be just past the crumbly stage and just before the nut butter stage when the oils are released. You should be able to form balls with your hands.
Add the coconut milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, maca, ashwagandha and sea salt to the processor and continue to blend until combined. Taste and adjust with more maple syrup or sea salt if needed. The dough will be sticky at this point. Put it in the fridge and let it set for a minimum of 25 minutes.
Once the dough is firm enough to roll into balls place your excess cacao powder and cacao nibs in small bowls, roll your balls to your desired size and role in the cacao powder or nibs. Keep the truffles in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!