Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles + Defending Paleo Desserts

Healthy truffles… WHAT?!

I know.

It seems impossible. It can’t be true. Many would say it ISN’T true.

It has become a trend lately for prominent voices in the Paleo and Whole30 movements to bash grain-free, dairy-free baked goods, pastries, or breakfast items. The underlying idea of the Paleo/Whole30 movement, they say, is not to just obey the technicalities of the eating plan outlined, but to be 100%, unabashedly focused on real, nourishing foods, especially nutrient-dense vegetables, eggs, and meat.

I completely agree. In no way am I advocating eating a giant stack Pumpkin Pancakes for breakfast, Paleo-ish Macaroni and Cheese for lunch, and a slice of Flourless Chocolate Cake for dinner EVERY SINGLE DAY. Where’s the kale? The blueberries? The cage-free egg yolks? Those foods are delicious, nutritious, and they make me feel good. I WANT to include them in my diet.

GET IN MY BELLY... every once in a while

GET IN MY BELLY... every once in a while

But you know what? At the end of a day filled with a Stained-Glass Frittata for breakfast, Winter Detox Salad w/ Roasted Acorn Squash topped with salmon for lunch, and Butternut Squash Alfredo over zucchini noodles with chicken for dinner, I STILL got some room for a little dessert.

Salad, I love you and all, but it wouldn't be a "balanced diet" without some chocolate... I'm sorry if you thought this relationship was exclusive  </3

Salad, I love you and all, but it wouldn't be a "balanced diet" without some chocolate... I'm sorry if you thought this relationship was exclusive  </3

So then the critics say, “Well you might as well just have the real thing. Paleo/Whole30 baked goods, pizza crusts, waffles etc., are like having sex with your pants on -- it just makes you want to take your pants off!” Seriously. That is a real analogy from one of the founders of Whole30.

Well, there are some people out there who can’t eat the real thing. They have celiac disease, or lupus, or Crohn's disease, or a severe food allergy, or some other type of auto-immune disorder, and having the real thing ISN’T an option for them. And they want dessert too. Hey, I have NONE of the above conditions, but after 2 years of meticulously avoiding grains and dairy, my stomach is pretty sensitive to consuming either gluten or lactose. Eating baked goods with wheat and milk in them pretty much guarantees a stomach ache and digestive issues for the next 12-48 hours. No thanks.

I understand that the Paleo/Whole30 community is advocating a sugar detox of sorts, and as such, it is counterproductive to eat grain-free, dairy-free baked goods ALL the time. But I think the bloggers who are posting these recipes aren’t eating them all the time, and aren’t suggesting anyone else do either. I know my life is full of salads, soups, roasted meats, slow-cooked meals, smoothies, and more, but that seems obvious to me. If I want to work in a Paleo 7-layer Brownie Bar every now and then, so sue me. You bet I am definitely going to post the recipe and I want all the other paleo bloggers out there to do the same so that I may come up with new chocolate-coated ideas and inspiration!

I refuse to stick to a single square of dark chocolate to satisfy my need for dessert. Paleo is my chosen lifestyle, and to stick to this lifestyle, I need more motherf***ing chocolate than that. Discrediting my ample recipes for brownies, cookies, truffles, cakes, and other sweets doesn’t do anyone any good. People following Paleo/Whole30 are just out here trying their damn best to find their own health+wellness happy place, and shaming them for baking is a step in the opposite direction. BAKING. DAMN IT. WHO DOESN’T LOVE BAKING?! I DESERVE THE SMELL OF FRESH-BAKED COOKIES IN MY APARTMENT, AND SO DO YOU!

I digress.

Let’s get back to the truffles. The ingredient list really speaks for itself. It makes you feel good and tastes even better. Kind of like if a Larabar and a Mounds bar got together and had a baby.

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Truffles

A creative combination of nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruit, and chocolate produces a guilt-free truffle with no inflammatory ingredients or added sugar.

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

½ cup raw cashews

¼ cup coconut cream

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ cup coconut flour

½ cup shredded coconut

8 oz dark chocolate

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Chia seeds for garnish

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine dates and cashews. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil on the stovetop. Once boiling, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove the cashews and dates from the saucepan using a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.

In a large high speed blender, combine the dates, cashews, coconut cream, ¼ cup of sunflower seed butter, and 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid. Blend until extremely smooth. You may need to add more cooking liquid, a little at a time. I would do no more than 1 tablespoon at a time, only adding until the mixture is able to combine smoothly in the blender.

Move paste from blender into a large mixing bowl with a spatula. Fold in cocoa powder and coconut flour. Fold in shredded coconut. Refrigerate mixture for about 15 minutes.

While the mixture cools, place 8 oz dark chocolate, 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a double boiler on the stove. Boil the water gently until chocolate is 80% melted. When chocolate is almost melted, remove bowl from the heat and stir until chocolate is fully melted.

Dip truffles one at a time in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with chia seeds. Return to the refrigerator to harden the chocolate shell. Truffles will keep in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for about 5 days.