Love is in the truffles [Healthy Vegan Marzipan Truffles]

Melt-in-your-mouth marzipan-like truffles made from just six simple ingredients. No refined sugar, vegan and adaptable for multiple dietary needs.

Can we talk about the weather for a second? Just yesterday it was still somewhat warm – at least given it’s winter – and now? Snow. Fridgid cold. My heating stopped working temporarily. And I could really do without having to scrape a thick layer of ice off my car in the morning. Not fun at all. So much so I wouldn’t mind paying someone to do it for me. Go and call me lazy – I know you don’t like it, either. And how about I offer pay in cookies or marzipan truffles?

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These were a result of spontaneous experimentation with ingredients I had at hand. Don’t you dislike buying food just for a recipe idea you have in mind and it not working out? Luckily, this one worked like a charm. Unfortunately not at a time that allowed for decent daylight pictures. But with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching I couldn’t wait to share the recipe no matter what. It’s the inside that counts after all.

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And what an inside! We’re talking truffles that are vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, refined sugar-free* and – though I haven’t tried this version yet – could even be made raw. How’s that for a truffle uniting folks from just about  every diet? I’m admittedly not a fan of Valentine’s Day – at least not the comercialisation of it – but a truffle bringing people of different dietary preferences together just screams love to me. I’ll admit I was tempted to call these or at least this post love balls – which I’m sure Laura would have approved of – because these truffles show love for everyone. But I’m obviously aware of the touchy nature of such wordings.

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Marzipan Truffles

  • 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsps almond meal  [~ 40 g]
  • 2 tbsps coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 heaping tbsp brown rice syrup* [see notes for substitutions]
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsps coconut oil, melted  [28 g]
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract [I used a small dropper bottle, adding about four drops]

Chocolate glaze:

  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or sugar-free/stevia-sweetened chocolate [for fully refined sugar-free version] **
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

 

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix the coconut oil, syrups and almond extract. Stir well until fully combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into wet and mix to reach a smooth consistency. Put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the dough and roll into balls.
  5. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil whichever way you prefer: stove-top, microwave, …
  6. Dip truffles in melted chocolate using a fork. Set on a plate leaving enough space in between truffles to set.

 

Notes:

* for a paleo version, sub another tbsp of maple syrup or honey

** To make these raw use raw versions of all ingredients for the truffles, melt the coconut butter accordingly and sub a chocolate glaze like this one for the coating.

Okay, so yes, my finished truffles did contain refined sugar in the optional chocolate coating. But these are delicious even without this – and this is coming from a huge chocolate fiend. Actually, I dare you to try the recipe and not feel tempted to eat the dough with a spoon instead of rolling it into shape. I warned you, duty done.

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Spreading the marzipan truffle love with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Lean Lena’s Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The latest issue of my favourite magazine. My parents got me a subscription for Christmas [actually the only gift I’d asked for] and it’s filled with amazing content again.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Who wants to come take care of my car in exchange for cookies 😉 ?

Valentine’s Day: Just a holiday to raise sales of flower vendors and chocolate companies or the definition of romance?

How are you spending it if you celebrate? As you guessed I don’t plan on celebrating it but if I can get away with spending a small fortune on chocolate for myself – I’m in!

Healthy Salted Candied Peanuts

Salty and sweet candied peanuts done the healthy way – no refined sugar, vegan and customizable to your liking. Easy enough to prepare on the go for a quick snack or appetizer.

If there’s one thing I can tell about my colleagues it’s that they’re huge snackers. And while they might not understand my obsession with nut butters – or at least not the three people I told about my rather extensive collection of nut butter jars so far – they do enjoy nuts. I mean: who wouldn’t?? Only a nutty person [could my puns be any more predictable?].

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It wasn’t until Christmas time rolled around and with it the appearance of cookie trays, cake and the occasional chocolate santa that I found out my coworkers weren’t immune to the allurance of all kinds of snacks, either. The best day was when a colleague treated the rest of the staff to one of my favourite seasonal sweets: candied nuts. Oh. my. These were some crack nuts. The legal kind.

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And then the other week I was introduced to a special variety of these by another colleague on a particularly long day of work: honey-roasted peanuts. Gah. So good. If I remember correctly* [I did] the latter had just the lightest bit of a salty touch to them which –  we learned that – made them even more irresistible. Aside from the fact they kept me sane and my brain running they were delicious, too.

*I didn’t see the package prior to eating them as they were already poured into a bowl hence the guess.

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Did I say delicious? They were crack. That fact affirmed itself when I snacked on the remainders the next day when the pressure and nerve-wracking tasks were gone [note: staying in the office from 9 AM until somewhere around 11 PM is no fun when you don’t get a mention ahead of time. Or in anyway.]. Actually my fondness of them wasn’t too surprising as I’ve been a huge fan of those sesame-coated almonds sold in Greece – any other Greece vacationers remember them?? – forever already. Hm, looking at the number of varieties of candied nuts I mentioned in this post it looks like the obsession with crack-ed nuts started very early on. We can agree I have quite a long list of nutty memories. Of the edible not the crazy kind.

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Anyway, after trying those honey-roasted ones my colleague brought to the office I picked up a bag the next time I was at the store. The ingredient list was surprisingly … long for something this simple:

Cashews, peanuts, sugar, honey [3 %], oil, gelling agent E 414, salt, glucose syrup, colouring.

Honestly?! A whopping three per cent of honey in something bearing it in its name??? Geez. Needless to say I didn’t buy them.

Because that list of the storebought variety was clearly longer than necessary and I knew I could easily roll the vegan way I decided to give it a go myself. In true health nut fashion I obviously had to add a pinch of chia seeds to half of the batch – last minute decision hence the small amount, more next time. But if you don’t have any on hand the nuts are awesome without them already. Also, I went with peanuts because that’s what I had at hand but you could really use any kind of [edible 😉 ] nuts you have lying around. The sky’s the limit. If using unsalted nuts I’d recommend sprinkling them with a little bit of sea salt before baking. Either way, you’re in for a treat. Get ready to be addicted.

Healthy Candied Peanuts

  • 1 cup (140 g) salted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) maple syrup
  • 1 heaping tbsp (28 g) brown rice syrup
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • optional: 1 tsp (or more) of chia seeds

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F/165 °C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, mix maple and brown rice syrup plus a pinch of cinnamon. Stir very well to combine.
  4. Add in the peanuts and stir to coat.
  5. If you’re using chia seeds, add them to half the batch or double the amount for the whole one.
  6. Spread the nuts evenly on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Watch closely [oven temperatures vary!] an  and stir at least once in between.
  7. Let cool before breaking apart the clusters that have formed!! Hot caramel doesn’t feel good on bare hands. Patience will be rewarded.
  8. Go wild on the nuts or be social and share. No judgement if you don’t.

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If you have yet to discover the magic of candied nuts I’ll wait here while you’re getting active in the kitchen to come back swooing. And addicted. Thank me later. (: Because everybody likes some nuttiness of the good and delicious kind in their lives I’m sharing this with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Lean Lena’s Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday, #glutenfreefridays and The Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Getting a text from my sister asking me to revision an application she’s written. Short story long: She’s older than me and I’ve always admired her for her creativity. That’s why it’s nice to know there are times when we change roles and she tells me she felt better about sending it out if I edited it before.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Have you ever had candied nuts?

What are some foods you’ve had a life-long [love/snack] affair or associate special memories with?

 

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Time-crunched crispiness [Healthier Crispy Peanut Protein Cereal Bars]

Chewy and crispy cereal bars reminiscent of Rice Krispie treats but in a healthier and less indulgent way. A low-fat, higher-protein take on a classic.

crispy_snack

Double-checking my calendar was necessary today to realize that yes, it’s actually March already. How in the world …? I wasn’t kidding when I said February was keeping up with January’s fleetingness. Something I am currently keeping up with the second week already is a changed schedule of posting a recipe on Monday instead of reserving it for my usual Friday food talk. The title suggests it already: I’ve been a little crunched for time lately – yes, I’m unorganized … – but it also fits for the recipe I have for you today.

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Weekends have become my recipe creating time frame. Lately not just on the savoury side of baking in the form of casseroles but some sweet baked goods, too. Or actually un-baked in this case. An especially good idea when needing to use up impulse purchases. Semi-impulsive. In my defense: when I spotted brown rice syrup on offer at the health food store I knew I’d find a way to use it in a healthier baked good or other treat. And even before buying this new kind of cereal I’d envisioned to combine the two for a Rice Krispie treat-alike sweet.

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I’ll admit right away that I can’t get nostalgic at all or reminiscene my childhood regarding Rice Krispie treats. They were non-existent back then and even fast forward to today I can’t remember I’ve ever had a real Rice Krispie treat. Which, however, is not to say I couldn’t keep talking about the sweet deliciousness I experienced during my years as a wee little one. Kalter Hund, Schoko-Crossies, Grießbrei and other treats certainly are worth remembering. but these slightly less indulgent crispy cereal bars don’t have to shy away, either.

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Sticky, peanutty and sweet but not too much so with a generous dash of salt turning these into a delicious sweet-and-salty creation. The cereal I briefly mentioned above is a recently introduced high-protein blend of soy flakes, plain and cocoa soy nuggets, chocolate chunks and dried fruit. When I noticed it was both [accidentially, I assume] vegan and low in sugar I just ‘had’ to try it. Even if you can’t find a similar cereal, though, these bars will keep their appeal – just try the sub I noted in the recipe. The brown rice syrup acts as a binding agent and peanut flour adds another protein punch to these little bites of not-so-indulgent indulgence foregoing the protein powder.

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Healthier Crispy Peanut Protein Cereal Bars

  • 1 cup crispy [high-protein]* granola [for any German readers: I used this cereal by Layenberger] [70 g]
  • 1/2 cup of puffed brown rice
  • 1/4 + 1/16th cup [70 g] brown rice syrup
  • 3 tbsps peanut flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • salt to taste
  1. Combine the different cereals in a bowl.
  2. Stir together brown rice syrup, peanut flour, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the cereal and mix well to combine.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 8 x 8 inch baking pan and press it down firmly.
  5. Refridgerate for several hours or overnight before cutting into squares.

*If you can’t find any high-protein granola you can sub any mix of puffed cereals like amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. The granola I used is very dense/heavy in weight so you’ll likely need to increase the amount if using puffed grains only or mix with your favourite crunchy granola.

To keep up the higher protein content adding a scoop of protein powder might work.

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A marvelous snack or slightly less indulgent treat for whenever you want a sweet little something but don’t want to go all out. Happy snacky Monday to all of you and thanks to our sweet host Katie!

Hoping they’re fans of Rice Krispie Treats, too, I’ll be linking up with Laura, Kierston and Healthy Vegan Fridays here. Even if you’re crunched for time it’s well worth visiting their link-ups.

Happiness inducing today: Catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in months.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

What were some of your favourite childhood treats?

Are you good at time management or find yourself crunched for time more often than not? Talk about a serious need for improvement on my part here.

http://www.layenberger.com/Low-Carb/LowCarb-one-Protein-Muesli/LowCarb-one-Protein-Muesli_sorten.php