Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Fruit packed sugar free chocolate truffles
It was good news today when Public Health England announced that tooth decay in five year olds has dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade.

As a mum, I’m aware of how much we have to keep an eye on sugar consumption, especially as so much of it isn’t always easy to spot. But it’s important to strike a middle balance I think in the battle to keep sugar at bay - some would say swinging too far in the other direction makes sugar even more tempting!

I know we’re supposed to stop thinking of certain foods as ‘treats’ - or if we must, to term healthy options as ‘treats’ too. But it’s hard to persuade your child (especially as they get older) that some carrot sticks or an apple are a treat in quite the same way as a biscuit! Unless you start with that ethos from the moment your baby is born - and get everyone they’re ever likely to meet out of the home on board too - you might be setting the bar too high!

So, to maybe help a little bit, I thought I’d share my sugar-free chocolate truffle recipe with you - my daughter loves these, and certainly looks on them as a treat! I think part of the reason why they work so well is because they tick all the sweet treat boxes:

  1. They’re sweet
  2. They look and taste chocolatey
  3. They’re ‘picky’ sized - so you can get that “ooh a treat”/finger food type feeling you’d get from chocolates or sweets!

Now, I’ll be honest here: they’re not 100% sugar free - but they’re as near as dammit! And if you wanted to make them completely free of sugar it wouldn’t be too tricky. They take about 10-15 minutes to make, there’s no baking, they are more filling and satisfying than sweets, and they’ll keep for a good few days (in theory, although the ones I make never seem to last much longer than about 24 hours!). Here’s the recipe:

Sugar Free Chocolate Truffles

200g stoned dates (chopped or whole, doesn’t matter)
1 dessert spoon cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g rolled oats
1.5 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
1 dessert spoon water

A note about ingredients:

  • Cacao: I use cacao powder in my recipe rather than cocoa powder. The reason being cacao is a purer version of chocolate - there’s no added sugar and it hasn’t been highly processed. It’s basically chocolate in its pure form. It is more expensive than cocoa powder, and harder to find in the supermarket - but a little goes a long way as it has a more powerful chocolate punch. If you can’t find cacao you could use sugar free cocoa powder instead.
  • Vanilla Extract: The vanilla extract I use (Tesco Madagascan Vanilla Extract) does have sugar in it - the ingredients are listed as: Water, Ethanol, Sugar, Vanilla Extract. But as I’m only using a teaspoon I kind of figure that it won’t really break the sugar bank (if you see what I mean)!
  • Peanut Butter: The peanut butter I use is whole peanut butter - ie, it’s 100% peanuts and nothing else. I buy mine from Tesco and use either the Meridian or Whole Earth (whichever is cheaper at the time I buy it).  If you don’t want to use peanut butter you could probably substitute it with perhaps some ground almonds, although you might need to add more water and maybe a small dash of honey to the mix as the peanut butter acts as a kind of ‘glue’ to the mixture.
  • Chocolate Chips: Again, I have to admit that these do have sugar in them, but I'm only adding in a tablespoon of them so... - but you could substitute them with a sugar-free chocolate if you wanted to, or you could leave them out entirely if you prefer.

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the water, into a food processor and whizz it up until it’s crumbly. This will probably take 1-2 minutes. 
  2. Add in the water and blend for a few more seconds. 
  3. Transfer the crumbly mixture to a food bag and squish it up into one big ball. Then simply break off pieces, roll them into balls, and you’re done!
  4. The mixture should make about 15/16, depending on the size of your balls [insert own joke here]. The mixture will feel a little bit crumbly when you’re rolling the balls, but it does firm up - I put mine in the fridge for half an hour and they go firm with a nice non-fall-apart consistency!

I hope you enjoy them - if you have a go at making these I’d love you to come back and let me know what you think! And if you have any recipes or healthy sweet treat ideas, please leave a comment and share :)

Sarah x

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