|Fruit packed sugar free chocolate truffles|
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:
- They’re sweet
- They look and taste chocolatey
- 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.
- 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.
- Add in the water and blend for a few more seconds.
- 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!
- 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 :)
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