This week we’re featuring heart healthy snacks as part of Love Your Heart month.
Be sure to check out all of the hearty-healthy snack recipes featured today:
- Cara’s Oatmeal Cookie Dip
- Nicole’s Buffalo Wing Humus
- Amy and Nathalie’s Baked Wonton Crisps and Bean Dip (this week’s hostesses)
… they just might be my favorite dried-fruit-and-nut truffles to date!
Fudgy, chocolaty, dense, rich, and sweet, (sound familiar?), these little two-bite “truffles” are basically healthy mini brownies.
What makes them heart-healthy?
First and foremost: cocoa can decrease blood pressure, improve blood vessel health, lower LDL cholesterol & raise HDL cholesterol, and reduce risk factors for diabetes.
As far as nuts go, walnuts may be the #1 pick for heart health. Packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts can lower LDL cholesterol as well as unhealthy inflammation.
Walnuts + cocoa + Medjool dates + a bit of pure maple syrup = a decadent-tasting but inarguably healthy treat that travels well as an on-the-go snack.
If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can roll the brownie dough balls in cocoa powder to achieve the traditional truffle look; but I actually prefer the way they taste without that final step.
I tore through these truffles in no time. In fact, making another batch is on my list of tasks to accomplish STAT.
One more heart-healthy recipe coming next week… and it’s dessert.
That means one thing: more chocolate!
Fudgy Walnut Brownie Dough “Truffles”
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Ingredients (12 truffles)
- 1 cup toasted walnuts halves
- 6 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + more for rolling, optional
- 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a food processor, process the walnuts until finely crumbled – mixture will resemble coarse sand. Be sure not to over-process, or you will end up with walnut butter! Remove from food processor bowl and set aside.
Place dates in the food processor bowl, and blend until sticky clumps from. Add in the salt, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and blend until a thick paste forms. Add the ground walnuts to the date paste and process until the mixture comes together to form a crumbly “dough”.
Remove mixture from food processor, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Form mixture into a large ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
When the dough has chilled, take it out of the fridge and roll into 12 balls. Refrigerate balls for another 5 minutes.
If you’d like, you can roll the balls in cocoa powder for more of a true truffle appearance.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutritional Information per Truffle:
93 calories, 5.7 grams fat, 0.6 grams saturated fat, 1.7 grams fiber, 8.7 grams sugars, 1.7 grams protein