Help fill your loved ones with goodness from the inside out this Valentine's Day with this super simple yet yummy raw chocolate truffle recipe.

When I first started experimenting with raw recipes I was a little intimidated by the very idea of what raw meant (uncooked foods or foods that have been cooked under 42C/118F), not to mention the crazy long lists of ingredients they would often involve.

Which is why I love this recipe, it's super easy and at is most simple only contains 5 ingredients, three of which are super foods! As you get more confident, and your on-hand supply of raw foods increases, you can include additional super foods to increase the flavour and health benefits to suit your tastes.

Why cacao?

One of the reasons Cacao is often celebrated as a super food is due to its high antioxidant profile, which help fight against free radical damage caused by pollution, the sun, alcohol and some processed foods. For this reason cacao is linked to promoting cardiovascular health and supporting lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It has been associated with promoting sleep due to its natural supply of Magnesium; and also contains Iron.

Why nuts?

Nuts are the ultimate superfood, jam packed with nutrients! Protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, they really do have it all. Almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts are some of the healthiest and studies have shown them to help lower risks of cancer, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions. Nuts are most nutritious in their unroasted form as the process destroys around 15% of their healthy fat content.

Why Red Berries?

Red Berries are high in pro-anthocyanidins, a phyto-nutrient antioxidant closely linked to preventing the risk of cancer, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions. The freeze dried powder also helps to give the recipe a special Valentine's Day feel due to the fantastic colour!

 Raw chocolate red berry truffles

Makes 12

Ingredients:

 - 1 cup of nuts of your choice (almonds, walnuts, cashews....) raw is preferable*

- 1 cup of medjool dates pitted (or 1/2 cup medjool dates with 1/2 cup of dried cranberries)

- 1/4 cup cacao powder, raw if available

- 1/2 tsp of ground vanilla bean or vanilla extract

- Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

- 2tsp Red Berry Powder from Neal’s Yard Remedies

 * to maintain as much of the nutritional benefits of nuts soak them in filtered water overnight and then pop in a dehydrator for 8-12 hours. If you do not have access to a dehydrator you can pop in the oven overnight keeping the temperature below 42C/118F. Failing this you can just use straight from the packet!

Topping options:

- dessicated coconut

- cacao powder

- cacao nibs

- ground nuts of your choice

- bee pollen

-     melted raw chocolate, again plain dark chocolate will do

-     baobab powder

-     hulled hemp seeds

1.     First pulse the nuts in a good food processor until ground down to a crumb like texture.

2.     Add the dates/cranberries and pulse again, stopping to scrape mixture from the insides of the machine if necessary.

3.     Add the rest of the cacao powder, cranberry powder, vanilla and salt.

4.     Blend until a smooth paste is formed.

5.     Roll into small balls.

6.     Prepare the topping by placing into a small dish. For the melted chocolate simply break up the chocolate and place into a glass or ceramic bowl over a pan of boiling water until melted. You can do as many toppings as you like, get creative ; )

7.     Roll the ball into the topping until covered entirely.

8.     Place on a tray and put in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Each truffle can be served in a mini muffin case and placed into a decorative box, or they are just as yummy straight from the fridge ; )

Enjoy!

Chloe runs a KICKSTARTER package incorporating life coaching, nutrition and yoga into a 7 day programme to help get your diet and lifestyle back on track. To find out more please visit www.chloemanlay.com or email chloemanlay@gmail.com.

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