I spent a lot of my youth disparaging Valentine’s Day. The familiar “it makes people who aren’t in partnerships feel like they don’t belong.” Or “it’s a commercial holiday, made up so that [insert name here] card company can make more money.” I could go on. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Heck, as a cynical 20-something-year-old, you might have even said it yourself. Looking back on it, I was a bit of a downer. Who am I to squash love?
If you are engaged in the world at all you know that stories of tragedy, sadness, and heartbreak are everywhere. It is for this very reason that I have been trying to be more intentional about cultivating gratitude in 2013. It is also for this reason that I now choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Commercially created or not, it’s a day we can use to show love, compassion, and care to one another—and we could all use a little more of that.
So here it is if you need an excuse to express your love to someone close to you—a partner, a family member, a cherished friend, or even toward yourself. The Dalai Lama says that “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” I’m pretty sure he’s not a big V-Day guy, but the point is that it’s a great opportunity to bring more love into the world.
I’m going to start my Valentine’s day love by offering you these delicious truffles and a sneak peak at my first-ever video! To the folks who developed the Directr app, I’m eating a truffle in your honour.
So can we make a deal? Show love, eat some truffles, and give the Dalai Lama props. He’s a wise dude.
Healthy Valentine’s Truffles: Chocolate Truffles with Goji Berry or Cocoa
(makes 20-24 truffles)
// Ingredients //
1 cup raw almonds
6 medjool dates
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup cocoa powder, divided
1/3 – 1/2 cup gogi berries (not too fresh), divided – more if you’re only doing goji berry coating
Place the almonds, dates, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, and hot water in a food processor and process until a smooth ball forms. You don’t want any almond pieces left over.
Scoop approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture into your hand and roll into a ball. It will be a little sticky. Set aside and roll the remaining dough into balls.
If you are coating it with goji berrie powder, it will need to be done in batches so that it doesn’t clump up. Take 1/3 of the gogi berries and place them in a coffee grinder. Pulverize until they’re powder-like, about 5-10 seconds. Immediately transfer the powder to a plate and roll your truffles in the powder. Because of the moisture in the berries, the powder will begin to clump quickly. Simply break it up with your fingers and start again. When you run out of powder, run another batch of berries through the coffee grinder and start again.
If you are coating with cocoa powder, simply place the powder on a plate and gently roll the b
Healthy Valentine’s Truffles: Coconut, Cashew, & Vanilla Burbon Truffles
(makes 12-15 truffles)
// Ingredients //
3/4 cup cashew pieces, soaked for 1 hour and strained
1 1/4 shredded, unsweetened coconut, divided
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
2 tsp bourbon, optional
Place the strained cashews, 3/4 cup of coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and bourbon (if using) in a food processor and process until a smooth “dough” forms. Place the dough into the freezer for approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile place the remaining cup of coconut on a plate.
Once the dough has chilled, scoop approximately 1 tablespoon of it into your hand and roll into a ball. It will be softer than the chocolate truffles. Roll it in the coconut. If it’s not sticking easily, wet your hands a little with water when you’re rolling the dough. The added moisture will help the coconut to stick. Set aside and roll and coat the remaining dough.
They both keep well in the fridge and even better in the freezer. Enjoy alone or with someone special.