Chocolate Truffle Brownie Bites

SUGAR. My arch nemesis.

As someone who’s been trying to eat well and maintain healthy habits, trying to reduce my sugar intake has been one of the hardest things to do, especially since I’ve had a sweet tooth all my life (let’s not discuss how well I knew my childhood dentist! :-P)  I’ve really tried to find healthier ways to satisfy those sugar cravings. And I think I’ve found a way!

WOW. That was my reaction the first time I made these. A chocolatey, brownie-like treat that’s sugar-free and actually healthy?! No way. But I promise you, they are!

As if that wasn’t good enough, they only take 5 minutes to make, with only 5 ingredients.

I’ve seen them called by different names with slight variations to them (raw brownie bitesvegan truffles). But these, called fudge babies by Chocolate Covered Katie, were the first I’ve tried, and probably the best. (She makes other amazing vegan desserts that you would never believe were vegan!)

Try them and tell me that they’re not going to change your life. {dramatic pause} 🙂 Enjoy!

Chocolate Truffle Brownie Bites

Inspired by Chocolate-Covered Katie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each of walnuts and almonds (raw, unsalted) or 1 cup of any nuts you choose
  • 1 1/3 cup of pitted dates (softened by letting sit at room temperature or warmed slightly in the microwave if necessary)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. of cocoa powder (dark if you have it)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • only as needed: 1 tsp water
  • optional: shredded unsweetened coconut or chopped nuts

Method:

Put all ingredients (in order) into a food-processor or high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix) and pulse on low-speed until ingredients come together. Continue to pulse/blend until mixture forms a loose “dough” (see note).  Form the dough into balls (yep, time to get your hands a little dirty!). If you’d like, roll into shredded unsweetened coconut or chopped nuts.

Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Note:  If “dough” is too crumbly and doesn’t come together when you roll them into balls, scrape down the sides, add a tiny bit of water and pulse again.

5 ingredients and 5 minutes to a chocolatey dessert? Really, it can’t get any easier than that. Even my husband Steve (who would rather a salad instead of dessert!) actually liked these. Now that says something.

P.S.  When I asked Steve to help me with plating these brownie bites, the photo below is what he came up with 🙂  Hahaha. Gotta love it!

(Oh! And meet Leo, our pseudo puppy, a paper pug (obviously, lol) given to me by my best friend Helene. I have slight obsession with pugs and since I can’t have one due to allergies & my living situation, she gave me the next best thing. Cute, right? :))

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The Most Versatile Dip Ever!

Is it a dip? Or is it a pesto? Whatever you call it, I call it delicious 🙂

This concoction of leafy greens, artichokes, nuts and oil all whipped up together = good-for-you perfection. It’s packed with healthy, mostly-raw ingredients (the way nature intended them) and is just so delicious on everything.

It can be tailored to your tastes and to what ingredients you have on hand (hence why I called it versatile!). Don’t have arugula? Try baby spinach, kale, basil or parsley. Substitute the artichokes for roasted red peppers or omit them all together. Add a few olives. Make it more hummus-y by throwing in some beans. Use up leftover cooked sweet potatoes. Try melted coconut oil instead of olive. Add chia or flax seeds for extra nutrition; Parmesan cheese for a salty bite. You get the idea: the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to use up some leftover healthy ingredients you may have at home.

This recipe is definitely one of my favorites and a staple in my house.  It’s also a big crowd pleaser – I served it at my family’s Christmas Eve party with carrots and cucumber slices and everyone, including the vegetable-averse, loved it! That was a proud moment, for sure 🙂

Artichoke-Greens Pesto Dip

Serves 5-10 as a dip, 4-6 over pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts/almonds/cashews or a mix
  • 1 package of frozen artichokes, thawed or 1 can/jar of drained artichokes
  • 1 cup of loosely packed greens; I used baby arugula
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1/4 cup, more or less depending on desired consistency
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of imported grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)

Directions:

Place all your ingredients (except for the oil) in the food processor.  Begin to pulse until everything starts to come together, then slowly drizzle olive oil until you reach the consistency you want.  I generally enjoy this more as a chunky dip so I don’t process it too much. For a more pesto-like consistency, continue to process and add more oil or even some broth.

Best enjoyed at room temperature or warmed in the oven. This dip stores well – I’ve kept it for 2 weeks in my refrigerator (when I serve it, I let it sit out for a bit to get to room temperature). I imagine it would freeze well, too, especially if you left out the cheese.

Now go forth and make dip.. pesto.. dip..