Marzipan Truffles are the perfect healthy festive treat. Almonds and organic almond extract bring out the delicious marzipan flavour to these truffles. This is an easy recipe that looks impressive. I love marzipan so these truffles don't last long in my home. To save time they can be made a couple of weeks ahead.
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Add the cashews, almonds, cacao powder and salt to a food processor. Process for approximately 12 -15 seconds (you should still be able to see fine bits of nuts in the mixture).
Pour the coconut oil and honey over the nut mixture, then add the vanilla and almond extract. Process for 10 seconds to combine the ingredients well.
Take small portions of the mixture (approximately 16 - 18g) and squeeze in your hands, then roll in your palms to form a small truffle size ball. Place on a plate and transfer to the fridge to chill for 1 - 2 hours before coating in the chocolate.
Line a tray with baking paper and set aside.
Add the chocolate pieces to a double saucepan or use a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate, often stirring until just melted (don't overheat). Pour into a small cup.
Remove the balls from the fridge. Use a toothpick to poke into each ball and hold while you dip into the cup of chocolate, turning to coat well. Allow excess chocolate to drip off. Hold the ball close to the lined tray and give a little shake to release the ball from the toothpick. Sprinkle with a few cacao nibs. Repeat the process with the remaining balls. Return to the fridge to set the chocolate.
Store the truffles in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge until ready to serve. They are suitable to freeze.
Cashews work well in a paleo lifestyle, as they are so versatile. They can be used to make dairy free milk, cashew butter, cashew cream or sour cream, dips and many more. Where possible, it is best to soak nuts before using to assist with digestion. Eat them raw but in moderation as they are quite high in omega 6. Stay away from store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
Almonds have 240mg of calcium in 50gms, as much as is found in 200ml of milk. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils. When ground finely almonds make a wonderful nut meal/flour for grain-free baking.
Raw cacao powder and cocoa are made from the same source but are so different. Cacao powder is raw, unsweetened and in it's natural state, it has a stronger flavour and you would use less than cocoa powder. It is so good for you; high in dietary fibre, iron and is a good source of magnesium and antioxidants. Cocoa has been heated and processed, the high heat when processing kills all the minerals and vitamins.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious fats to cook and bake with. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and unbleached from non GMO coconuts. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content, thus, resistant to going rancid. Some studies suggest coconut oil helps with digestion, including irritable bowel, tummy bugs, candida and parasites due to this oil containing short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy form of saturated fat.
Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.
Organic almond extract manufactured by ‘Frontier Natural Flavors’ has the best flavour, and price I've found. I purchase it online from iherb.
In some of my recipes I have used Paleo approved dark chocolate drops/chips, they are dairy, soy, and gluten-free (my favourite brands are, 'Absolute Organic' or 'Chef's Choice' certified organic 70% cacao, purchase online or from health food stores). I also used 70 - 85% organic dark chocolate blocks, they can be broken into pieces or melted for recipe. I also make my own chocolate from: cacao butter or coconut oil, raw cacao powder and sweetened with 100% maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.
Organic cacao nibs are simply raw, crushed cacao beans with no added sweeteners or preservatives. Use them in place of dark chocolate chips, they are bitter but just a few goes a long way. Cacao nibs are a nutrient dense plant based whole food, containing very high amounts of antioxidants known to help fight free radicals and may assist in reducing inflammation, they are also high in, iron, magnesium and fibre.