I have never been much of a Valentine’s day person, I have to admit – true I have enjoyed the odd nice romantic breakfast or dinner in the past and it’s been lovely but I still find the whole idea a bit odd. Why can’t you just be who you are and show your appreciation of others year-round rather than need a day to prompt you? Doesn’t it as much depress those who don’t get a card (and send some who do into a whirr of ‘who sent it?’) as much as please those who do?
This year, though, I have turned round my cynicism a little to see it as a little spark of brightness in an otherwise barren wintertime. After all, for many December was all about indulging in heavy foods and January is detoxing and generally starving yourself of much that’s interesting (not a route I go down but I know others do). The weather in many places is pretty dreary and dark so by mid-February, we could all do with something to make life a bit brighter and sweeter. Having the foods of love and all things red or pink as the creative spark somehow doesn’t seem such a bad thing, with that in mind.
I have more on Valentine’s inspiration coming soon (and it’s pretty exciting, so do come back to see!) but in the meantime I couldn’t help but share these delicious and healthy strawberry truffles with you. They are little bites of tastiness on a dreary day, great as a Valentine’s day gift and perfect to get the kids involved in making.
Strawberries, like raspberries which I used last year in breakfast and cookies, are to me a perfect fruit to build into your Valentine’s day treats with their natural red/pink color and delicious taste. There’s also something about their fragrance that just goes so well with Valentine’s day (I’m beginning to sound like I’m getting into the idea).
Anyway, nothing screams Valentine’s day like chocolate, so combining the two seemed a natural fit. I still always like to keep things relatively healthy – it gives a great excuse to have a bit more for a start! – and these strawberry truffles are definitely one I’m really pleased with how they worked out being delicious, easy and pretty healthy too. They’re also vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar free (if you use the topping suggested rather than chocolate) so work for lots of different diets too.
As I mentioned above, these strawberry truffles are really easy to make. All you do is puree the strawberries then add in the coconut flour, maple syrup, peanut or other nut butter and vanilla. Mix it all up so it is well combined then roll the mixture into little balls.
These are best chilled before you coat them in either melted semi-sweet chocolate or the cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup mixture described below. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually think I might prefer the coconut oil mixture as the maple syrup flavor is delicious. They are also easier to coat in this, I think, but do whichever you prefer/as suits.
The strawberry truffles have a slight hint of coconut to them but in a way that works well with the smooth texture and fruitiness as well. I think they probably taste better the day after you make them as the coconut flour takes on the moisture more and mellows rather than maybe being a little grainier right after you make them. But either way, they’re tasty and the contrast of the crunchy chocolate outside and soft centre is just right as well. These are so easy and tasty it would be a shame to only make them for Valentine’s day, but being so good for you, why not make them more often?
Healthy strawberry truffles
- 1/2 cup strawberries 75g
- 1/4 cup coconut flour 22g
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp peanut butter smooth, or other nut butter
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
For the coating
- 3 oz dark chocolate 85g, approx, or more to make it a little easier to coat them, or
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder 100% cacao
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Hull and roughly chop the strawberries then puree in a small blender.
- Add the coconut flour, maple syrup, peanut or other nut butter and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls. Chill for around 30min, as far as possible (they'll just be a little easier to work with).
- Melt the chocolate OR melt the coconut oil (I tend to do this in the microwave) and add the cocoa powder and maple syrup and stir until smooth. Dip the balls of filling into the chocolate or coconut oil/cocoa mixture one at a time and remove with a fork so they drip a little. Place on a cookie sheet or parchment paper to dry. If using the coconut oil/cocoa mixture you my need to dip them a second time to get a good enough layer once the first layer has dried. You can carefully trim any excess coating/chocolate off with a sharp knife once they have dried to smooth the surface.
- Store in the fridge until you need them - they are probably better after a day and will keep at least 3 days or more.