Simply Raw: Not-so-sinful Sweets

The following is a guest post by Michelle Uher.

Most everyone loves dessert. As we know, an excess of sugar results in many undesired repercussions: weight gain, skin and hair problems, lethargy and can even lead to even more serious conditions such as diabetes and other hormonal imbalances.
But let’s face it, sometimes resisting a sweet treat is next to impossible.

So how do we create harmony with (what some may refer to as) this “necessary evil?” For me, I have found the answer in raw desserts.

Firstly, what is raw?

There are varying levels of raw foodism, but a raw food diet simply refers to eating (whole) foods that are not heated above about 104 degrees.  It is believed that raw foods have enzymes,  beneficial bacteria and other nutrients that aid in digestion and are destroyed when heated.

Personally, I do not adopt a fully raw foods lifestyle, but I do partake in aspects of the raw food diet, specifically: raw desserts!

It’s hard to think about dessert and be tempted by anything other than pies, cookies, cupcakes & anything else you can bake with flour and butter. In fact, you may think a raw dessert is merely an in-season piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.  It is, in fact, much more than that.

Raw desserts are crafted with nuts, seeds, and sweetened with fruit, raw honey or dates. This allows a raw dessert to be packed with nutrients that are actually beneficial for you!  A trim waist, soft hair and smooth skin from my dessert? Yes, please!

In addition, utilizing locally sourced raw honey can aid in managing allergies in addition to benefiting from the vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Also, adapting recipes to in-season fruit helps utilize those CSA boxes!

Raw Dessert Essentials

Coconut Oil: I can go on and on about the health benefits of oil! Coconut Oil is the best oil to cook with as it withstands high heat, enhances metabolism, the immune system and digestion and is excellent for topical treatment to hair and skin, but we are talking about raw desserts. Coconut Oil is essential, because when slightly heated, the oil is liquid. When cooled it solidifies, so it binds to the other ingredients , solidifies, keeping the dessert together.

Dates provide the essence of any dessert: sweetness! In addition, dates are full of fiber and provide many vitamins and minerals, such as: calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and magnesium. Dates also help provide the proper consistency to hold many desserts together.

Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts & Cashews seem to work best.  You can do a little research to find out how long to soak each type of nut.  Cashews work the best at creating a cheesecake-type texture.

Cacao is amazing.The cacao bean is a seed and is the raw form of what we commonly call chocolate. Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea! (http://livesuperfoods.com/raw-cacao-powder.html) Using Raw, Organic Cacao not only gives you a dose of nutrients, but also allows you to control the level of sugar involved in the dessert.

A food processor is absolutely necessary! This is your primary tool for a simple raw dessert. Toss in your ingredients and blend!

Just remember, sugar is sugar and no matter the source, it should be limited! With that stated, here is my delicious recipe for ‘raw truffles’! These tasty truffles are packed with healthy fats as well as small amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, & enzymes.

Michelle’s Raw Truffles (updated with correct ingredients!)

Filling:

1 Cup Raw Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, or Almonds)
3 TBS. Cacao/Cocoa Powder (or nibs for more texture)
2 tsp. Alcohol Free Vanilla Extract (or Vanilla Bean)
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt (Celtic)
2 TBS. Raw Honey
2 TBS. Coconut Oil (melted)

Place all ingredients for filling into a food processor and blend until smooth. Roll (about 1-2 TBS worth) into little balls and tuck a nut into the center. I place into freezer while I clean up and prepare for the next step. This way, as the ‘dough’ cools and the coconut oil solidifies, it will be easier to work with.

Chocolate Coating:

Equal Parts Coconut Oil, Cacao Powder, & Raw Honey* 
(usually 1-2 TBS. each)

*I imagine that sweeteners such as xylitol or stevia may work just as well with the chocolate coating. I have never tried it.

Melt ingredients together and stir until smooth. Take the lil’ balls out of the freezer and dip into chocolate coating. Immediately roll into of your choice of coating. I prefer dried unsweetened coconut flakes.

Editor’s note: Don’t those truffles sound amazing? Michelle is a real-life friend of mine and I can attest to their goodness! Have you tried any raw desserts or sweet treats?

Reading Time:

3 minutes

 

 

 

26 Comments

  1. Darlene

    I haven’t tried any raw desserts….yet! LOL These look great and I am definitely going to try them.Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Sarina

    Should I put some coconut oil in the original mixture? It is mentioned but is not in the list of ingredients. They sound delicious though.

    • Michelle Uher

      Hi there!
      I see that the entire recipe isn’t posted properly. This the complete list of ingredients. Enjoy!
      1 Cup Raw Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, or Almonds)
      3 TBS. Cacao/Cocoa Powder (or nibs for more texture)
      2 tsp. Alcohol Free Vanilla Extract (or Vanilla Bean)
      1/4 tsp. Sea Salt (Celtic)
      2 TBS. Raw Honey
      2 TBS. Coconut Oil (melted)

  3. Crystal - www.intentionalhomemaker.com

    Where do you purchase organic cacao? Also, the strawberry dessert you have pictured looks delicious. Can I have the recipe?

    • Michelle Uher

      Hi Crystal. Thanks for taking time to read my post! Your local health food store should carry it, but I have been very pleased with http://www.vitacost.com.
      I tend to use Natierra Organic Cacao Powder. Natierra also makes nibs if you would like a bit more of a crunch to your truffle. And yes! I will post the Strawberry “Cheesecake” recipe.

  4. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    Those truffles look amazing! These seem like a good choice for those times when only a real dessert will do!

  5. sarah

    Hi, I love this post. can I have the recipe for the strawberry dessert pictured? I followed the links you posted above when someone else asked and I couldn’t find it. I am hoping you’ll link it again. or what does she call it so I can search it off her blog. Thanks so much!

  6. Bethany ~ Sustainable Food For Thought

    I love making homemade lara bars with raw ingredients (I was so happy to discover that soaked and dried almonds were so much easier to digest!); your truffle recipe sounds delightfully easy. I may have to give that a try soon… Cheers~

  7. Leigh

    Great post about Raw food and dessert! Those truffles look amazingly delicious! I can’t wait to try it this weekend, the only time I can make some cooking and dessert. Thank you for sharing your recipe! 🙂

  8. Misty

    The recipe for raw truffles looks yummy and I would like to try it also, but, like Sarina, I am wondering if you left coconut oil out of the ingredient list for the filling.

    • Nicole

      Hi Misty! I fixed the ingredient list. Thanks for noticing!

  9. Tee

    This subject is near and dear to my heart. My once sugar addicted husband can now never have sugar….so the raw desserts on holidays is the only way I go.
    I have been amazed at how awesome our “cheese”cakes have come out…our ice”cream”.. Cocao covered strawberries…the list goes on… I never thought any of it would taste palatable let alone crave worthy.
    Tee

  10. Miranda@ecarpetcleaningservice.com

    Good point: “Just remember, sugar is sugar and no matter the source, it should be limited!” I totally agree! And the raw truffles looks absolutely delicious and easy to make. I would definitely try this one!

  11. sap

    i never tried it, but it looks good and sounds good. thank you for the recipe!

  12. Robert

    absolutely love this recipe! I stored them in the fridge and they are incredible

    • Sarina

      The original recipe does not have coconut oil in the list of ingredients, but it is mentioned. Did you add coconut oil?

      Thanks, I would really like to try this one

      • Nicole

        Yes, I just fixed the ingredient list. 🙂

  13. Krisha@fireproofsafesshop.com

    Sweet! Love strawberry, I would like to try that pie you have on the pic. Is that also processed organic ingredients? Is it too much if I ask for the recipe? Thanks in advance. 🙂

  14. Pinoy Neophyte

    I think i’m gonna try your recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Home Protect Home Warranty

    Nice post !! In fact, it’s starting to look like these might actually be growing on a significant portion of our two acre lot, plus the surrounding land! Woohoo!

  16. Pepe Fanjul

    Those look perfect. Easy, no dehydrating b/c the smell of coconut and vanilla wafting thru the air for like 12 hrs is just too much for me. Freeze and serve, baby. love it!

  17. Bridget Stevens

    these sounds delish, and I actually have the ingrediants, woo hoo. One question, about how many does it make? anyone made these and want to chime in with approximate yield?

  18. Ben

    I agree, coconut oil is the best stuff ever. I eat it plain before a workout and it gives me a nice boost in energy. I bet your raw desserts would do the same. They’re high in natural sugars and healthy fats. I might have to try that out. And by using a lot of nuts, you’ll get a nice serving of protein as well. Thanks for the great tips!

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  20. Mary Jane

    I LOVE raw desserts! Sometimes my “meal” could actually be considered a dessert! The only problem with the delicious nuts and me making raw desserts is that I love the nuts so much that by the time I am ready to make a dessert, I am out of nuts! Only in the “raw” world can good tasting food be so GOOD for you too! Good bye guilt and hello raw chocolate truffles!

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