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Posts Tagged ‘natural sweeteners’

Let’s face it. Most of us love a little sweet treat during the Holidays, but for those of us who are sensitive to flour and sugar, our options are limited. So I love to make these little balls of joy to satisfy that craving for something sweet and festive. Originally, I got the idea for this recipe in a book that my friend and colleague, Ellen Siegel, shared with me called Cosmic Cookery by Kathryn Hannaford. The beauty of these little bundles of yumminess is that the combinations are endless. They also make adorable Holiday gifts for your loved ones! Enjoy the recipe.

Cocoa Pistachio Date Truffles

Serves 25 balls
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Dessert
By author Kim Rush Lynch, inspired by Cosmic Cookery by Kathryn Hannaford


  • 4 cups almond meal*
  • 2 cups chopped Medjool dates**
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • pinchsea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts or seeds (sesame, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnut, pecans)
  • shredded coconut for rolling (or oats)
  • cocoa powder for rolling*** (or carob powder)
  • 2 cups chopped Medjool dates**
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • pinchsea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted nuts or seeds (sesame, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnut, pecans))


1. Mix all of the ingredients together, squeezing the mixture between your fingers so that all the ingredients stick together. You can also mix in a food processor.
2. Shape into balls between the palms of your hands.
Roll in the shredded coconut and/or nuts.


* You can also use sesame meal or hazelnut meal.

** You can use a combination of dried fruit such as raisins, dates, goji berries and cranberries.

*** You can experiment with a variety of other ingredients and toppings as well:

  • finely grated orange zest
  • instant espreesso powder
  • cinnamon
  • tahini, almond or cashew butter
  • ginger
  • cardamom
  • pomegranate arils
  • maple syrup

What are some of your favorite date truffle combinations? Feel free to post here!



Embrace Sweet Vegetables & Sweet Spices.

Incorporating sweet winter vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, sweet potatoes and winter squash into your diet is a healthy way to satisfy sweet cravings or prevent them in general. They beauty of these hearty sweet vegetables is that they can be used in savory dishes as well as desserts. Aduki beans and short brown rice and also be used to create healthy sweet treats. You can also experiment with spices such as allspice, cloves, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon which impart a sweet flavor to any dish. Cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves have been found to triple insulin’s ability to metabolize sugar and remove it from the blood so use them liberally this Holiday season!


Experiment with Natural Sweeteners.

Why use sweet vegetables and natural sweeteners in our Holiday cooking and baking? Refined sugars interfere with the absorption and transport of many important nutrients. Sugar and refined carbohydrates increase the excretion of B vitamins, vitamin C and most minerals including calcium, magnesium and chromium. In addition, minerals such as chromium, manganese and zinc are in short supply in the average diet (partly due to diet and partly due to the lack of minerals in our soils) and are needed to control blood sugar levels. Experimenting with natural sweeteners that still contain fiber, vitamins and minerals can keep your body from depleting vital nutrients and becoming acidic.

Consider trying one or more of the following, this Holiday season:

raw honey
date sugar
blackstrap molasses
raw unrefined cane sugar (Rapadura)
coconut crystals
palm sugar
brown rice syrup


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