On Sunday, January 25th, Los Angeles debuted its very first LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show. When I was invited to give a live “cooking” demo at the West Coast’s biggest baking and pastry party, I could not turn down the opportunity. As many of you know, it is my mission to prove to all that vegan and gluten-free food can be absolutely delicious while still being nutritious. I had two demos—one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so I was happy to have broadcast my message twice! I was also thrilled that vegans and non-vegans alike loved my Superfood Truffles and came back for seconds and thirds!
Many thanks to Nancy Tei, the organizer of the event, for inviting me to demonstrate how to make a raw vegan and gluten-free dessert to the public, and a big thanks to my friends at Melissa’s Produce for providing all of the delicious and nourishing ingredients to make my Superfood Truffles. Additionally, I want to thank all those who stopped by to watch my cooking demos and asked great questions about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and eating raw until 4 o’clock.
Melissa’s Produce made this such a positive experience for me. The Friday before the event, I met up with Nancy Eisman and Sara De Leeuw at the Melissa’s Produce test kitchen to prepare samples and prizes to give away at the convention. Nancy works on various projects at Melissa’s Produce and writes for the Melissa’s Produce blog, Plantbased411 blog as well as her own blog, Adventures with Nancy Rose. Sara is a Master Preserver, instructor, and the creator of the My Imperfect Kitchen blog. One thing I miss about working in a professional kitchen is having coworkers and getting to know one another as we complete our tasks. I had so much fun rolling my hundreds of truffles while getting to know these lovely ladies at the test kitchen. I felt that we clicked right from the start, so that was a great feeling. On the day of the convention, Nancy and Sara were some of my biggest cheerleaders–I cannot thank them enough for their support!
Sara also demo’d at the convention. She made the most amazing Chocolate Chile Bark with Pepitas and Blood Orange Zest. It is the Best chocolate bark I have ever tasted! The recipe can be found on her blog or in the Melissa’s Produce The Great Pepper Cookbook.
Meanwhile, Nancy distributed Melissa’s Produce Clean Snax to the public. They come in four flavors: almond, coconut, cranberry, and pumpkin. They are bee-gan (which means they contain honey). My husband, who considers himself plant-based, enjoys this snack. He usually picks up the snack at the Staples Center when we attend Clippers games, and he enjoys the pumpkin flavor most.
Now, let me tell you about my Superfood Truffles. The recipe is actually a collaboration. When Nancy Eisman and I discussed ingredients I needed in order to make my Goji-, Cranberry, Coconut Truffles recipe, Nancy suggested I add some cacao nibs to make it a little chocolatey. At first I was not keen on the idea, but Nancy really believed that it was a great idea since so many people who love cookies and pastries also love chocolate. We gave it a try—added it into the recipe and, oh my, they turned out even better than the original. So delicious. The cacao nibs add a nice crunch factor and deep chocolate flavor to the truffles. That is how the Superfood Truffle was born! I’m so glad I met Nancy. Not only is she down-to-earth and fun, without her I wouldn’t have my Superfood Truffles recipe. I hope you enjoy it as a snack or dessert!
Melissa’s Produce and goods can be found in the US, in major grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Ralphs, and the list goes on.
Time: 20 minutes
Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, R
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried goji berries
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1. Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the cacao nibs to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine until you reach a texture of your liking. More texture is better than being over-processed. You still want to see chunks of the dried fruit.
2. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the cacao nibs and stir to combine, using clean hands or a silicone spatula. Make sure the cacao nibs are evenly distributed!
3. Line a quarter-sheet pan or tupperware with parchment paper. Scoop out 1.5 Tbsp-sized truffles, round them out with your hands, then roll into coconut flakes and place them onto the lined sheet tray or plate. You should make about 15-18 truffles. Refrigerate immediately until hardened, about 15-20 minutes.
Note: These truffles are best eaten cold, right out of the refrigerator. Enjoy!
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