As final exams approach, students often end up stress-snacking on unhealthy items when a one-hour study session turns into a five-hour one. Instead of wasting your flex dollars at Connections Café on protein bars or processed cookies, I created a quick but sweet snack to power you through your studies. Not only do my chocolate hemp truffles contain natural sugars from dates, but they also have healthy fats from coconut oil and hemp seeds.
Makes 12 truffles
1 serving = 2 truffles
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 cup dates
1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
2 tbsps chocolate protein powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Hemp seeds are rich in easily digested protein, minerals, 20 amino acids and omega-3s. Omega-3s help build cell membranes, lower inflammation and prevent heart disease. Unrefined coconut oil ($5.99/16- oz. jar at Trader Joe’s) is also highly nutritional because it contains a healthy amount of fat. It is a great butter alternative in the health food world. When coconut oil, dates and nuts are processed together and frozen, they create a dessert that will have your mouth watering.
I found all of my ingredients at Trader Joe’s (44 E. Ontario St.) and Whole Foods (30 W. Huron St.). The bulk section of Whole Foods typically has the lowest prices for nuts, making it my go-to option when I need a fixed amount for a recipe. If you can’t find hemp seeds ($9.99/12-oz. bag at Whole Foods), you can substitute with chia seeds ($4.99/5.3-oz. bag at Trader Joe’s) for the same texture and protein amount. Chia seeds are also a great energy and fiber source. For the chocolate protein powder, I used Nutiva’s chocolate hemp protein ($16.99/16-oz. tub at Whole Foods), but any brand will work.
To create the truffles, place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until a thick and dense mixture is formed. Spoon out 10-12 tablespoon-sized portions and roll into balls. The coconut oil will provide a wet texture making the truffles easy to form.
Roll half in cocoa powder ($2.50/9-oz. container at Trader Joe’s) for a more decadent taste and leave the other half uncoated for less sweetness. Pop into a tupperware container or onto a baking sheet and freeze for up to 5-6 hours for best results (but they taste just as great at room temperature).
This recipe makes 12 small bites, and although you could easily eat all of them in one sitting because of how addictive they are, two or three is the recommended serving.