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Amy Eddings' Food for Thought: 'Chocolate-Free' Doesn't Have to Mean 'Pleasure-Free'

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WNYC
Chocolate "truffles," with no refined sugar, no flour, no eggs. Just yum. (Amy Eddings/WNYC)

I've kicked the sugar habit for the past 24 days now, as part of a detox that was supposed to last just 21 days. I'm feeling light on my feet and healthy, I've lost seven pounds, my skin and eyes are super clear ... so, why stop?

One possible reason: chocolate.

I'm not a candy person, so the salt water taffy that has been kicking around the newsroom hasn't been calling me. But neither has the pie that someone brought in for The Takeaway staff. 

It sounds a little naive for folks who are really in the know about how sugar operates in the body, but I've truly been floored by how much the chatter in my brain about how I look and whether I'm hungry and what sweet goodie I need to indulge in now, now, now has been the result of the physical effects of sugar in my system. 

I'm not crazy, after all!

Except I DO love, and have missed, chocolate.

I used to eat handfuls of Ghiradelli's Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, straight outta the bag. 

So, what to do when I would like to sanely enjoy a piece of chocolate?

I eat these chocolate truffles instead. They are chewy, satisfying, and full of chocolaty flavor. Try them!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts with the skins removed
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder (less processed, more antioxidants, than cocoa powder)
  • 12 organic Medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

In the food processor, pulse the nuts with the salt until the nuts look crumbly, like flour. Add the dates, raw cacao powder and vanilla and pulse until the mixture starts to stick together and form a ball in the processor, or sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Roll the mixture into balls. You may also roll them in raw cacao powder or in finely shredded raw coconut. Refrigerate or, better yet, freeze. You can eat them right out of the freezer.

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