Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Truffles (Vegan)

October 23, 2015
This is the second in the series of guest posts while I've been away at yoga teacher training. Find the first one here.

Meet Sophie of The Green Life! Sophie started her recipe blog quite recently, and the quality of both her photos and recipes is outstanding. I think you'll be just as impressed as I am. Every recipe of hers that I've tried has been delicious. Her blog is filled with beautiful and healthy plant based recipes. She lives in Canada too, and writes a French-language version of her blog here. If my French were up to snuff, I would have written that in French (Canada's official languages are English and French). Too bad! Ask Sophie to do it instead.

P.S. Please make these for Halloween, and then bring me some.
Hi there! My name is Sophie. I’m a holistic nutritionist and I usually blog over at The Green Life, my little online space dedicated to seasonal plant-based recipes and inspiration for a vibrant life. I’ve only been blogging for a couple months, so I must say I was thrilled when Alexandra reached out to me and asked if I would accept to be a guest blogger on Occasionally Eggs. I am so excited to be here and to “meet” you all!

One of the truly amazing things about blogging is the beautiful community we’re lucky to be a part of. I love meeting people who share the same passion for food and healthy living. Alexandra is one of those people. Her recipes and food philosophy are very similar to mine, as we’re both inspired by the seasons and we like to cook with ingredients in their purest, more natural form. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been endlessly inspired by Fall lately. The beauty of this season and its abundance of gorgeous produce sparkles all kinds of recipe ideas. I’ve been dreaming of pumpkin spice everything these days so the idea for these pumpkin truffles came about pretty naturally.

These cuties are seriously delicious, and dare I say, healthy. They have the perfect melt-in-your-mouth creamy texture you’re looking for in a truffle, paired with the heavenly taste of a pumpkin pie.

These little bites are sugar-free, only sweetened by the natural sugars contained in dates. They’re also made with cashews that have been previously soaked to release their enzyme inhibitors, for optimal digestion and nutrition. The cashews give an extra creamy texture to the filling while boosting each bite with healthy fats and protein.

When it comes to the pumpkin puree, I highly recommend that you make your own if you can. It’s super easy (look for the instructions in the notes below) and so much fresher at this time of year. And the best part is you can use leftovers in all sorts of delicious fall treats throughout the season (pancakes, muffins, bread, pie, waffles, smoothies, desserts…so many yummy ways to enjoy it!). If you do end up using canned pumpkin puree, I recommend buying one that is organic and BPA-free if possible.

As for the chocolate, I would suggest going with 70% cacao or higher, ideally from fair-trade organic sources. The slightly bitter taste of dark chocolate helps to balance the sweetness of the filling. Of course the higher the quality, the better the truffles.

I hope you enjoy these little bites of heaven! I think they would make the perfect guilt-less treat for Halloween.
Makes about 20 truffles

Ingredients:

Filling:
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours and then rinsed well)
10 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (if your dates are not soft enough, soak in water for about 10 minutes to soften)
¾ cup pumpkin puree*
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon + more for sprinkling
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger powder
A big pinch of sea salt

Chocolate:
100 g. quality dark chocolate, chopped – I used 80% cacao (about 3/4 cup chopped)
1 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions:
- Place soaked cashews in your food processor and blend for a few minutes, until you get a creamy consistency. Add chopped dates and blend again. Then add pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and a good pinch of sea salt. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined and you get a creamy paste (it might take a few minutes).
- Transfer the mixture into a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes, or until very firm.
- When the paste has firmed up, take it out of the freezer. Scoop out mixture using a ½ teaspoon and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are able to shape balls by rolling the mixture between your hands, do so. If it’s still too sticky and soft at this point, that’s ok. Simply form little mounds and set the tray back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, or until the mounds are firm enough to roll.
- Place a double boiler (or a stainless bowl placed over a pot of water) on low heat and bring to a simmer. Add the coconut oil and chopped chocolate and whisk. Let melt slowly until you have a thin chocolate sauce.
- Remove the tray from the freezer. Roll each mound between your palms to form little balls.
- Using two forks, dip each ball in the melted chocolate, until completely covered. Scoop the ball out with the fork and let the extra chocolate drip off.
- Gently place each truffle back on the parchment lined sheet. Set the tray back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has firmed up. Dust with extra cinnamon before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes
*To make pumpkin puree, slice a pumpkin in half, remove seeds, and place the two halves cut side down in a baking dish or baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes at 400F (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin), or until the flesh is really soft. Scrape flesh and place in your food processor or blender. Pulse until you get a smooth puree.

5 comments on "Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Truffles (Vegan)"
  1. Thank you so much for having me Alexandra, and thank you for your sweet words! So happy to be here and to have "met" you! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you again for writing this lovely recipe for this space! I can't wait to try it, and it was so great to work with you.

      Delete
  2. Any way to make these nut free? Could you sub coconut or peanuts for the cashews? Just wonder if the pumpkin flavor would still come through...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only way to substitute for the cashews that I can think of would be to use a mix of coconut butter and coconut cream, but their flavour would be very strong in that case - I know Sophie recently reposted this recipe over at her blog (thegreenlife.ca) so I recommend heading over there and seeing if anyone who made the recipe substituted for the cashews. Sorry I can't be of more help since it was a guest post!

      Delete