TOASTED SESAME + SPIKED ORANGE TRUFFLES
Vegan / Paleo / Gluten Free / Sugar Free
Happy Movember beautiful humans.
I've been asked by the lads at Equilibrium to whip up a fool-proof, super-easy recipe for Movember, one that even the most cooking impaired caveman can manage!
As Movember is all about prostate health, I thought I'd focus on zinc as an essential trace mineral as it has been implicated in a number of studies on prostate cancer. Zinc is a super important mineral for both men and women to consume, and unless you down a whole bunch of oysters regularly it's now virtually impossible to get enough zinc from most foods due to the depletion of our soil.
Luckily, sesame seeds boast an awesome mineral profile and are naturally super-high in zinc. If you love tahini dressing (sesame seed paste) or these gorgeous little seeds (raw or toasted) as much as I do, then eating them regularly will ensure you keep your levels elevated.
If you're not a sesame seed lover or consumer, supplementing with a liquid zinc is a must. I'm usually not into isolatedsupplements at all (meaning not from a whole-food source or food itself), but as most people just don't get enough I think it is needed, as it's just too darn important to too many processes in our bods to go without. (It's worth noting that organic foods will generally be grown in healthier soil that is richer in zinc and other minerals than conventional produce).
A great and affordable zinc supplement is Clinicians Oral Drops - click here to check it out. It also has a guide for a handy self diagnostic taste check (I am not being paid to recommend this product by the way!)
Back to the recipe. Now guys, do not be put off by the ingredient list - I promise you it all just gets popped into a blender and whizzed together. The hardest part to the recipe is dipping the truffles in the chocolate, which is totally optional by the way, if you want to leave this step out completely they are still very impressive little fellas without it.
Just before we get to the goods, I must stress the importance in using a REAL tahini. For such a long time I was buying jars of organic tahini from the supermarket or making my own raw version, both of which were great, but when I discovered Lebanese tahini - O.M.G it was life changing! I source mine from a wonderful local store here in Nelson called PREGOS on Collingwood Street. If you're elsewhere in the world, just look out for a Lebanese tahini at a local Mediterranean store or restaurant!
If you want to know more about prostate health and it's strong link to diet, check out this great article on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website. It takes a look at how diet affects hormone levels and why our western culture of high meat and dairy consumption is contributing to the growing epidemic of prostate cancer.
"Even if you grew up as a meat-eater, your prostate would rather be a vegetarian"
Dr Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
TOASTED SESAME + SPIKED ORANGE TAHINI PALEO TRUFFLES
For the truffles
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup tightly packed dates, roughly chopped, stones removed
1/2 cup currants
10 drops orange essence
1 tsp carob (liquid or powder) optional
6 Tbsp cacao powder (that's cacao not cocoa boys!)
3 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp vanilla essence
pinch of pink salt (or sea salt)
For the chocolate dipping sauce
Two options here, Easiest being option 1:
1/2 a block of 70+% dark chocolate, chopped and melted double boiler style (or over a very low heat) with 1 tsp of coconut oil and 2 Tbsp tahini stirred through while melting
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup cacao powder
2-3 Tbsp coconut nectar, maple syrup or raw honey (depending on how sweet you like your chocolate)
2 Tbsp tahini
1-2 drops of orange oil - optional
1/3 cup unhulled sesame seeds, toasted
(To toast, add seeds to a hot dry frypan and stir constantly until browned. Remove from pan immediately once browned and transfer to a bowl or the heat of the pan will burn them if left to sit)
- Place almonds in a food processor and whizz until crumbly yet textured, the consistency of biscuit/bread crumbs
- Add all remaining ingredients except the currants to food processor along with your almonds and whizz together until the mixture holds together when pressed between the fingers. Depending on the power of your food processor, this will take anywhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes to reach the desired consistency. If you have never made bliss balls/truffles before, I would recommend stopping in 20 second increments to check consistency. The longer you process, the more oil/moisture will be released from the nuts and coconut.
- Once you're happy with the consistency, add the currants and pulse through mixture
- Remove the blade, and scoop walnut sized portions into the palm of your hand and press/roll into balls.
- Once all rolled, begin making the chocolate
Option 1 - place your chopped chocolate in a metal/thin glass bowl and place that bowl over a bowl of almost boiling hot water and stir until melted. Once melted, add the coconut oil and tahini and stir through until evenly incorporated. You can just melt the chocolate in a saucepan over a VERY low heat, but you run the risk of burning the chocolate. Double boiler takes longer but will yield a much better chocolate. Transfer to a small but deep bowl
Option 2 - Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over a low heat. Once melted add all remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Transfer to a small but deep bowl
- Place your balls one at a time onto a fork (balancing on top not skewered) and lower into the chocolate until coated.
- Lift ball out of chocolate sauce and give the fork a wee tap on the side to release any excess chocolate through the forks grates
- Pop on a plate/tray (make sure first that the tray you choose will fit into the freezer) lined with baking paper and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds
- Repeat this process until all the truffles are used up and pop into the freezer for around 20m to set the chocolate
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer
These are the perfect little treat to have on hand for when you're hangry (hungry + angry from being hungry = hangry) or to impress the loved ones, and of course, a delicious way to look after your prostate health!
Women and children will love these too of course, zinc is super-important for our skin health and many more processes.
If you have excess chocolate, pour it straight onto a tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle on remaining sesame seeds and some dried fruit or nuts of choice and pop in the freezer to set. Roughly brake into smaller amounts and you also have some delicious chocolate bark!