Because Valentine’s Day is my half-birthday and I’m the child of divorced parents, I’ve always celebrated the 14th of February. I spent my actual birthday at my dad’s house, so come early February, my mom would begin conversations with me about what my half-birthday party might look like (Was having two birthday’s exorbitant? Definitely. Did it make my parents happy to each get to celebrate a birthday with me? Absolutely. Was I about to complain? Hellll no!).
When I was in second grade, I had my first crush on a boy. His name was Phillip, and he has a lock of blonde hair that swooped over his forehead like Prince Eric. Every day, I’d shyly share my orange juice and cookies with him at lunch, and, when my Valentine’s Day party rolled around, I knew it was the perfect excuse to have him over to my house, where I had a basketball hoop and a pool and all the Dunkaroos a seven year old stomach could handle.
Come Saturday afternoon and my house was bedecked with red heart wall hangings, bowls of Hershey kisses, and a pinata shaped like a donkey (which, as everyone knows, is the animal of love). All of my friends showed up, and then, 20 minutes late, Philip showed up. He walked through a doorway filled with pink and red streamers, brushing the crepe paper from his eyes before looking at me in confusion.
“Wait,” he said. “Am I the only boy here?”
I swallowed my Hershey kiss whole.
“Wait,” he said again, his expression changing from confusion to blatant, wretched disgust. “Am I the only boy here because you like me?”
I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day for a few years after that.
Now, I’m back in the swing of things – this time armed with a fiance who’s excited to come to my parties, and a whole lot of chocolate truffles. Healthy chocolate raspberry truffles, that is. Rich, chocolatey truffles with a surprising, sweet burst of delicious fruit in the center. These will wow everyone you generously decide to share them with, whether they’re into healthier choices or not. Because we’re talking about Valentine’s Day here and you’ll likely spend the holiday being loved up on someone (double props if that someone is yourself), let’s talk about some of the holiday-particular health benefits. Raspberries are rich in both Vitamin C, which is known for its collagen boosting properties (hello, glowing skin!), and ellagic acid, which helps quell inflammation, from bloating to acne. Cacao is rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which will help you leave your stress behind and ready yourself for a night of sweet lovin’. Or truffle eating. Or both.
And here’s the secret: they take so little effort to make. It’s really a wam, bam, thank you beautiful truffles situation – in the time it took for you to read about my childhood Valentine’s pain, you could’ve already had a batch made. So what’re you waiting for? There are truffles to make. There’s chocolate to eat. Philip, if you’re reading this, yes, you were the only boy at my party. And you were gosh darn lucky to be there.Print
- 11 dates, pitted, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained well (Medjool are ideal, but any dates will work)
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup 70% dark chocolate (either chips or a bar, cut into chunks)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 12 fresh raspberries, washed and dried very well
- In a food processor, combine dates, cashews, pecans, vanilla, and salt; process until all ingredients form a sticky ball, about 2 – 3 minutes. Roll date mixture into a ball in your hands, then press it flat into a disc, place one raspberry in the center and fold date mixture around it so the raspberry is completely covered. Roll gently into a ball shape again. Repeat until all date mixture is used, then place balls in freezer for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight. Meanwhile, use a double boiler or a microwave to melt the chocolate, stirring frequently (if you’re using a microwave, do 20 second intervals). Stir coconut oil into chocolate. Use a spoon to dip each frozen truffle ball into the chocolate, rolling it around to coat it evenly on all sides before removing it from chocolate and placing it on a piece of parchment paper to harden. If desired, sprinkle crushed nuts, sea salt or cacao nibs on top before chocolate hardens. Store at room temperature or in refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or in freezer for up to 2 weeks (just remove 10 minutes before serving). Makes 12 truffles.