Healthy family recipe: Fruit and nut chocolate truffles
Kids can help make these treats as gifts or lunchbox surprises.
This sweet treat makes for a great holiday gift or a yummy after school snack. Little kids can help roll and decorate the truffles while bigger kids can help measure, scoop, and package them!
It can be challenging this time of year to find healthy treats around all of the Christmas cookies and Hanukkah gelt, but this recipe comes with some amazing health benefits. Apricots are a great source of vitamin A, rich in fiber, and have anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Prunes are also high in fiber. They also contain potassium and are a good source of iron. The crunchy, toasted pecans provide healthy fats, protein, and even more anti-inflammatory benefits.
Fruit and Nut Chocolate Truffles
Yield: 30-36 truffles
1/3 cup pecans
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup non-fat milk
1/3 cup dried, no sugar added apricots, very finely chopped
1/3 cup dried, no sugar added prunes, very finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Place the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool completely before finely chopping them or pulsing them in a food processor.
Combine the chocolate, vanilla, orange zest, and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
In a small saucepan on medium-low, heat the milk through until hot and steaming. Pour the milk over the chocolate and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before mixing. If the chocolate isn’t completely melted, microwave it in 30 second increments, stirring after each time until smooth. Mix in the pecans, apricots, and prunes.
Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 3 hours. The mixture should harden but still be soft enough to scoop. If it gets too hard you can let it soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
On a piece of parchment paper, scoop out heaping teaspoons to form truffles. Roll the truffles in your hands until smooth. Wrap 4-5 truffles in parchment, tying both ends with ribbon.
Adapted from the Food Network. Bob Squaresky MS, RD, LDN is a clinical dietitian in the Healthy Weight Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.