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Reader Treats Just For You!

Guilt-free treats

This recipe for almond truffles, aka Protein Power Balls, are a sweet way to stay virtuous.

I know we’re all still on a New Year’s self-flagellation programme of extreme diet and exercise (no? me neither, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot and, hey, the old grey matter uses up loads of calories, doesn’t it?). But meh, who cares, may I tempt you with some almond truffles courtesy of Gloucester’s hip and healthy Guru Coffee House? Not as dangerous as they seem. In fact, they’re very of the whip-your-body-into-shape moment – as you’ll see from the ingredients, there’s no sugar people, and no dairy, and no gluten – so I say, woohoo! let’s stuff our faces. And don’t feel guilty if you aren’t as lazy as me and have hit January with HIIT regimes and high-protein diets, because these beauties are otherwise known as Protein Power Balls, so go Olympian, these are the sweet treats of champions!

Almond Truffles (aka Protein Power Balls)

20 Medjool dates, seeded and halved
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy almond butter 
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup toasted almonds, well chopped, shredded coconut, chopped brazil nuts or chopped pistachio nuts

Put the dates and vanilla in a food processor and run until a chunky paste forms. Add the almond butter and pulse a few more times. Add the coconut, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon and pulse a few more times. The mixture should be a tad crumbly, but press between your fingers and stick together. If it seems too wet to hold in a ball, add more coconut, if too dry, add a touch more almond butter or a splash of water.

Roll a heaped tablespoon of the mixture between your palms to form a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Put your chopped almonds, shredded coconut, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts (or a mixture of some or all) on a plate and roll each truffle in the nuts or shredded coconut, applying a bit of pressure to get them to adhere. Place the plate in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.

The truffles will keep covered in the fridge for a couple weeks – but I bet they’ll get gobbled up before that!

Guru Coffee House, 29 Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JE. Tel:01452 532827.

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