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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)

Ingredients:
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. gurucoffeehouse.co.uk

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