Dearest Chocolate, I have a confession to make- I haven’t always been your biggest fan. I mean, I’m a fan of course (I’m human), but you’re a little down there on the list. When most people are scrambling to get a bite of chocolatey goodness, I'm reaching for the cheesy garlic bread. But, there’s good reason for this. In all fairness to you, Chocolate, I wasn’t eating you the best way I could. I may or may not have been raised on your highly processed, corn syrup laden, sweetened up and watered down version of your beautiful Cacao bean. I did not know the true depths of you! However, I began to learn that there is much more to you than your ability to be paired well with chewy nougat…. Okay, now that I have made my amends with chocolate, I would like to share with you a delicious and healthier way to get your chocolate fix. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cocoa beans, a nice alternative to the mini-mart candy bar. This process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat. The antioxidants contained within Cacao can block free radicals and reduce your risk of cancer. Cacao contains Magnesium and essential minerals including Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. These truffles contain a big ole’ heaping bite of chocolate heaven with some extra love mixed in. I decided to create two ways to eat these gems; one to power up and one to chill out. The Warrior Truffle contains Vitamin B rich Maca, and immune boosting Chaga Mushroom and Echinacea to give you the strength to take on the day. The Tender Loving Care truffle contains gentle anxiety reducing Skullcap and nourishing Nettle to give you a little love when you need it. This recipe is ridiculously easy, and you may find your new favorite way to eat chocolate without any of the guilt. Note: Cacao is a mild stimulant, so eat with caution, especially in the evening! Cacao Truffles 2 Ways: The Warrior Truffle: Ingredients: 1 cup cacao powder 1/3 cup coconut oil 1/2 cup agave nectar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons walnuts 1 teaspoon maca powder 1 teaspoon chaga mushroom powder ½ teaspoon echinacea powder pinch or two of sea salt For topping: 1 tablespoon cinnamon pinch or two of cayenne pepper Tender Loving Care Truffle: 1 cup cacao powder 1/3 cup coconut oil 1/2 cup agave nectar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon walnuts 2 tablespoons shredded coconut 1 teaspoon powdered Nettle 1 teaspoon powdered Skullcap 1 pinch or two of sea salt *For topping: 1 teaspoon crushed dried Rose petals ½ teaspoon crushed dried Calendula petals 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar Method: Place all ingredients in food processor, except the “topping” (a Vitamix will get your mixture nice and smooth, but any food processor will work), and blend for about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape the sides and starting again. The mixture will look like thick chocolate frosting. At this point, you can either scoop out the mixture into a bowl or spoon mix into forms of your choice (for my photo here, I used a greased silicone mini muffin form I bought at a thrift store for 99 cents). Candy molds are wonderful, and so are making small balls with your hands. Truffles are truffles; this is a minor detail. So, either scoop mixture into a bowl or candy form and place them in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. While the mixture is chillin’, prepare the “topping” that you will roll your truffles in. Place this dry mixture into a sandwich baggy and set aside. After the cacao mixture has been allowed to chill, return to the fridge and either make small balls with the cacao mixture with your hands, a melon baller, or pop them out of the form, and dunk the truffles, one at time, into your sandwich baggy and shake! You can also just roll them in a bowl of the topping mixture, but I feel the baggy method ensures an evenly coated truffle. Place the completed truffles on a plate and back into the fridge for ten minutes. Now eat them! Share them or hoard them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.