Loving the BITE: Valentine Truffles for your True Love Cyclist

Bicycle Valentine's DayValentine’s Day is next week.  Are you prepared?  Have you done your shopping and found a special gift for that someone special (or as a treat for yourself, since you’re someone special)?  If not, never fear.  A whole week out, Loving the Bike’s here for you.  With just 5-6 ingredients, and less than 20 minutes in the kitchen, you can give a gift straight from your heart.  As a bonus, it’s good for the recipient’s ride, cellular health, and heart.

Recipe of the Week:  Easy, Dark Chocolaty, Valentine’s Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk or organic heavy cream
  • 10 oz. dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa, divided
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil OR organic unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp organic honey, optional
  • Pinch sea salt, optional

Optional add-ins:

  • 2 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp dried chopped berries, chopped dried cranberries, or finely chopped orange or lemon peel
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds (couldn’t resist – use these 1 hour out at pre-training fuel)

Instructions:

1. Bring coconut milk or cream just to a boil in a heavy pan on stovetop, or use glass bowl in microwave for 60 seconds on high.

2. Remove from the heat.  Stir in 6 oz. of the chocolate (~3/4 cup, or 171 gm), until melted and smooth.  If using microwave, place back in microwave and cook for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring in between cooking, until melted and smooth.

3. If desired, stir in one of the optional add-ins.

4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or freeze for about 20-30 minutes, until firm but not solid.

5. Meanwhile place spoon or melon baller in freezer for 15 minutes.

6.  Once chocolate/cream mixture is firm, use spoon/melon baller to create the roundish truffles.

7. Combine remaining chocolate, coconut oil/butter, and optional honey in saucepan or glass bowl.  I like the extra honey b/c it provide 2 different chocolate tastes – one less sweet and one more.  Heat and melt mixture over medium heat on stovetop, or microwave on high for 15-20 seconds and stir between each cooking interval until melted.

8. Line a baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Dip truffles into the melted chocolate mixture using a fork or toothpick. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with pinch of sea salt, if desired, and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours to harden.  Enjoy!

9. If you want to get fancy, make several varieties of the truffles like you’d find in boxed chocolates.  After making cream/chocolate mixture, pour into oiled muffin pan circles, and add different “optional add-ins” into each, being careful to reduce add-in amount according to percentage of mixture in each.  Label the mixtures.  I’ve tried most all of them, and lemon peel, followed by fresh ginger and chili, are my faves.  Once finished, either identify each variety with a toothpick flag, a sprinkling of the add-in on top of the truffle, or let the recipient find out which is which on his or her own.

Makes about 20-24 truffles.

Comments:

Dark Chocolate Truffle RecipeWe all know that chocolate’s a woman’s 2nd best friend.  Right behind…a new wheel set (who need diamonds when you could have new wheel set?).  No matter who receives these truffles, he or she will enjoy a wonderfully sweet treat, but not too sweet, loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals, anti-inflammatories, and more.  These truffles truly say love.  And, in all honesty and excluding the chilling time, this recipe took me about 15 minutes to complete.  It’s much easier than it looks.

And, in case you’ve forgotten, here’s how cocoa loves a cyclist:

Dark chocolate (60%+ cocoa, and optimally 70%+) contains dietary polyphenols. These antioxidants reduce inflammation and make cells more sensitive to insulin. Both of these factors are super-important to the cyclist.

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