A Healthy Treat and a Perfect Christmas Gift
These gorgeous double chocolate Sunflower Butter Truffles have a lusciously fudgy centre which is covered with melted chocolate mixed with orange zest to make a truly delectable Christmassy treat. They don’t require any baking and can be made using only 5 basic ingredients in under 40 minutes from start to finish, are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free and Paleo! These truffles would also make a truly exceptional homemade gift, so if you’re lost at what to give to your loved ones this Christmas, make a batch of these truffles, place them in a nice box and wrap it up – I am sure anyone would be thrilled to receive such a thoughtful (and delicious!) gift.
Sunflower butter is a recent addition to my kitchen. It can be easily prepared at home in a blender using only slightly roasted sunflower seeds and nothing else! I use it everywhere in place of peanut butter and I have to say that I am in love with it. It is just as creamy as peanut butter but I find it to be slightly more liquid and therefore more spreadable, which is a good thing as I love to spread everything with it from apples to celery sticks, to rice crackers, add it to my morning porridge or just eat it by the spoon. I would say that it tastes less sweet than natural peanut butter and has a bit of an earthier flavour too, which I really enjoy!
Why eat Sunflower Butter?
First of all, sunflower butter is made from sunflower seeds which means that it can be a really great alternative to nut butters for people who are allergic.
Secondly, sunflower seeds are extremely nutritious – they are:
1) Loaded with Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble compounds which have powerful antioxidant activity essential for maintaining good health. They are located mainly in the cell membranes of our tissues and their principal role is to prevent lipid peroxidation, which is a process in which free radicals attack and damage our cell membranes resulting in the death of the cell. With Vitamin E present, the cell membrane can quickly repair itself and maintain its normal life cycle. Thus, Vitamin E literally helps us stay younger. Furthermore, studies demonstrate that Vitamin E plays an important role in the prevention of clot formation and the development of cardiovascular disease, as well as other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer (1). Kind of amazing that nature gives us all the necessary tools to fight disease, right? Just one tablespoon of sunflower seed butter provides us with 25% of our body’s daily needs of Vitamin E!
2) High in Protein
Just one serving ( a tablespoon) provides you with 3 grams of protein, which makes this butter a great post-workout snack or meal. I like to add a tablespoon of the stuff to my morning porridge or dip apple slices into it. In fact, that is the only way I eat apples now – dipped in lots of sunflower butter!
3) Budget Friendly
Sunflower seeds are one of the most inexpensive kinds of seeds that you can get from the supermarket. Making your own sunflower seed butter at home is easy and requires minimal effort – just roast the seeds slightly and then blend in your blender until it reaches a smooth butterlike consistency. Just make sure to buy plain fresh sunflower seeds without any salt, sugar or other additives.
- 5 tablespoons of natural sunflower seed butter
- 1 tablespoon of honey (substitute for maple syrup if vegan)
- 2 teaspoon of cocoa powder
- 10 tablespoons of plant milk (such as soy, almond or any other milk of your choice)
- 200 grams of dark chocolate (plain or with pieces of lemon/orange zest)
- Add the sunflower seed butter and the cocoa powder to a bowl. Mix well with a spoon. Then add in the honey and half of the milk. Start whisking and gradually adding more milk. You should be left with a chocolate butter with the consistency of a thick Nutella. Form about 15-16 balls by rolling a teaspoon amount of the mixture between your palms. Put on a baking tray lined with parchement paper. Put the tray away to the fridge.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. After about 10 minutes, take the truffles out of the fridge and dip them one by one into the melted chocolate. Lay the truffes onto the parchment paper and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.