Gluten-Free Passover Snacks
I'm a practicing Jew. And that means I don't eat bread on Passover. Any leavened grain is a no-no during this 8 day holiday. I do eat Matzah. And horseradish. And lots of fruits and vegetables. And gluten-free snacks. Hence this post.
Today, you get not one, but two recipes for your viewing pleasure! The first recipe is my take on a chocolate bark. The ingredients and instructions are simple. Melt some chocolate, and then sprinkle your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit on top. Instead of brittle-like pieces, I like to make my chocolates perfectly (I wish) round and bite-sized. I'll call them chocolate fruit nut oversized buttons. (Please, I desperately need your help to come up with a better name for these.)
The chocolates look very pretty, they're easy and fun (and maybe a little messy, because we're dealing with melted chocolate) to make, and they're chock full of nutrients. Especially when you use chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. I find around 72% cacao works the best for these; it's a number agreeable for most people. If I were to ever make these chocolate disks just for myself, I'd probably use 95% cacao. I REALLY like bitter chocolate. I eat cocoa plain sometimes, and that's a fact.
The second recipe featured here is date-nut balls, but since that doesn't sound very appealing, we'll call them date-nut truffles. Woohoo! Finally living up to the blog name. TRUFFLES TRUFFLES TRUFFLES!
The base ingredients in these truffles are dates and nuts. So they're very nutritious. And vegan. Thinking that that's not making these truffles sound too tempting? Think again. These date truffles are very tempting. They are incredible. Addictive. After you add cocoa and vanilla extract to the dates and nuts, the truffles become better than real brownies (which is the taste this recipe kinda imitates). That's another fact. As long as my opinion can be counted as a fact. You're entitled to your own facts, but not to your own opinions, they say. Eh, bullocks.
I used a combination of equal parts almonds and cashews, but most nuts will work, in any ratios. Hazelnuts will make them taste very hazelnutty, so unless you particularly love that taste, I would suggest using other nuts. Same goes for peanuts. I'd suggest cashews, almonds, pistachios, macadamias, walnuts, pecans, and/or brazil nuts.
chocolate disks (gluten-free)
-Good quality chocolate (I used 72%)
-Desired nuts and seeds (cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds...)
-Desired dried fuit (raisins, craisins, apricots, prunes, goji berries...)
Melt your chocolate:
- In microwave - break up chocolate into small pieces and place into microwave-safe bowl. Melt at short intervals, like 30 seconds, stirring between each interval. Remove when smooth.
- On double boiler - try to ensure the bottom of the top pot isn't touching the water in the bottom pot. Break up chocolate into small pieces and place into top pot/bowl. Stir occasionally over medium flame until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Using small metal spoon, drop chocolate onto parchment lined sheets. The chocolate will spread into a disk shape on its own; just tip the spoon onto the sheet gently and slowly and then lift it off the sheet.
Sprinkle desired nuts and dried fruit onto each disk. Place into fridge to let harden.
Eat right away, or store in an airtight container at room temperature to prevent discoloring.
Note: For an easier and quicker option, simply spread the chocolate into a parchment lined pan and sprinkle toppings. When hardened, break up into bark pieces.
date-nut truffles (gluten-free)
Yield: Depends on size of truffles, but about 25-35
2 cups nuts (I used 1 cup cashews and 1 cup almonds)
2 1/3 cups dates
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Desired garnishes (I used coconut shreds, cocoa powder, and ground pistachios)
Pulse the nuts in a food processor until just ground. Add in the dates gradually, letting the machine go until mixture forms and becomes sticky and dough-like. Add more nuts if mixture is too sticky, and add more dates if mixture is too crumbly. Taste mixture to test sweetness. You may want to add more dates. Don't over-mix, or oils from the nuts will come out and make it difficult to work with.
Add the cocoa and vanilla to the machine and pulse till combined. Place mixture into fridge or feezer till slightly hardened and cooled.
Once chilled, round a tablespoon of mixture between palms, and then roll the truffle around in garnish of choice.
My favorite way to eat the truffles is when they are frozen. If you don't want them frozen, store them in the fridge.
Note: Adjust this recipe to fit your tastes. Examples: omit cocoa powder and use lemon zest and extract instead; add chocolate chips and craisins; shape the mixture into bars instead of truffles.
On a completely unrelated note, you don't have to tell people that the truffles are made out of nuts and dates and not flour and sugar; it's not at all like a pepsi for coke substitution: