What did Christmas Eve look like in your house as a youngster?
The quintessential Christmas Eve tradition in our family growing up was to attend our church's evening candlelit service where we heard the entire Christmas story, saw the final candle of advent lit and then sang many Christmas carols/hymns together. This was always followed by a quiet evening at home, with my sisters and my parents, all huddled on the couch beside the roaring fire with a plate of mom's homemade Christmas cookies, clementine oranges and fresh hot apple cider.
My mom always made such an awesome spread of Christmas cookies which included iced sugar cookies, shortbread cookies (with a maraschino cherry on top), gingersnaps, Nanaimo bars and thumbprint cookies, only to name a few! Most of the cookies she gave away to neighbours or friends but there was always a decent stash in the freezer at home and my sisters and I would enjoy sneaking a few cookies when mom wasn't looking :)
Fast forward to today, as a busy mom of two youngsters, I haven't carved out the time to make dozens of Christmas cookies each year, nor have I actively tried to do so! Reason being, I know that having Christmas cookies on hand at home will simply make it more challenging for myself to stick to some basic healthy eating patterns over the holidays.
However, I'm not a scrooge! I do make a batch of shortbread cookies every year (yes, using butter, white flour and icing sugar!) as well as a chocolate treat because that is my favourite! So, when I came across this recipe which uses black beans as the base of a chocolate truffle, I just HAD to try it!
And oh my goodness!! Am I glad I did because these are SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!
Black beans in chocolate truffles?! Yes you heard it right!
Black beans are the "not-so-secret" secret ingredient in these truffles. I may just be marginally obsessed with using black beans in my chocolate desserts right now. Have you tried it yet? If not, I encourage you to take the plunge!
The benefits of using black beans in your desserts include the following:
- A lower carb/healthy carb dessert with lots of soluble fibre which is known to:
- Lower blood cholesterol (acts like a street sweeper to get rid of the bad cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol).
- Helps us to feel fuller for longer by delaying stomach emptying, which can in turn help with weight control.
- Minimize spikes of sugar in our bloodstream.
- A good source of protein, which also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and give us that feeling of fullness to help with weight control.
- A good source of micronutrients, including folate, copper, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus, magnesium and iron to name a few.
Need anymore reasons to try this recipe?! Well, it is EASY to make!
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor....
Once it is finished blending, transfer the mix to the fridge to firm up the dough, then roll into balls, and then coat with your choice of delicious chocolate! (My preference is 75% dark chocolate!)
Have I tempted you enough yet?!
One last tip, don't tell your guests what's in the truffles - keep it your special secret! I guarantee they will have no idea, except that they taste AMAZING!
Black Bean Chocolate Truffles (gluten-free)
Adapted from chocolatecovderedkatie.com
Yields approximately 24 balls, depending on size.
- 1 can (540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed VERY well
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1.5 Tbsp maple syrup
- Dash of salt
- 1/2 to 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cane sugar (or other raw sugar of your choice)
- Chocolate to melt for coating - your choice!
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until VERY smooth.
- Refrigerate so that the dough hardens enough to roll into balls with your hands. Once you have rolled them, return to the fridge until you are ready to coat with the chocolate covering.
- To make the chocolate coating, melt chocolate (bar or chipits) with a tiny bit of oil until an even and smooth chocolate sauce is formed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the balls in the chocolate sauce and place on the parchment paper. When finished, return balls to fridge or freezer to set.
- Store in freezer and thaw completely before serving.