These decadent truffles satisfy my half Persian roots like no other. With the aromatic and earthy flavor that is uniquely cardamom mixed into velvety dark chocolate with a hint of almond, a touch of honey and topped with the taste and crunchiness of pistachios and raw cacao, my exotic tastebuds are oh, so happy. These little sweet bites are incredibly easy to make: heat, mix, refrigerate, roll. Give them a try and don’t skimp on the almond extract, it’s worth the distinct flavor.
Cardamom is from the ginger family and like ginger, it is also anti-inflammatory. It is traditionally used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as being used medicinally for digestive issues, ulcers, inflammation and even depression. It comes from a pod and can be ground into a spice using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. My dad always uses whole cardamom pods in his Persian tea and whole pods are often times used in rice and other dishes for their aromatics. I chose raw honey for this recipe for its flavor and its antibacterial and antiviral properties. When mixing the honey into your chocolate, keep it at a low temp. so most of the enzymes and nutrients of the bee pollen stay intact. I also like the use of raw cacao powder in this recipe over cocoa powder. It has a much higher antioxidant content because it is in its raw form and hasn’t been processed. Antioxidants fight free radicals responsible for cell damage in our bodies, so eat these up!
- 1 c. Fair Trade semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp. raw honey
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom spice
- 1 Tbs. pistachios, chopped
- 1 Tbs. toasted almonds, chopped
- 1 Tbs. raw cacao powder
- In a large saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat and stir in raw honey, coconut milk, almond extract and cardamom.
- Place mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is about the consistency of a thick frosting.
- Scoop mixture into balls and then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You may have to hand roll them and this will get messy, but don't worry, chocolate is lickable and washable!
- Combine the chopped pistachios and almonds in a shallow bowl. Roll the truffle balls in the nut mixture, pressing them in a bit so the nuts stick.
- Add the cacao powder to a separate shallow bowl. Roll balls in the cacao powder.
- Refrigerate the truffles until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Traditional Chinese Medicine
I recently graduated as a holistic nutritionist from The Wellspring School of Healing Arts and one of the things we had to do for a community project is make a certain number of recipes and include the traditional Chinese food energetics, so I thought I would include them for you guys! Part of our coursework was a Western approach and the other, an Eastern approach. I got to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), think acupuncture and how an acupuncturist treats the channels of the body. TCM is fascinating, to say the least, and incredibly healing; it looks at the body, diagnosis, treatment and healing completely different than Western medicine. TCM focuses on wholism vs. reductionism, which is essentially looking at the body as a whole versus separate parts. In TCM you cannot treat one part of the body without taking into consideration all of the other parts because they are interrelated. I completely enjoyed all that I learned, no doubt.
Traditional Chinese (Energetics) Nutritional Information
Chocolate/Raw Cacao Powder – bitter. Clears heat and moves Qi. It is tonifying to the heart and is overall warming.
Raw honey – neutral, sweet; enters the lung, spleen and large intestine channels. Honey has a tonifying effect on Yin and Qi, moistens dryness, relaxes tension and resolves toxins; treats dry lung cough, intestinal dryness, constipation, runny nose, mouth sores and scalding burns when applied externally.
Almonds – neutral and sweet. They nourish the lungs and transform phlegm. Moistens the lungs, frees flow of stool, treats empty coughing and intestinal dryness.
Coconut Milk – warm. It nourishes the heart, calms emotions and supplements Yin.
Pistachios – neutral; nourishes the liver and kidney. Strengthens Yin and Yang, Blood and Qi. A bit dampening, so eat in small quantities at a time.
Cardamom – acrid, aromatic and warm; enters the spleen and stomach channels. Transforms dampness and stops vomiting, harmonizes the stomach, quiets the fetus, treats nausea, vomiting, indigestion, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea during pregnancy and threatened miscarriage.
(Leggett, Helping Ourselves and Flaws, Tao of Eating).