These sweet, natural Date Truffles are made by processing dates, almonds and shredded coconut into a thick, moldable paste. Orange blossom water gives them a lovely perfume. A coating of toasted coconut adds flavor and texture while keeping the truffles from sticking to your fingers. These all natural, bite-sized vegan treats are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth in a natural, nourishing way.
Dates have been enjoyed in the Middle East for over 5,000 years. In the Book of Exodus, Israel is referred to as a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Historians believe that the honey referenced in the Torah was not made by bees… it was, in fact, date honey.
According to The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks, dates were likely an important part of the patriarch Abraham’s diet. In ancient Sumeria, dates were used to flavor beer. They are one of the Seven Species celebrated in the Bible. The Islamic prophet Muhammad is also said to have enjoyed dates; he would often fast for a few days at a time, then break his fast by eating dates.
Tasked with bringing a bite-sized treat to a potluck? Whip these up in no time flat and bring them along. Your host will thank you, and so will the guests– just be sure to let everybody know they contain nuts, in case anybody is nut allergic. They go great with a hot glass of Moroccan mint tea – or ice cold vodka, if that’s your thing!
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- 1 1/2 cups dried flaked or shredded coconut (unsweetened), divided
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 3/4 cup almond slivers
- 1 tablespoon date honey, date syrup or maple syrup (if not vegan, you can also use honey)
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional - recommended)
- 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
- Pinch cardamom
- Pinch cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup of the shredded coconut on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Place coconut inside the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is lightly toasted and golden brown. Remove coconut from the oven and carefully pour the toasted coconut into a food processor. Process it for 10-20 seconds until the shreds become very small. Pour into a bowl and reserve.
- Place pitted dates, almond slivers, date honey or syrup, orange blossom water, orange zest, cardamom, cloves, and the remaining ¾ cup of unsweetened coconut (untoasted) into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture turns into a crumbled, sticky dough – it will become a moldable paste, but should still have texture. Roll the nutty paste into 1-inch diameter balls. Roll each truffle ball into the bowl of toasted coconut to coat. Serve.