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Healthy Toasted Coconut Truffles

I tend to be a moderate, even when it comes to healthy eating. I’m always reading how current research has discovered the next superfood when in reality, all fruits, all veggies, all nuts and seeds have something to offer. Now – that being said – there are certain fads that I don’t think are fads, one being coconut oil.

Fat is good, when it’s the right kind. Five years ago I taught this to my high school students as I explained the differences between saturated and unsaturated fats. I said (incorrectly) that saturated fat comes from animals and should be avoided. Very important nuances have been established, namely that saturated fat is not the monster we thought it was – when it comes from plant sources it can be extremely beneficial to your health; also, fat from animals that are fed grass (instead of corn) can also be pretty great, when eaten in moderation.

My husband got on the coconut oil train before I did, and I once saw him eat a spoonful of the stuff (gag). It kept him satiated like no other and during football season, I started thinking up a snack that contained an inordinate amount of coconut oil and would last sans refrigeration, at least for an hour. This is a major score on that front.

Next, sometimes I have to feed my kids in a rush. I need to know they’re getting enough calories and since my daughter especially needs constant reminders to “take another bite”, smaller amounts with higher calorie contents are my go-to. The kids LOVED these, and they were the easiest snack in the world.

Healthy Coconut Truffles

Makes 15-20 balls

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. maple syrup

1 c. almond meal (ground almonds, almond flour)

2 1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

2 tbsp. chia seed

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer (hand held mixer will work well, too), combine oil and syrup. Beat until smoothly combined (if specks of oil are still visible, that’s okay).

2. Add almond meal and 1 c. of the coconut and beat until combined. Add chia seeds, vanilla, and salt beat until combined.

3. Refrigerate at least an hour or until firm.

4. Meanwhile, spread the remaining 1 c. coconut on a baking sheet. Place in 300 degree oven for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted.

5. Scoop and roll batter into 1 inch balls and dredge in toasted coconut. Store in the fridge or freezer.