Cashew & Dark Chocolate Protein Truffles (TM)
Diet should not just be about macros, i.e. calories, grams of protein, carbs, and fat. Diet should be about micros too. You know, micronutrients: the vitamins and minerals that make us function our best and feel like bona fide superheroes. Hitting our daily micro targets is just as important as hitting our daily macro targets, otherwise we’ll miss out on important nutrients and end up feeling boohoohoo.
That’s why the multivitamin industry is worth billions of dollars at the end of the day! Because people most know they should hit their recommended daily allowance of important vitamins and minerals but they often get lazy so, instead of paying attention to their nutrition, they pop their pills with gusto. Why bother eating spinach for iron when your multivitamin contains it, right? Why bother with oranges or kiwis when you can just drop an effervescent into a glass of water and “Tadaaaa! You just took in 1000% of your recommended daily allowance for vitamin C!”
Baaah. I’ve never been a fan of the whole thing. First of all, do we really NEED the 1000%-5000% recommended daily value that a lot of the multivitamins out there are packed with? I don’t think so. But most importantly, what’s the point of popping pills when food can do the job, and often do it better?
Now, that may sounds easy – just rely on food to deliver all the nutritional goodness your bodies need on a daily basis! But you know what? It’s not that easy, not really. You see, in order to avoid taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, you have to do some studying. You have to sit down and really assess your diet. You have to ask yourself, is my diet varied? Is it balanced? Am I eating enough fruits and vegetables? Plenty of leafy greens?
To ensure you’re getting a wide array of vitamins and minerals, the answer needs to be all these questions. Even then though – even when your answer to the above questions is a thundering YES – you may be deficient in certain vitamins or minerals and just not know it.
That’s what happened to me recently: I found out I was running somewhat low in Zinc. Not scarily we-need-to-get-you-on-a-fierce-Zinc-IV-NOW! but low as in “you might want to up your Zinc intake a bit.” Normally, the advice would have been for me to walk over to a drugstore or health food shop, buy some Zinc pills, and down one alongside food every day. But because of my current state, the advice was far far simpler (and a lot closer to the kind of advice I like to hear). The advice I got was: “eat some more Zinc-containing foods.”
So I walked over to the supermarket, bought a bag of cashew nuts, a bar of dark chocolate, came home, and whipped up these protein truffles (TM) – to use them as my ‘zinc top-up.’ Just three of these truffles contain 21% of my recommended daily allowance for Zinc (as well as iron, calcium, antioxidants, fiber and protein POW!er). Add that to the zinc I regularly get from eggs, spinach, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and beef and, well, that’s my zinc covered.
That’s the beauty of cooking your own food at the end of the day, you know? That you can design it cater to not only your tastebuds and macros but also your micros. And you can make stuff that not only tastes incredible but that also delivers a hefty punch of nutritional POW! So bring on the hats, take out the blowers, unleash the confetti, call up the clowns, and have a party with this recipe:
1/2 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of coconut sugar
1/4 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup of pea protein powder (see Note 1 below for flavors and substitutions)
4-5 squares (40-50g) of dark (85%) chocolate
1. Blend all your ingredients together using a handheld blender or food processor.
2. Shape the batter into little balls or truffles.
3. Melt your dark chocolate in a bain marie (a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water).
4. Cover your truffles in melted chocolate by dunking them in the chocolate and then spooning some on top.
5. Add some grated cashews on top and refrigerate for an hour or two.
Macros per truffle (out of six): 148kcals, 7g protein, 11g carbs and 9g fat.
Note 1: I used unflavored pea protein powder to make these truffles. You can use vanilla too (something nice, like this one) OR you can use vanilla casein. The unflavored pea protein pow I used is this from here in the UK. You can get the same stuff here if you’re in the US and here in Australia. If you want to use whey, you can do that too – just add some coconut flour and a bit of ground almonds to the mix!