vegan sugar-free truffles, two ways.

At the beginning of August, my sweet husband turned 31. Obviously dessert was in order. 


This Perry the Platypus is not the cake I made. 

Well, this was the cake I made, two years ago. (It's entirely vegan and gluten-free, in case you were wondering, but decidedly not sugar-free. The food coloring in the fondant, though, totally food-based! Go figure.)

Last year, we had vegan frozen yogurt after seeing a Broadway show.

This time around, I wanted to make something a little more in line with how we're eating now.

I've been off sugar for over a year and a half (save a couple of occasions like the aforementioned fro yo) and Michael has been dabbling in some personal monthly food challenges, including Gluten Free June and Sugar Free August. (They've been very informative! He's discovered that life with limited gluten is a little better in a lot of ways, and his adventures in sugar freedom have illuminated how much of his energy and motivation seemed to come from mid afternoon mini dark chocolates. They're not entirely gone from his life, but the practice is definitely valuable for some awareness of how much we rely on certain foods. He recommends trying it out, incidentally.) Since becoming a sugar free home (and already quite a gluten free one, thanks to yours truly who does the cooking and can't touch the stuff), we've found some fun recipes we both dig: butter crunch granola, plantain fritters and tahini cookie batter balls are our guilt-free treats of late.

Anyways! As I wracked my brain for ideas for birthday desserts, it occurred to me that just because I was aiming for low sugar/ not a Costco cake didn't mean we couldn't incorporate carbohydrates. And which carbs do I love best?

Beautifully complex ones! (See more info on the difference between simple, complex and refined carbs here.)

My favorite (non sugary but still kind of sweet) carbohydrates come from sweet veggies like sweet potato, carrots, beets and turnips, plus fruit like plantains.

Plantains are bananas' unsweet cousins and a great swap in for bananas when you need a creamy texture but want to avoid the 80% fructose that makes up those other tropical favorites. Look for the darkest, most "spoiled" looking plantains you can find. Raw plantains are hard to digest, and ones that have broken down a bit (ie. have turned black or brown) will be easier on the body. You'll be cooking these first anyways, but I wanted to share that tidbit in case you're tempted to eat a beautiful yellow one. You won't feel very good. ;)

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Well, I thought, why not use these sweetish plants - specifically sweet potato and plantain - as a base for some vegan cake balls! Better yet, why not make truffles?!

truffles 31

And so these happened.

These vegan truffles are like little cakey balls of batter with all of the yumminess and none of the baking. They're great for summer (no turning on the oven!) and easy to whip up if you need something quick for a party. In fact, I'd challenge you to make these for the next social event you attend and avoid telling anyone they're vegan, sugar free and gluten free. Everyone who has tried these so far has been shocked to learn they're free of anything refined. Aren't whole foods magical?!

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I made two different varieties: the potato, because they're beautifully orange (Michael's favorite color) and the plantain almond chocolate, because chocolate/nut butter is his favorite flavor combo and celebratory food of choice.

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A couple of things to know about these truffles:

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The refrigeration piece is important: coconut oil, which holds these puppies together, is solid below room temperature. Chilling these allows the oil to harden and set, meaning more solid little cake chunks instead of goopy pudding balls.

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They're actually really good for you! Healthy fat is where it's at, and these represent in full force: cacao, almonds, coconut, coconut oil and coconut flour.

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They're high in fiber, thanks to the sweet potatoes, plantains and coconut flour. This is great for digestion (our gut bacteria love fiber!). Dessert that also supports full body wellness? Excellent.

If you're prone to digestive slow down, just notice how you feel with the plantains. They can go either way - like bananas - promoting regularity or totally backing you up. Notice how your body responds. What fun!

The sweet potato and plantain bases are totally versatile. You can easily mix up the toppings, spices and mix ins as you like. These provide relatively neutral bases for whatever you like to layer in.

Other topping ideas (not unlike these healthy candy apples)...
Goji berries
Butter crunch granola
Pumpkin seeds
Flax meal
Toasted walnuts
Sesame seeds

Preparing these little truffles is super simple.

To make the sweet potato:
Cube it up (leave the skin on or peel it off, your call!) and steam for 7-8 minutes until super tender. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. 

To make the plantains:
Slice them up into thin rounds and drop into a heated skillet with a touch of coconut oil. Fry them about 2 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove from heat, blot off any extra oil and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

You'll then mix in your remaining ingredients (except your garnishes) and set in the fridge for an hour.

Once your batter has chilled out, roll it into balls and get ready to make them beautiful.

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The sweet potato batter rolled a little more smoothly than the plantain, but if you play with them a little a la playdoh, with the ball between both hands moving in a clockwise direction, it helps to polish them a little.

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Spread your garnish toppings onto a plate with a little bit of a rim and roll each truffle in to evenly coat.

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Transfer to a container lined with parchment or waxed paper and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

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They'll keep for up to 6 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Feel free to keep a few 'undressed' so you can decorate them as you wish, should your taste for coconut or chocolate or goji berries change throughout the week. ;) 

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What are your birthday treat go-to's? Happy un-baking!

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vegan sweet potato truffles + cacao almond plantain truffles
Yields 8
Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, guilt-free desserts: whole food-based balls of cakey batter to coat in any number of toppings you like. Cause for celebration!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  2. 1 medium-large sweet potato, scrubbed (peeled, if you like) and cubed
  3. 3 tbsp coconut oil
  4. 2 tbsp coconut cream (the thick layer at the top of the can of coconut milk)
  5. 1 tbsp coconut flour
  6. 1 tsp brown rice syrup
  7. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/4 tsp chai spice or cloves + nutmeg
  9. pinch of salt
  10. for garnish, choice of: toasted or raw shredded coconut, goji berries, chopped walnuts, etc.
  12. 1 medium plantain, the more ripe the better
  13. 2 tbsp chopped almonds or 1 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  14. 3 tbsp coconut oil
  15. 2 tbsp coconut cream (the thick layer at the top of the can of coconut milk)
  16. 1 tbsp coconut flour
  17. 1 tsp brown rice syrup
  18. 1/4 tsp organic cocoa powder
  19. pinch of salt
  20. for garnish, choice of: cacao nibs, chopped peanuts, chopped pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, etc.
To make the sweet potato
  1. Cube it, then steam for 7-8 minutes until super tender. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl (Bowl #1).
To make the plantains
  1. Slice plantains into thin rounds and drop into a heated skillet with a touch of coconut oil. Fry them about 2 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove from heat, blot off any extra oil and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl (Bowl #2).
  2. 1. In Bowl #1, combine potato puree and all remaining Sweet Potato Truffle ingredients except shredded coconut. Stir until it forms an even batter. In Bowl #2, combine plantain puree and all remaining Plantain Truffle ingredients. Stir until it forms and even batter.
  3. 2. Transfer both Bowl #1 and #2 to the fridge to set for an hour. While you wait, place chosen garnishes into separate dishes. Set aside.
  4. 3. Once your batter is set, use your hands to roll it into 1" balls, then roll each in garnish to coat.
  5. 4. Transfer garnished truffles to waxed paper or parchment (to make clean up a little easier) or place in a container for storage. These will keep in the fridge up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  1. Other topping ideas...
  2. Peanuts
  3. Goji berries
  4. Butter crunch granola
  5. Pumpkin seeds
  6. Flax meal
  7. Toasted walnuts
  8. Sesame seeds
Adapted from I Quit Sugar
Adapted from I Quit Sugar
From The Ground Up Wellness


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Posted in dessert, gluten-free recipes, health coaching info, homepage featured, kid-friendly recipes, recipes, snacks

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