Recipe: raw truffles with nuts and dates


Are you sometimes at work or at home and feel like you need to eat something sweet? Many times we just crave something sweet and we then satisfy this craving by buying some unhealthy snack in a vending machine nearby. But that stuff is just highly processed food containing refined sugar, refined oils and artificial sweeteners/preservatives/colors. You really don’t need that. You can make yourself healthy snacks, which besides satisfying your desire for something sweet, will also nourish you. And at the end, they will be much cheaper too.

Today, we give you this recipe of a really healthy and delicious snack, which is super easy and fast to make. It contains nuts (and here I chose almonds, walnuts and cashews but you can replace them with whatever nuts you prefer) and dates for giving it a natural sweet taste.

You have probably already heard that nuts are very healthy and that you should be eating a handful every day. A recent study analysed data collected on 29 other published studies (meta-analysis) on the relationship between nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause and cause-specific mortality (1). They found that people who ate a lot of nuts per day (at least 20g per day – about a handful) have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, premature death, and mortality associated with diabetes, respiratory diseases (risk cut in half!), neurodegenerative disease and kidney disease  (1). This study included several types of nut trees (almonds, hazel nuts, walnuts, etc) and also peanuts (which are actually legumes). These researchers think that what makes nuts so beneficial is their high nutritional value, because they are high in very healthy compounds such as polyunsaturated fats, protein, fibre, and magnesium. Some of these nuts are also high in antioxidants, particularly walnuts, which can help fighting oxidative stress and therefore reduce cancer risk.

Actually, if you are not so much for the sweet side, I recommend you a very simple and healthy snack: a bag containing a mixture of your preferred nuts. It’s very easy to take wherever we go, it will feed us when we feel hungry, and therefore, it will also prevent us to feel like buying some unhealthy snack.

Dates are also super healthy as they contain many minerals (for example, selenium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, calcium), B-vitamins, antioxidants (carotenoids and phenolics), fibre, protein and healthy fat (2, 3). Indeed, dates are increasingly being investigated as a powerful medicinal food (4). Date palms are one of the oldest trees cultivated by man and people have consumed them for many centuries. As the authors in (4) state:

” On the basis of available documentation in the literature on the nutritional and phytochemical composition, it is apparent that the date fruits are highly nutritious and may have several potential health benefits.”

They further write:

” Although dates are sugar-packed, many date varieties are low GI [Glycemic Index] and refutes the dogma that dates are similar to candies and regular consumption would develop chronic diseases.”

Indeed, other studies have also shown that despite their high sugar content, they actually do not worsen serum glucose or LDL (“bad cholesterol”)  patterns, and can even be considered anti-atherogenic agents (prevent the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries) (5).

Eating a moderate amount of dates has many health benefits such as antioxidant (5-7), anti-inflammatory (7), anti-tumour (7, 8) and anti-diabetic (7) effects. Dates have also been proven to be very beneficial for pregnant women, especially when consumed some weeks before labor (9).

In addition, when mixed with other foods, dates do not have a strong taste by their own (they just taste sweet 🙂 ).

So, for all these reasons, I do consider dates as optimal natural sweeteners to include in healthy sweet recipes!


Healthy snack: raw truffles with nuts and dates


Preparation time: ~20min



– 120g almonds

– 120g walnuts

– 100g cashews

– 130g dates (with the pit, otherwise use less)

– a pinch of salt

– 1 teaspoon carob powder (optional)

– coconut flakes (optional)



1. Start by soaking the nuts and dates in water for some hours, ideally 8-12 hours.

Note: Soaking will reduce the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in the nuts. These are important in the nuts to protect them while they grow and avoid premature sprouting. However, in our body, they can bind to minerals, for example, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium, which can interfere with the absorption and use of these minerals by our body.

2. Remove the pits of the dates and cut them into smaller pieces.

3. Put the nuts and dates together and mix them a bit with your fingers.

4. Put this mixture in a food processor machine and add a pinch of salt.

5. (Optional) Add the carob powder.

Note: Carob powder is normally added in recipes to replace cacao powder. I added carob to this recipe because it is very healthy and I really like its taste.


6. Turn on the machine to mix and ground everything until a homogenous dough is formed.

Note: You will realize that sometimes the mixture will stick to the walls of the machine and you will have to stop the process to put the mixture back in place (some machines have the possibility to do this while the machine is working and therefore, you don’t have to stop it on purpose, which will of course turn the process faster).

7. When the mixture is ready, put it into another bowl and mix it a little with your hands.

8. Take part of the mixture and make little balls using your hands.

9. (Optional) You can do different looking truffles. For example, you can roll them in carob powder or in coconut flakes.

I hope you liked this recipe, and that it helps you incorporating healthier and homemade snacks in your daily life!

Please help us sharing this recipe :).

You are also very welcome to leave your comments or questions below 🙂


Live healthy 🙂




[1] Aune D, et al. (2016) Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC medicine 14(1):207.

[2] Al-Farsi MA & Lee CY (2008) Nutritional and functional properties of dates: a review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 48(10):877-887.

[3] Juhaimi FA, Ghafoor K, & Ozcan MM (2012) Physical and chemical properties, antioxidant activity, total phenol and mineral profile of seeds of seven different date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties. International journal of food sciences and nutrition 63(1):84-89.

[4] Vayalil PK (2012) Date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera Linn): an emerging medicinal food. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 52(3):249-271.

[5] Rock W, et al. (2009) Effects of date ( Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool or Hallawi Variety) consumption by healthy subjects on serum glucose and lipid levels and on serum oxidative status: a pilot study. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57(17):8010-8017.

[6] Pujari RR, Vyawahare NS, & Kagathara VG (2011) Evaluation of antioxidant and neuroprotective effect of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) against bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in rats. Indian journal of experimental biology 49(8):627-633.

[7] Rahmani AH, et al. (2014) Therapeutic effects of date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera) in the prevention of diseases via modulation of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour activity. International journal of clinical and experimental medicine 7(3):483-491.

[8] Eid N, et al. (2015) Impact of palm date consumption on microbiota growth and large intestinal health: a randomised, controlled, cross-over, human intervention study. The British journal of nutrition 114(8):1226-1236.

[9] Al-Kuran O, Al-Mehaisen L, Bawadi H, Beitawi S, & Amarin Z (2011) The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 31(1):29-31.

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