When it comes to my college apartment, answering this question is easy: popcorn. No matter what day of the week or time in the day, my roommates have enjoyed at least one serving of their favorite snack. If, like me, you're more of a sweet than salty snacker, popcorn may not have the same poppin' appeal...
...until you make my vegan and gluten free cacao popcorn truffles featuring Pipcorn's Kettle Corn.
Despite their dessert name, these treats boast quite the nutritious resume. Made out of dates, banana, coconut flour and a few add ins, they're free of refined sugar (except for the bit of brown sugar on the popcorn). Dates offer high doses of fiber, anti-inflammatory antioxidants called tannins, and plenty of easily-digestible sugars for energy; bananas provide potassium, manganese and Vitamins B6 and C; and coconut flour packs a punch of fiber, protein and healthy fats. As for the Pipcorn (made by Pipsnacks), it is a mini popcorn (around half the size of normal!) that is also all natural, gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, and whole grain. Popped in olive oil instead of butter, Pipcorn also comes in five flavors: Sea Salt, Truffle oil, Kettle, Rosemary and, their newest, Chili Lab.
What's even better? You can whip these up in less than thirty minutes - and personalize them as much as your heart (and taste buds) want! To start your truffle trip to heaven, gather these ingredients.
Ingredients for 12-20 truffles, depending on size:
(To be blended together:)
6 TBSP coconut flour
4 soft dates, unpitted
1 ripe banana
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut milk (or other liquid)
1/4 cup cup of Pipcorn Kettle Corn
(To be mixed in afterward:)
1/4 cup of Pipcorn Kettle Corn
1 TBSP rice flakes (or oats)
1/4 cup of add-ins (nuts, seeds, buckwheat groats, shredded coconut, dried fruit, etc)
Like with my bliss ball recipe, these truffles are as easy to make as they are delicious. If your dates aren't soft, you may want to soak them in water for 30 minutes or until gooey. Then, simply toss the first set of ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor (I used my Vitamix). For a thicker batter, start with 2 TBSP of liquid and add as needed. If your batter does seem a little sticky or loose, though, don't worry. That's what the next steps are for.
Next, transfer the truffle base into a small bowl and add the next batch of ingredients! The rice flakes (or oats) further help to bind the batter together while the other add-ins, including the other 1/4 cup of popcorn and your choice of extras, add a crunchy (or chewy) contrast to the main truffle batter. I personally used sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats, but feel free to experiment with your own add-ins!
Once everything is well mixed, it's time for the last step: gather a baking tray, paper plate or dish and place parchment paper on the top. Then, make "drops" of truffles on the parchment paper and put them in the freezer for at least thirty minutes to set.
Now, all you have to do is eat! If you don't plan on eating the whole batch in one sitting, I recommend storing them in a container in the freezer. When in the mood for a treat, just take out your truffle(s) and let them sit in room temperature for a few minutes before enjoying.
As for how to eat them, your palate is the limit! Because the dates and banana offer easily digestible carbs, these make great pre-workout snacks. I also enjoy them crumbled over my smoothie bowls, with yogurt and sunbutter for a night snack or, obviously, as a sweet treat to get me through the day.
When you think of home, neither popcorn nor cacao popcorn truffles may come to mind. Your taste buds will feel right at home, though, biting into these treats. Popcorn (correction: Pipcorn) has never tasted so...sweet.
*Also found at The Wednesday Round Up, Whats Cookin Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Allergy Free Thursdays, RunningwithSpoons, Let's Get Real, VegetarianMama, Best of the Blogosphere, IHeartNapTime and SaucySaturdays*
**I received two samples of Pipcorn for no charge to use in this recipe, but all opinions are my own**
What does "home" smell like to you? Are you a sweet or a salty snacker? Have you ever eaten Pipcorn? Tell me below!