Pumpkin Ginger Truffles

Recently, a favorite cold weather gourd has made a frequent appearance among my kitchen preparations: in buckwheat pumpkin pancakes, warm pumpkin smoothies, Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, and now pumpkin ginger truffles. There’s just something about pumpkin that some of us can’t get enough of once the longer days of the year are behind us.

Unlike the ones that Godiva makes, these truffles don’t have a crunchy shell. (If you feel you must dip them in chocolate for that effect, you have my forgiveness blessing.) They are on the softer side, but with the addition of a pecan coating, they would be a little closer to having that firm, crunchy exterior.

These spicy gems are not just tasty, they’re also nutritious. Pumpkin is loaded with Vitamins A & C, potassium and iron. It also has a substantial water content and is low in calories. According to Healthline, the vitamins and minerals pumpkin contains can help with skin issues, weight loss, eyesight, immunity, and chronic disease risk, including cancer.

Ginger, writes Lauren Venosta at Chopra.com, is considered a superfood due to its wealth of benefits. In addition to helping control cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, it also aids digestion and reduces nausea. Its anti-bacterial properties are effective against drug-resistant bacteria, research shows. What’s more, it inhibits bacterial growth in the gums.

Cacao powder can be subbed for cocoa in many baking recipes to add more nutrition. Packed with flavonoids, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and protein, cacao powder may decrease chances of heart disease and diabetes, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and help with digestive problems, according to Web MD.

You get the picture: these yummy truffles are super healthy! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Nicole at VegKitchen.com called Pumpkin Pie Squares.

Yield: 12 truffles

Ingredients (use organic or non-GMO if possible)
2 tbsp cacao powder
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg (ground nutmeg will work, but isn’t nearly as tasty)
pinch of ground cloves
7 soft medjool dates, pitted & chopped (soak in water for 1/2 hour if necessary to soften)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 can, or about 5 oz. cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup additional pecans, chopped small, as a final outer coating (optional)

Sprinkle the cacao powder so that it covers most of a platter. (See note.) Set aside.

Spin the oats, pecans, chia seeds, and spices (cinnamon through ground cloves) in a food processor until the oats & pecans are in small pieces, stopping before they become flour-like. Add the dates, vanilla, & pumpkin and process until the dates are well broken down & combined. Test the consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add a tiny bit of water. If it’s too thin to roll, add a few more oats. Once you have your perfect consistency, roll into 12 golf-size balls using slightly wet hands if needed, placing each on the platter of cacao powder. Roll the truffles in the cacao, coating fully or partially, your choice. Refrigerate. This will make them a bit firmer. Enjoy!

Note: If you choose to use the additional pecan pieces as a final coating, combine them with the cacao powder prior to sprinkling on the platter.

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The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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