Healthy twist on the classic afternoon snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaked and blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1/8 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 Tbs Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1 Tbs Maca powder
  • 1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs Coconut oil

Directions

Almond Milk

Soak Almonds overnight.  If the almonds have not been peeled, pinch them to remove the skin.  Place Soaked almonds into a high speed blender with purified water.  Fill the blender with water, if you would like a thicker almond milk add less water.  Once the almonds have been thoroughly blended pour through a cheese cloth into a big bowl or pitchers.  Remove as much of the liquid as possible and put the almond pulp aside for the truffles.  You will now have plain almond milk. If you would like to sweeten it you may add honey or maple syrup.  also cinnamon goes great in it but use sparingly.  

Almond Truffles

Once you have the pulp put back into the blender or food processor.  Next you will add all the other ingredients, goji berries, cacao nibs, raw honey, cardamom powder, maca powder, pink himalayan salt, cinnamon, coconut oil. Blend well.  Once it is finished you will have truffles that feel like cookie dough.  Make them into the shape that you would like them to be in.  Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet or plate. Place in freezer for 30 mins to let set.  I recommend leaving them in the freezer in a freezer bag to keep them the freshest.

Health Benefits

Goji Berry

Goji berries (Lycium barbarum) are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth. They are a member of the nightshade family (Solonaceae), which contains many other common vegetables such as potato, tomato, eggplant, and pepper, as well as some poisonous plants like belladonna and deadly nightshade. Native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and Mongolia, the goji berry is now grown in many other countries as well.

Although they have only been introduced in Western countries in recent years, gojis have been used for thousands of years in Tibet and China, both as a culinary ingredient and medicinally.

Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

This amazing little super fruit contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder then, that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the goji is said to act on the Kidney and Liver meridians to help with lower back pain, dizziness and eyesight. They are most often consumed raw, made into a tea or extract, or as an ingredient in soups.

Cacao 

Long considered a 'happy food', chocolate is a popular treat when we need 'cheering up', recent research has discovered that cacao contains chemicals (such as Phenylethylamine* and Serotonine) which are scientifically proven to be present in the brains of people when they are happy, more relaxed, playful and creative.

here are many components of cacao including alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, that all work together to improve physical and mental health. For example, theombromine helps to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles, and dilate blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy; “bliss” chemicals found in cacao help to increase circulation and availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in brain, improving mood and combating depression.

*Phenylethylamine is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline.

Flavanols, theobromine, and other components found in cacao may lower blood pressure and enhance circulation by promoting dilation, strength, and health of blood vessels

The antioxidant power of flavonoids and essential minerals and vitamins found in cacao can support healthy heart functioning by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing plaque buildup on artery walls.

High levels of antioxidants protect the body from a buildup of free radicals from sun exposure, pollution, cigarette smoking, etc., which may damage healthy body tissue giving rise to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Our bodies need antioxidants to 'mop up' free radicals that can damage our cells. Scientists from Cornell University recently discovered that raw cacao powder contains nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea.

Cardamom

Cardamom is native to the evergreen forests of India. This spice is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression. Some of the health benefits of this peppery, citrusy spice are now making their way into modern studies. It’s well worth adding cardamom to your food for the flavor alone, but these health benefits are also something to consider whenever you break out the spices. 

Digestion – Cardamom is related to ginger and can be used in much the same way to counteract digestive problems. Use it to combat nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, constipation, and much more. 

Detoxify – This spice helps the body eliminate waste through the kidneys. 

Halitosis – In India they chew cardamom after meals or whenever they need to freshen their breath. 

Diuretic – Part of the reason cardamom is such a good detoxifier is thanks to the diuretic properties. It helps clean out the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, removing waste, salt, excess water, toxins, and combating infections too. 

Depression – The science behind the antidepressant qualities of cardamom hasn’t been studied yet, but Ayurvedic medicine swears by the tea as a means to fight depression. 

Oral Health – Apart from helping with bad breath, cardamom is used for mouth ulcers and infections of the mouth and throat. 

Cold and Flu – This pungent spice may help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. It’s also used for bronchitis and coughs. 

Cancer – Animal studies are showing promise that cardamom protects against, inhibits growth, and even kills some cancers. 

Blood Pressure – As a diuretic and fiber rich spice, cardamom significantly lowers blood pressure. 

Blood Clots – Cardamom prevents dangerous blood clots by preventing platelet aggregation and the sticking to the artery walls. 

Antioxidant – Many of the vitamins, phytonutrients, and essential oils in cardamom act as antioxidants, cleaning up free radicals and resisting cellular aging. 

Pathogens – The volatile essential oils in cardamom inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungus, and mold. 

Anti-inflammatory – Like ginger and turmeric, its relatives, cardamom has some anti-inflammatory properties that limit pain and swelling, especially in mucus membranes, the mouth, and throat. 

Hiccups – Cardamom is an anti-spasmodic that can help get rid of hiccups. This also applies to other involuntary muscle spasms, like stomach and intestinal cramps. 

Aphrodisiac – Traditional medicine lists cardamom as a powerful aphrodisiac that can help with erectile dysfunction and impotence.