Monday, February 10, 2014

Dried fruit truffles (a healthy, vegan, sugar free, slow carb snack that is much more delicious than it sounds!)


Girls are girls from the minute they enter this world, I don't care what they say about nature vs. nurture.

I never brought up my daughter as a girly girl and went as far as putting a ban on pink during my pregnancy and the first half year of her life. Admittedly, a phase that did not last very long, thanks to overeager relatives (she was and still is the only female in a pretty large group of cousins) and that unstoppable process that makes parents do a string of things they swore smugly they would never do before actually becoming one.

Nevertheless, my daughter has grown up wearing pants more than dresses and "sensible" colors so that certain clothing items can be passed down to her little brother when she grows out of them. When it comes to toys, we have never denied her Barbie dolls or princess accessories, but we try to keep a pretty gender neutral approach in general.
This has not mitigated the traits in her that are so often ascribed to the female population in the least. She is a real chatterbox, extremely curious, very observant (as in nothing goes unnoticed) and loves clothes, hair, make up and jewelry.  She has been known to make earrings out of stickers, paperclips, fruit and flowers and is always excited to receive the sparkly Disney merchandising I so abhor as presents. She is undeniably a girl. A jeans-clad, sneaker-wearing girl with a glittery soul.

If I wear an old sweater I haven't worn for a while I immediately get asked "Did you go shopping?". If she is in the kitchen doing her homework and I tell her brother off in the bedroom, you can bet your bottom dollar that her head will be sticking through the doorway, neck craning, to see what is happening. She can hear you say something from the other end of the apartment even if you think she is busy dancing and singing, and will come up and enquire about it with insistence. Discreet she is not.

She ooohs and aaaahs on the rare occasions I wear heels.

The other day, the minute I walked into the kitchen after getting ready, she looked up at the very thin stripe of eyeliner I had applied and exclaimed: "Mommy, that black line on your eyes is sooo pretty!". My son is still trying to find it.

I recently had to laugh when I had just stepped out of a hot shower and she commented "I love your hair like that, it looks great". All I saw reflected in the mirror were my flushed, shiny cheeks and wet, tangly hair.

Or there was that time in the car during a long drive when I sneaked a piece of sugarless spearmint gum into my mouth (gum is still a very rare treat for the kids), assuming she wouldn't notice since I was in the front seat and she was behind me. I quietly fished around in my bag, slowly lifted the gum into my mouth and chewed very quietly, looking ahead and feigning indifference. I was patting myself on the shoulder for not getting caught in the act when I heard her squeaky little voice from the back seat: Mommy! You're chewing gum. Can I have a piece, pleeeeaaaase? Pretty, pretty, pretty please?". Busted! When I asked her why she thought I was chewing gum she matter-of-factly replied: "I can smell it".

I wonder if she will notice how much healthy stuff is crammed into this little snack? Or that there isn't any sugar in sight?

Here are some healthy bites for before or after your work-out session, or to have for breakfast or a snack. They will boost your energy levels and help you get rid of that mid-afternoon sugar crave without the guilt. Yet they are good enough for your kids to like them.

This is recipe is loosely inspired by Not Quite Nigella (the second post this month!). The end result is quite different because I used what I had in the house, but Lorraine suggests that it is an extremely adaptable recipe, so I  followed her general amounts and swapped several of the ingredients. You can make these in 15 minutes, they do not involve any cooking and are a one-bowl recipe.

Later addition: turns out my son likes these enough to cram two of them in his mouth at a time and my daughter had quite a few after enquiring about the "dark bits". Can't wait to try the chocolate version next!
2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
5 large dates, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup dried prunes, pitted and finely chopped
1 cup dessicated, unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp maple syrup
2/3-1cup oat bran
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Prepare a bowl with half of the coconut and set aside to garnish the balls.
Mash the bananas, add in the chopped dried fruit, the rest of the coconut and oat bran and then add the maple syrup and cinnamon. Shape into bite-size balls and roll into the coconut you set aside and serve or store in the fridge.





  1. Ooh yayy! I'm so glad that your kids liked them! I shared it on my facebook page. Thanks so much :D

  2. I like your and lorraine idea... Great healthy snack! I really have to try them! :)

  3. Lucky her to have a good mama for her role model!


    These look healthy and delicious to boot. YUM!

    Erina at

  4. Your daughter sounds gorgeous! I too have a son and a daughter and they are very, very, different. I love the look of these truffles and it's great they are so healthy and so adaptable to what you have on hand xx

  5. What a wonderful post. I know my husband really wanted a girl and he would have wanted one just like your daughter. I wonder if my sons would eat something so... healthy? I do love them though.


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