Have a vegan attending your Thanksgiving table? These Date Nut Truffles will not only solve your vegan dessert dilemma, but all of your guests and you will love them. They’re also gluten free…for those other guests. I think they’ll make an appearance throughout the holidays in my home.
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup set aside
2 cups pitted dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
If you like your nuts a little toasty, place the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in an oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Let cool, then place walnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, and 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor bowl. Pulse until finely crumbed.
Add dates, coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract, and pulse again until it’s a moistened consistency.
Place remaining shredded coconut and cocoa powder in a bowl. Roll about a tablespoon size into a ball and then roll it in the coconut-cocoa mixture until evenly coated. Place truffles on a tray with wax or parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Take out about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 20 truffles.
If you are equally intimidated by the hard, funny shaped gourds, know that you’re not alone. I didn’t grow up eating or decorating squash or pumpkin, but having lived in the US for over 30 years now, I decided to embrace them as treats and decor, and even tried my hand at my own recipe, featuring an easy to cut one, delicata squash.
I incorporated black beans into my squash stuffing for the protein, and Brussels sprouts and mushrooms for the vegetables. You can certainly customize to your liking. I made them at my boyfriend’s place, and totally forgot to bring over onion, which I think would have deepened the flavors. Three cloves of garlic definitely helped. I also feel it was missing a fresh element. In the future, I may add fresh green onions as garnish, or incorporate a fresh herb into the vegetable sauté, like thyme, and/or make some thyme or green onion infused sour cream to dollop on top. But here’s what I did:
Two delicata squash, halved and de-seeded
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can black beans (I like to use Eden beans, because they are cooked with Kombu, for added nutrition)
About 10 oz Shaved Brussels Sprouts (I used a package of shaved sprouts from Trader Joe’s)
About 8-10 Mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini)
1 slice cheddar cheese, sliced into thin pieces and handful shaved Parmeggiano Regiano (Or cheese of your choice)
A bit of olive oil for the squash roasting
Salt, black pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, dash of nutmeg (or any herb or seasonings you enjoy)
Herb Infused Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
A few Tablespoons of Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
A big pinch of fresh herbs of your choice (my choice would be thyme, green onions or chives), chopped
Preheat oven to 400F. After you’ve halved (with a good, sharp knife) and gutted your squash, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, a bit of salt and a bit of nutmeg.
Place them face down onto a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. The squash should be a bit browned and caramelized on the edges. Flip the squash over and let cool slightly. Lower oven temp to 350F.
While squash is baking, sauté onions until translucent on medium heat. Add garlic. When garlic is fragrant, after 1-2 minutes, add shaved Brussels sprouts. Sauté until the sprouts start to brown a bit. Add mushrooms and black beans. Make sure to season a bit more with each addition of ingredients. Continue to sauté on a medium-low heat until the squash is out of the oven, and cooled slightly.
Scoop the sautéed veggies into the squash halves. Top with the cut cheddar and shaved Parmeggiano Regiano.
Place stuffed squash into oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese on top has melted.
And here is my second annual hand at pumpkin carving. Mine is the guy with the stitched mouth. We had a great time making these, and roasting the seeds after!
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
PS Don’t forget, November is actually Movember!
During November each year, the organization, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Let’s raise some awareness and grow them staches, gentlemen!