Double Dark Chocolate Truffles (Vegan)


img_3584-3Keeping it short and sweet today. Just like this recipe. A sweet, simple treat for Valentine’s Day. Or any day. Maybe every day? These decadent truffles taste like they came from a fancy chocolate shop but in fact require only four main ingredients and a bit of chilling time to make. Insanely rich, smooth and satisfyingly chocolaty, they will surely impress your sweetheart or whoever the lucky recipient may be.


I can’t say I always liked celebrating V Day. Totally jaded and turned off by the artificially manufactured saccharin sweetness of the whole thing made me indifferent at best. But I suppose over the years I have realized that celebrating anything in life is a good foil for the negativity and wretchedness of what goes on around us. The world needs more love. So why not honour it, even if it is with tacky cards and overpriced flowers. Better yet, with truffles. Double dark chocolate truffles. Vegan and easy at that. Make them and share them or hoard them for yourself. Love yourself. Love those around you. Love your family. Love life. And hey, love carnations too! They are in fact beautiful but for some reason have  been relegated to the bottom of the barrel for far too long. I love you carnations. You complete me.


Don’t be scared of the long instructions, I’ve just included tips that that I have found helpful along the way. And here are some pictures to help you out as well…

Chilled bowl of ganache:


Scooped ganache chillin’:


Rolled and ready for some cocoa lovin’:


Sprinkled with cocoa:


Rock and roll  time:


Double Dark Chocolate Truffles

Makes 16-18 truffles

Prep Time 30 minutes (total)

Chill Time 2 hours


200g dairy-free dark chocolate chips (1 cup + 2 Tablespoons chocolate chips)*

125ml light coconut milk

1 Tablespoon (15ml) virgin coconut oil

pinch of sea salt

2 Tablespoons (30ml) cocoa powder


1. Place chocolate chips in medium-sized bowl; find a plate that will fit over bowl to cover.

2. In a small saucepan combine coconut milk and coconut oil and  heat over medium heat until just starting to bubble. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate chips (don’t mix yet!) and cover with the plate. After about 2 minutes, remove plate add the pinch of sea salt and stir chocolate mixture. The chocolate chips should have melted in the hot liquid, but if there is still some unmelted chocolate, microwave in 15 second intervals until fully melted. You have now  made ganache! Cover bowl with the plate again and refrigerate for about 2 hours, until mixture has firmed up.

3. Once mixture is cooled and firm, but still moldable, remove from fridge. Using a small ice cream scoop (a great tool for this part, mine holds just a little bit more than 1 Tablespoon), scoop out ganache, level off and turn out onto the plate that was covering the bowl. Repeat until you’ve used up all the ganache. The chilled plate helps to prevent the truffles from melting or becoming too soft. If you don’t have a small ice cream scoop, use a Tablespoon measuring spoon for this.

4. Now roll each ganache mound with your hands into an evenly shaped, smooth ball and place on a small rimmed cookie sheet or a shallow glass dish; line the cookie sheet or dish with parchment paper if you like. It helps to cool your hands under running cold water, then drying them thoroughly before rolling – this prevents the ganache from sticking to your hands. You may have to wash your hands once or twice during the rolling process if they become sticky.

5. Once all the truffles are rolled, scoop the cocoa powder into a small fine-meshed sieve and sift over the truffles. Next, roll the truffles around by shaking the cookie sheet or dish gently until the truffles are entirely coated. I’ve found this to be the most efficient way to coat the truffles in the cocoa powder.

6. Transfer the truffles into an airtight container and keep at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for up to a week (if they last that long). Enjoy!

* I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels; you can also use 200g of your favourite bar chocolate finely chopped. Choose good-quality chocolate as it’s the star ingredient!


If  you do end up making these, share your creations on social media and tag with #soundbitesnutrition.

Have a lovely Valentine’s Day and eat lots of chocolate!




Almond Butter Cup Smoothie Bowl + Magic Chocolate Sauce


Permission to eat chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast granted! You’re welcome. Very, very welcome. Because in the depths of this Southern Ontario sun deprived deep freeze kind of a winter some joy is needed. And chocolate brings joy. Especially in the form of a chocolatey smoothie bowl made up of high vibe ingredients to delight the body and soul. Though I have to say, while chocolate does its magic, for anyone reading this who hails from some warm and sunshiney corner of the world – can I come live with you?? I think I make a decent roommate. I can guarantee good food, witty banter and a willingness to clean. Ok, so only one of those is true.

In the meantime, back to chocolate. For now. Until someone from California sends for me.


So this smoothie bowl is the first smoothie bowl I have ever made. For real. I feel like I’m so late to the party that the party is almost over…they’ve started playing this. I know smoothie bowls have been around for forever but for some reason I’ve never been compelled to make one. Probably for a few  reasons: A) A smoothie bowls seem like breakfast food to me B) I’d much rather eat something savoury for breakfast and C) I pretty much always eat breakfast in my car on the way to work. Smoothie bowls are not conducive to these pursuits. But one day this past week I woke up with this exact smoothie bowl idea in my head. I imagine that’s what song writers or artists or novelists mean when they say that ideas come to them fully formed. Except in my case it’s always food. Sometimes a half-baked concept that collapses when put into action (ahem, shortbread cookies) and sometimes a successful recipe that strikes gold upon first try. This bowl was of the latter sort. A vision appeared in my head, I created it and then praise was heaped upon it by those who tasted the magnificent results. Or something like that.

This recipe makes a pretty good sized smoothie bowl so it’s perfect for sharing. Though with about 24 grams of fibre (!!) and 13 grams of protein, it makes a mighty satisfying meal for one. There’s virtually no added sugar in this recipe, except for the maple syrup in the chocolate sauce, which you can skip. Though the chocolate sauce is my favourite thing about this bowl! It is super easy to make and it hardens when poured onto the icy smoothie and cold fruit, creating a shell of chocolate drizzle that breaks up into chocolate chunks as you crack it with your spoon (that’s the magic!) Umm are we talking decadent dessert or breakfast still? To be quite honest I don’t think anyone would complain if you finished off a meal with this and called it dessert. I certainly wouldn’t. Perhaps a Valentine’s Day treat?

The other ingredients are essentially fruits, seeds and nuts. These do a body good! And all the chocolate goodness comes from good quality organic cocoa powder as opposed to processed chocolate. I can live with that.


Almond Butter Cup Smoothie Bowl With Magic Chocolate Sauce

Makes 1-2 Servings

Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients for the Smoothie Bowl:

2 frozen bananas, broken up into chunks

1-2 medjool dates

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 1/2 Tablespoons smooth almond butter

 Ingredients for the Chocolate Sauce:

2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Toppings:  strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced banana, chopped raw almonds; other fruit or nuts may be used, as desired

1. Blend all smoothie bowl ingredients in a blender until smooth. Depending on your blender, you may need to stop it a few times and use a spoon to move the ingredients around, or use more almond milk to get it to  a smooth consistency. If you have a Vitamix, use the tamper to move the ingredients around.

2. Use a fork to whisk all chocolate sauce ingredients until smooth.

3. Pour smoothie into a bowl, top with desired toppings and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Enjoy!



Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola


Awww man, y’all are gonna lose your shhhh for this one! Believe it or not, this is only one of the very few times I have made my own granola. I’ve had every intention in the past, just zero execution. Confession: that could be said about other aspects of my life too, I suppose. Procrastination is the name of my game and I am VERY good at it (let it not be said that I don’t have any skills!) If putting things off until the last minute and figuring out ways to avoid what I need to do by doing everything else instead was a sport, I’d be a world champion. That’s not to say I’m lazy – just good at deferring. And even in the kitchen, I cook all the time but creating workable, tasty recipes that make sense and can be replicated is another thing on its own – that requires planning, forethought, precision, and measuring spoons. All of which just slow me down in the kitchen. But the desire to share good food that is delicious and nourishing in equal measures finally succeeded – and so I have hunkered down, with note pad and pen in one hand and measuring cups in the other (or something like that) and started not just making food, but actually developing recipes. Who am I?? Also, it helps that my recent foray into this was received so generously by my family and friends, one just can’t help but be inspired to go on.

So let’s get on with this recipe. There are some food pairings that just seem to be made for each other: peanut butter and jam, coconut and pineapple, lime and tequila. And of course chocolate plus cherries, the darlings of this recipe. I mean, when have chocolate and cherries together ever been a bad idea? Never. Am I right? Thought it has to be said that the cherries also go beautifully with the hazelnuts in this recipe, and the almonds, and well the chocolate goes with just about anything (chocolate + hazelnuts, enough said.) So what we end up with is a jar full of goodness that just loves to intermingle, and each ingredient, while good on its own, elevates the others. A metaphor for a utopian society dare I say? If granola can inspire a visionary world view, well all the better in my opinion.

I had some family and friends try this granola out on its first outing and the reviews were fantastic. On top of yogurt, paired with almond milk for breakfast, or straight up out of the jar by the fistful, everyone fell in love. The recipe is pretty simple too: you mix the dry ingredients together, and essentially make a raw chocolate to coat everything in. Mmm, a chocolate bath. I know that dried cherries can be quite pricy but a little goes a long way. In any case, feel free to substitute dried cranberries instead if that’s all you have on hand. That goes also for the nuts and seeds, change those up if you want but keep the amounts the same. It’s a pretty flexible recipe – and far better than most of the granola you can buy, both in taste and nutrition. Nourishing dried fruit, seeds, nuts and oats with antioxidant rich cocoa powder and a touch of maple syrup. That’s it.




Finally I have to say I chuckled a bit when naming this recipe. I though, once people read chocolate and cherries I will have them sold! They won’t even notice the word granola in there. Muahaha, got you!

Oh! One  more thing, as I was eating this bowl of granola I was rewarded with a delicious, rich chocolatey almond milk. Never a bad thing.



Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola

vegan, soy-free, gluten-free option

Makes about 6 cups

Prep time 10 minutes 

Cook time 30-35 minutes


1 1/2 cup large flake rolled oats, gluten-free if needed

1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F (150˚C) and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts and dried cherries and salt. Stir well.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt coconut oil, remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry mixture and stir well until everything is well-coated.
  5. Tip the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out into an even layer. Press down on the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon so that it sticks together.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, again spreading it our into an even layer and pressing it down. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet, it will harden as it cools. Break the granola up into clusters and transfer into an airtight container (I use glass jars).


You can chop the nuts by pulsing in a food processor.

Substitute equal amounts of other nuts, seeds, dried fruit as you wish.


Valentine’s Sweets



Anyone within earshot in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day heard me rant and grumble about how artificially sweetened and commercial I felt this holiday to be. Then my sister changed my outlook.

She said that any chance in life we get to celebrate should be embraced  And, this is what really hooked me, she  wholeheartedly felt that any holiday where the starring food was chocolate should not be tossed aside carelessly. Okay sis, I get your point. And I concur.

{I really do treasure these moments in life when a previously steadfastly held paradigm shifts.}

So celebrate with chocolate became my V-Day objective  Now most years I would inhale whatever chocolate-like product crossed my path. But being vegan makes you a bit more mindful and aware of what you stuff your face with. Another bonus of this whole journey. So I set out to make some homemade treats. With good quality ingredients.

I consulted my go-to site, Oh She Glows, and chose two recipes. Chocolate Chip Cookies because I was craving these and Mini Peanut Butter Cups In a Jar because their inherent adorableness and unearthly combo of chocolate and peanut butter makes them incredibly irresistible. Go ahead, I dare you to try.

Both resulted in sweet, sweet heaven.

Mmm chocolate chip cookies and cold almond milk…


I devoured a few after the photo shoot. Ok, during as well. No regrets.


And these decadent pots?


Umm, yeah. I want a stash of these in my freezer at all times. I battled between wanting to hoard them all and sharing the love with my loved ones. I remembered my Kindergarten lessons and shared. Look at the delectable layers…


Note that I didn’t have the patience to swirl the melted chocolate evenly over the surface of the pots. So I drizzled. Can’t say my taste buds cared.

With the cookies I was pretty precise with the recipe and measured things out as outlined in the recipe; I always think of baking as a chemistry experiment, where you want things to be in the right proportions to get a good result. With the peanut butter and chocolate cups I was a bit more liberal. I really don’t have the patience to measure peanut butter in a measuring cup only to then have to scrape it all out. So I did eyeball a bit and was probably more generous with some of the ingredients. All turned out well.

You know you’ve got all-star desserts when both your veg and non-veg friends and family start asking you for the recipes.


I do encourage seasoned and newbie vegans alike to try these recipes out. You won’t be disappointed!

Much theobroma cacao love to you,


Back In The Game (plus recipe for Kale and Bean Soup)

Well, I am FINALLY feeling like myself again. I can safely say my body is virus-free. Hallelujah.

Can’t say I was feeling much food inspiration over the last little while. Although I’m not of the lose-all-your-appetite-while-sick sort (and damn it I do envy the people who get blessed with this silver lining of illness), my food selection was completely lack luster and I don’t think I attempted much beside boiling water and toasting bread in the kitchen, oh and heating up soup from a carton.

I managed to stay on the vegan bandwagon for two weeks now, viral attack and all. I have to say though, while I certainly don’t feel deprived and I can’t say I’ve even toed the precipice of starvation at any point, I have had some niggling thoughts about sneaking a few bites of cheese. Or milk chocolate (which is strange as I prefer dark varieties typically). I even had a dream where I pigged out on a milk-laden chocolate bar and woke up with residual feelings of guilt that the dream embedded. But honestly, all this has been minor.

In fact, beyond the illness stage, I continue feeling inspired and excited by all the vegan foods and recipes I keep coming across. As my sickness waned towards the end of the week, I found myself enveloped by a plethora of food experiences this weekend.

First off, my brother bought a juicer. Super exciting! We juiced the second the beast came out of the box. So far a winning combo has been apples, kale and ginger  Delish. I came up with a concoction that echoed the flavours of carrot cake: tons of carrots, apples, a bit of ginger and a few shakes of cinnamon and cloves. Yum! And of course there’s been a few underwhelming, and perhaps down right awful, results too. Will keep you updated on our juicer developments!

On Saturday night I made the pilgrimage to downtown Toronto for some of my favourite Thai food at Salad King. I can’t comment on the authenticity of the grub but I have been eating here since my Ryerson University under-grad days. I even remember what my first dish was, and this was back in 2002! Emerald curry, by the way. The location has moved (a few meters from the original) but the crazy atmosphere, affordable prices and consistently amazing dishes have remained. Even the mild to 20 chilies heat scale has not changed a bit. I am a 5 chilies type of gal…hey, some like it hot 🙂

I dined on my beloved Bangkok Stir Fry (veganized by omitting the egg) and my dining partner-in-crime chose the Hot Thai Noodles with a very non-veg chicken and shrimp option. We stuffed ourselves silly and walked away wishing for a location closer to home. Sigh.

My good food fortune continued into Sunday as we gathered at my parents place for dinner. My mom obliged our veggie ways and cooked up an amazing vegan kale and bean soup. Sooooo good!

Kale and Bean Soup 1

 Kale and Bean Soup

This is a delicious soup to serve on a chilly day. Much goodness is to be found in this gem of a dish.

Adapted from: The Vegetarian Collection by Alison Key and The Canadian Living Kitchen

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste (1/2-1 tsp of each)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, homemade or store bought
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 small white potatoes, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 can (395ml, 140z) cannelini beans, rinsed and drained, used Eden Garden brand
  • 2 cans (395ml, 14oz each) navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 bunches of kale, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • juice of one lemon

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander  cumin, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent.

Add broth, water, white and sweet potato and all the beans, bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender (about 15-20 minutes).

Meanwhile put kale into a pot of boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes until softened. Drain and add to the soup along with the parsley. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then finish off with the lemon juice.

Serve as is or accompanied by whole grain bread, pita or a cooked grain (rice, buckwheat, quinoa or the like). Enjoy piping hot.

Kale and Bean Soup 2

Kale and bean soup 3

 My mom also surprised us by baking vegan chocolate chip cookies. No milk or eggs, and incidentally no wheat, but full of chocolatey goodness. Best served with beverage of choice for dunking. Recipe was from good old reliable Martha Stewart.

Vegan CC Cookies 2

Vegan CC Cookies 1

Way to go mama! First one to experiment with vegan baking. But that’s not shocking, baking is in her blood.

Vegan CC Cookies 3

I wrapped up my Sunday evening by prepping for the work week. Cooked up a one skillet meal using ingredients already in my fridge and pantry for lunches and dinners; will post the recipe this week. Main ingredients were fennel bulb, green peas, quinoa and Tofurky sausage. Don’t mock me, I love them.

And I whipped up a batch of hummus. I don’t really use a precise recipe, more so a guideline I suppose. But I will try to account for the proportions next time I make it so I can share the magic that a few simple kitchen staples can create: chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and good-quality olive oil. That’s all.

Happy February everyone!