Every time I go for a relaxing walk around the block I end up with a twig of lavender between my fingers, unconsciously twisting it beneath my nose, sniffing in its strong perfume while I tramp away the hour. I’ve done this for many years, and by the end of it I’m always a picture of calm, having walked away the days stressors.
Walking and lavender, for me, go together like peanut butter and chocolate. It was only once I began to study herbalism that I understood the true nature behind this relationship. I now realise that its not the walk alone that creates this happier, calmer me, but in fact the idle lavender twirling plays a very important part.
Lavender is one of my favourite herbs to elevate mood, so humble in its accessibility for anyone who cares to go for a walk around the block, as they are sure to find a bush or two in any avid gardener’s plot. Traditionally, lavender bags (or dream pillows) were placed beside the bed to encourage a deep and restful dream-state. Lavender soothes the nervous system and promotes sleep in the restless. It has a habit of leaving you feeling relaxed and content, of replacing the day’s woes with a state of pacified pleasure.
In a true example of nature’s synergy, I dreamt this recipe up during a particularly restful night of sleep, a rarity with a newborn baby. The next day I found time to get busy creating in the kitchen. I’m sure you’ll be as delighted with these lavender, acai and vanilla bliss truffles as I am. Added to these delectable truffles, lavender gives the term bliss ball a whole new degree of meaning.
- Mousse filing
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours, rinsed and drained
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract, or vanilla beans
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar (we used Loving Earth)
- 2 teaspoons acai powder
- 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil (measure in the liquid form)
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lavender flowers (note, if using dried lavender use ½ tablespoons only. Use less if you like only a very subtle lavender flavour)
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- Raw chocolate coating
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted bain-marie style
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- Add all mousse ingredients to a high-speed blender except the coconut oil.
- Pulse to combine, and then mix on highest speed for 2 minutes.
- Add melted coconut oil. Process for 1 minute on the highest speed, or until the mix is very well combined, uniform and smooth.
- Set in the freezer for one hour.
- Using a tablespoon (we used an 15 ml measuring spoon to give 10 perfect balls) measure out the mix. Roll into balls and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper and set in the freezer to firm while you prepare the raw chocolate.
- For the raw chocolate coating, slowly melt coconut oil in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of warm water (*see note). Once melted, remove from the heat and whisk in remaining ingredients until very well combined.
- Using a teaspoon, dip balls into melted chocolate. Arrange back on the parchment paper, and once again set in the freezer.
- Store truffles in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
- To serve, allow 10 minutes between freezer and mouth, less on a hot day.