Cinnamon-Sunflower Truffles

Ali Segersten Jan 07, 2010 54 comments



If you are following the elimination diet then you're in for a real treat today! I created this raw truffle recipe a few days ago in order to have a quick and nutritious snack ready in the fridge. Just one or two and I am good to go for a few more hours. I have also found that they are a perfect after school snack for my children!


For those of you following me on the Elimination Diet, how are you feeling? Energetic, sick, tired, achy, wonderful? Sometimes during the very beginning of the diet there is a feeling of un-wellness. Don't worry, your body is going through many changes. For one, you are detoxing and you may be experiencing a die-off of unfriendly bacteria in the gut. This is a great time to be consuming plenty of raw sauerkraut. This will help to replenish healthy bacteria in the gut. I have many lacto-fermented recipes in the Get Cultured! chapter of my Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook or you can purchase raw sauerkraut at your local health food store. The truly raw sauerkraut will be found in the refrigerated section.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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My friend taught me to make something like this, only hers is just sunflower seeds and dates - they stay together fine, so I don't think olive oil is really necessary, but will try adding cinnamon next time - yum!

Costco sometimes has big packages of dates - "healthy" stores like Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc are also likely to carry them.

How many does this make??

Absolutely delicious, just as the recipe is written. Have made several batches over the past 3 weeks of the elimination diet (stretching it out over 2 months), and find they are perfect as a snack when it's not quite time for a meal, or as a perfect little dessert. Fair warning: they're so good, it's sometimes hard to have just one! Look forward to trying different nuts and perhaps other dried fruits, like cherries or apricots with cardamom, cloves, or perhaps a dash of anise.

Questions about the diet: when can the following be added: amaranth, sesame seeds, vinegar, wild game meat?

Since the majority of the foods in the diet are ones we already enjoy, we have been LOVING the flavors of nearly every meal we've tried! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and kitchen creativity!

I just want say I love you! I started the elimination diet July 6 and am now feeling better than ever, am off the Prilosec and have lost 26 lbs. Your recipes are delicious and I have tried foods I have never even heard of. Who would have guessed I could be so satisfied without meat, dairy or gluten. Best of all I finally kicked my lifelong sugar addiction. This diet has changed my health and my life and I can't thank you enough for all the thought you put into your work.

I make these with pumpkin seeds all the time since D. cannot have sunflower seeds. They turn out great, in case anyone wants a variation. Yum!


The answer to your question is in the second paragraph of the directions. Enjoy!

What is the asterisk for on the agave/syrup?

Yes, cinnamon is allowed for phase 1, enjoy! :)

Just bought your book...on day 9 of the diet! Question, is cinnamon allowed in phase one? Thank you.

We are on an elimination diet prescribed by our doctor, but we are allowed tree nuts. I made a half batch with pecans and cinnamon and another half batch with pecans and carob powder. What a treat! Next I am going to try hazelnuts with the carob.

Laura, these truffles are not freezable but you can keep them in the fridge for a few weeks if need be. There is a second book in the works! It should be available this summer if I can get it finished. ;-)

Hi Ali!

These truffles are wonderful!! I am wondering.. do you think I could freeze them??

Your cookbook is # 1 with me by far! When will you do a second!!?


Dana, your symptoms could be a result of a few different issues. For example, it could be a fructose intolerance, a disaccharidase insufficiency, or a number of other things. At this point it would be best to consult with a health care practitioner to modify the diet to your body. Tom is available for phone consultations if you are interested. He customizes the elimination diet for many people weekly to achieve optimal results. Info is here:

Hope this helps! -Ali :)

I made these this weekend and absolutely loved them! I am in Phase 1 of the elimination diet, so these have been a real treat. I do find, however, that my body is having a hard time with so much fiber. I am now experiencing diarrhea, which I think is due to such a high fiber and water intake. Is this normal and is there anything I can do to help myself?

I made these for my son's 1st birthday as his special treat. He loved it :)

I pressed some of the mixture into a small ramekin to give the shape of a small "cake," removed it from the ramekin, coated it with shredded coconut, then drizzled it with fresh mango puree and strawberries. With one little candle on top, it was the cutest little "cake."

Our picnic party also consisted of many recipes from your book. Thanks for making his birthday special with your healthy recipes!

My 2-yr-old son calls these candy balls. I'm in day 6 of the elimination diet and these assuaged my sweet tooth. I didn't start the diet specifically for weight loss but the scale shows me down 6 pounds. Even if it's all water weight, that's a lot. I am not ever hungry and every recipe I've tried has been fantastic.

Simone - No, these would need to be made in a food processor. This goes for all recipes specifying a food processor. I have both and use each machines for different types of recipes. :)

This looks fantastic. The recipe asks for a food processor. Could I do the truffles (and other recipes that call for a food processor) with a Vitamix instead?

Hi Ali,

I'm on day 4 and I feel okay for the most part, just a bit sluggish. Do you have another alternative to the raw sauerkraut(yuck)?

This truffles on the other hand look delicious. I am going to make them today. I'm a beginner cook so I'll take all the recipes I can get as I go through the diet.


I am really loving your website with all its fast, easy and healthy dishes. Just decided to make this for a talk I am giving about how herbs can be used alongside conventional treatments. :)

I love your recipes. I've been struggling with yeast problems for a very long time, although I didn't know that's what it was until about 4 months ago. I'm always excited to see new recipes that fit into my diet. Thank you!

I'm sure you've done a lot of reading on a lot of health topics. I'm not able to consume agave nectar on my diet, but in all my reading I've come across a lot of ill carma regarding it's commercialization and advertizing and the fact that it's really not that good for you. It's fructose levels are very high, unnaturally high. Xylitol however, and stevia have seem to have a much better reputation. In any case, just thought I'd share.

Good luck in all your cooking adventures! I'm on one every day!

I made these with pecans. Fantastic!! From my 21 month old grandson to my husband..they couldn't get enough. I will make them again today with walnuts as they are the only nuts in the house. I love all of your recipes. I am wheat free and my children are vegetarian.

I made them to battle the craving for something sweet and chocolatey during the Elimination diet and now I can hardly stop myself, they are so delicious!
I've taken them with me on the road along with an apple when I wasn't quite sure how long the errands etc. would take and they have been perfect bridge the time between meals. Fabulous!

I just finished making a batch of the Cinnamon-Sunflower Truffles; these are yummy and may keep me from going off my eating plan. I've been on a very restricted diet for about 6 months and have lately felt like giving up. I really miss crunchy, salty and chewy, sweet! Thanks for the ongoing inspiration!

My little girls loved these "candies". I split the dates into two bowls and added sunflower seeds+ cinnamon to one half and pumpkin seed+ cardamom to the other half.

Hi Ali,
I made these on Sunday for my birthday! We all loved them, I took extras to work to share with my colleagues - they were a hit!!

Hi Ali,

I made these for a work party last Friday. Used pecans and walnuts and no oil. The nuts seemed to have enough oil. Fantastic!

I referred my brother and two co-workers to the elimination diet here. All three are following you religiously. What a gift you are giving. Thanks

Day 15 for me, have been feeling deprived and a little protein deficient last few days, as opposed to feeling energentic last week. I was hoping to stick it out for the entire 28 days, but I feel I need to listen to my body, that I am past a point of unhealthfully craving foods, so ate 2 eggs this morning along with my brown rice and wakame and a fruit/seed smoothie. Is there any problem to rearranging the testing order for re-introducing foods? I can still test things one at a time but I would like to test high protein foods first. Wendy

I tried making the cultured vegetables from your book. I thought they would taste fermented, instead they tasted more, well, composted if you get my drift. The only thing I did differently was to use bottled Santa Cruz organic lemon juice instead of freshly squeezed. I let the mix sit for 6 days and everything was followed to the letter. I don't think I can eat anymore of the batch. Maybe using garlic in the mix was a mistake? Wendy

I just made these and found them to be a little too sweet for us, with the maple syrup added. We are used to homemade lara bars that have only dates and nuts in them. I think next time I will add water to get the right texture. Other than that they are great!

Thankyou for your help!

These are great! We are on day 7 and were in need of some new snacks - perfect timing. I threw some brown rice cakes in the food processor and added those as well - a bit like rice krispy treats if you will.

Would love to know what others are snacking on? Here are ours:

Brown rice cakes topped with sunflower seed butter (SO good!) and grated apples

Dried fruit

Pumpkin and sunflower seeds roasted with olive oil and maple syrup

Celery & sunflower seed butter

Didn't have any dates, so I made them with unsulphered apricots - yummmmm!

Wow, it sounds like this recipe was a hit. So glad to hear so many of you have been enjoying it. I have been super busy lately and not had time to respond. So I'm just going to get to the questions that need answering here.

Michelle - yes I think coconut oil would be fine as long as you melt it first.

Anon - Have you seen your health care practitioner about this? Occasionally we see some people who react to foods on our phase 1 safe list. It is possible that you are not tolerating quinoa at this time. But it might be best to look at the bigger picture. I can't really be of more help on the blog but you could set up a phone consult with Tom. That info is on our website. :)

Anon - Yes our book is available in BC. There are many health care practitioners that sell it in their offices. You might just call around to find out who has it. As far as the eating guide....I find nourishing ourselves to be such an intuitive process. I have a hard time telling people how much to eat and what. However, our book does offer a "food pyramid" and general eating guide that you might find helpful. I also offer a 7 day meal plan that is gluten, dairy, and egg-free. Hope this helps. :)

Karen - I thought about using soaked sunflower seeds but then realized they would be too mushy unless the seeds were dehydrated. I like to make eating healthy simple. I know soaking and dehydrating doesn't usually fit into most folk's schedules. Good idea though! :)

nessabean - I buy my medjool dates in the produce section of my co-op or health food store. They are in bulk so I can buy as many or as few as I want. they need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Wendy - It is common for noses to run when eating garlic, however your issue with lemon might be a reaction. Tom's motto is "When in doubt, Leave it out" ~ you might try waiting 2 months and then reintroduce lemons again to see if you get the same reaction.

Thanks for all of the great feedback everyone, so glad you are enjoying this recipe! :)

Anonymous, I crossed the border and bought a copy of the book at Terra Organica in Bellingham. Worth the trip!

Re this recipe - it's delicious and so easy to make! I am not on the elimination diet but I am being careful about food sensitivities. This was a recipe that I could make.

Funny story - I misread the recipe as 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds... I had that... so I made up the difference (upon reading the recipe again) with 1.5 cups of Macademia nuts that I had bought at Trader Joes. And did not add additional sea salt, as the nuts already had salt on them

the result is *delicious*. I am not sure there will be any left by Monday, but I will try...

I love you, guys!!! what a great way to start the new year!! already brimming with GREAT food ideas that will make us sing from day ONE in the year 2010!


GONNA try the those truffles today!

We made half a batch and my daughter kept on going back for more. Thank you for this great treat!

I pretty much love anything with cinnamon. Yum!


I made a half batch of these last night with what we had on hand -- I used dried cherries instead of dates and they were so delicious!!!! Thanks!

Loads of great stuff here! Thank you for providing such an interesting post on nutrition - it’s very informative & helpful! I found your blog on Google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google Reader. Keep up the good work! - Shane

Wow! Ali, those look more than fantastic! I love the flavours, the ease, everything! Great recipe =D.

I just made the truffles, mmmm delicious! I was waiting for a sweet snack recipe to eat on the elimination diet, and this hit the spot. Thanks!

The sunflower truffles look great! I didn't realize we could use dried coconut for phase 1. I have been watching symptoms come and go on this diet. I notice when I eat garlic that my nose runs. Is this a sensitivity symptom or does that usually happen when you eat garlic? Also, if I drink lemon juice and have phlegm right away in the back of my throat is that normal for lemon juice or is it a sensitivity? Thanks, Wendy

I often make date balls, but have never tried them with sunflower seeds before. Sounds delish. :)

I'm with Shirley - elimination diet or not I want to give this a try. Yum!!

Those look really good. Thanks for the recipe.

to Anonymous - re cook book
I live in Calgary and purchased it thru Ali & Tom's website. She just mailed it to me and I received it really fast. (thanks Ali)
I could not get it at any of our stores unless they special ordered it.

I want to reach through the computer and grab one! Love, Kelly

where do you find medjool dates?

I always love new healthful recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth, and these look tasty. Have you tried them with pre-soaked seeds? Better for digestion but I'm wondering how it will affect the texture.

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