Friday, 8 February 2013

Crunchy Chocolate Fudge

The No Added Sugar Challenge that I am taking part in through Instagram (explained in my post below) has forced me to try out some new recipes which still taste good, while omitting all sugars - including natural sugars - other than a moderate amount of whole fruit. I am oh-so glad that it did :).

The recipe below is possibly the simplest I have ever made. It requires no baking, no particular sequence of ingredient additions, very little cooling time and only 5 ingredients!

This fudge is super firm and gives that satisfying crunch which makes it the perfect healthy substitute for chocolate for me! I wont pretend that it tastes exactly the same or that the texture is identical - it has a very natural and rich taste which is perfect for dark chocolate lovers as well as the course texture of very fine coconut. I will claim that it has a melt-in-your-mouth effect which is something that draws most people to chocolate in the first place!

Now for the recipe...

Crunchy (Paleo and Sugar-Free) Chocolate Fudge


5 tbs coconut butter*
1 tbs coconut oil, melted
2.5 tbs cocoa
2tsp vanilla essence
2 fresh medjool dates, pitted

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Line a small loaf pan with foil and ensure that it is flattened to the bottom and sides.
Put mixture in the loaf pan then pack and flatten.
Place loaf pan in the fridge and wait for it to set!

Remove from loaf pan by lifting the sides of the foil carefully. It should be very solid so I don't think it's going anywhere : ).

Place the fudge on a flat chopping board and chop into squares!

The hardest part will be to try and not eat it all in one sitting :|

The good thing is;

Coconut Butter and Oil
Contain healthy medium chain saturated fatty acids which are resistant to storing within the body and instead promote the use of fat as the bodies primary source of energy. Coconut products also have a range of other benefits such as benefits for healthy skin and hair amongst many other things.

Contains magnesium
Reduces LHL cholesterol
Increases HDL cholesterol
High antioxidant content which can reduce the risk of Cardiovascular disease.

Vanilla essence
Believed to have anxiety reducing effects
Can regulate menstruation (sorry gentlemen)

High in fibre
Contain a range of vitamins and minerals
Contain Iron
Good source of potassium name a few!

*Coconut Butter: You can buy coconut butter from many health food stores but firstly, I don't see it everywhere and secondly it seems to be fairly expensive. My way - grab a few bags of shredded coconut, place as much as will fit into the food processor and switch it on! You will have to leave it for at least 10 minutes but very possibly longer depending on the strength of your food processor, until it reduces to a buttery and creamy consistency. Voila! There are so many things that can be done with this : ).

Friday, 1 February 2013

Raw Paleo Chocolate, Coconut and Walnut Fudge

Raw Paleo Chocolate, Coconut and Walnut Fudge
I am a little bit of an Instagram addict and I find it one of my biggest motivators when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet. There are so many great people on there aiming for the same results; to be as healthy as they can possible be in the most natural and healthful way possible.
On Instagram I am currently taking part in the 'No Added Sugar' Challenge which has been set up by 3 extremely fit, healthy and focused IGers whom I encourage everyone to follow - @fitnessfoodandstyle, @tonedtannedandfit and @littlemissnutrition.
You can read about the challenge here.
I usually spend my weekends baking and creating new delicious healthy treats but I often use natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey and coconut nectar. For this 14 day challenge however, I have chosen to be a part of Team Fruits of Life, members of which are to omit these natural sweeteners from their diet to "Quit Sugar" completely. For the most part, these sweeteners are something that I will continue to consume as they are still natural however for the challenge I will try to refrain : ).
Instead, I will be only using whole fruit to sweeten anything I make, and trying to stick to a total intake of 3 servings of fruit per day.
Due to my craving for chocolate emerging on day 2 (!!) of the challenge, I decided to get creative with an extremely healthy chocolaty treat. Here goes!
Recipe makes approximately 17 pieces
You will need
2 cups shredded coconut
2 tsp cocoa
tsp almond butter
2 tbs coconut cream*
4 fresh medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1tbs coconut oil - melted
Place the shredded coconut in your food processor and process for approximately 10-15 minutes until it becomes a thick liquid. You will need to scrape down the sides every few minutes to ensure it all gets churned up. Once it is a liquid, you have Coconut Butter!! (which is generally really expensive to buy in health food stores : ).
 Once the coconut butter has formed add the cocoa, almond butter, coconut cream and 1 medjool date. Process until all combined and the consistency should be fairly thick but should stick together when pressed.
Line a small loaf pan/small slice pan with foil and make sure it is as flat as possible. You will need to foil to lift the fudge out of the pan without difficulty later on. I used my loaf pan as my slice pans are too big and for the amount of mixture, the loaf pan gave me the right thickness.
Empty mixture from the food processor into the lined pan and flatten. You should notice that the mixture is shiny when flattened and I could see some oil from the coconut emerging as I pushed it down.
Place bottom layer in the fridge.
Clean up your food processor and add the remaining ingredients (3 dates, walnuts, coconut oil) and process until combined which should only take about 30 seconds.
Place this mixture on top of bottom layer and flatten. Return the mixture to the fridge (or freezer if you're in a hurry). Once hardened, which should take no longer than 10 minutes, remove the fudge from the pan and slice.
Now I would have taken a nice picture of the "one" I ate on the plate... but I didn't put it on a plate because it didn't make it there and I didn't exactly eat just one either :| :). The good thing is.. These are so wonderfully guilt free (the real kind of guilt free) that having more than 1 is not doing me anything but good :) .. happy taste buds included.
*Place a tin of full fat coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (I tend to always have one in there in case I want to use it), open the tin and scoop the cream of the top which will have separated from the coconut water. You will now have a thick creamy coconut cream to use!
Mel x