Healthy fudge – yup it’s a thing
The words ‘healthy’ and ‘fudge’ don’t often go together, but I’ve been on a mission to healthify the most indulgent chocolate recipes without sacrificing flavor, because chocolate is life. To follow up my luscious healthy hot cocoa, for my second post in my Valentine’s Day week chocolate series, I’m sharing these I-can’t-believe-these-aren’t-bad-for-you vegan salted fudge bites.
I have to say these sugar-free fudgey delights are insanely delicious. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo, ketogenic-friendly – meaning sugar-free – they’re approved for nearly every dietary restriction out there, and unless someone doesn’t love chocolate (!?) or coconut, they are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. I happen to love coconut, but honestly the coconut flavor is not too overwhelming in these, in my humble opinion anyway…! Bonus: they’re a super easy, no-bake treat!
These are sink-your-teeth-in, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Growing up I didn’t have fudge very often: it was a summer treat we were allowed to indulge in when we went to the quaint traditional fishing town on the New England shore where our family has a house. We would go to the penny candy store (where candy was no longer a penny of course) and the fudge shop down the little lane next to the harbor.
There’s something about the texture of fudge that feels extra indulgent and extra sensual – it’s firm, yet smooth and supple. You sink your teeth in and as soon as it hits your tongue, the rich flavors melt into your tastebuds, sending the senses into the land of pure pleasure. Next to home-made ice cream and salt-water taffy, fudge was our ultimate vacation treat.
What’s in fudge
Fudge is an undeniably decadent treat. Traditionally, fudge calls for lots of sugar and dairy in the form of butter and half-and-half or condensed milk, and some recipes even call for corn syrup. For some people, organic dairy is fine, but nobody really needs all that sugar and we certainly don’t want processed corn products in our diets.
So I did what I like to do best – find a way to make decadent treats a little less guilt-inducing and a little friendlier for our bodies.
And here we have it: Vegan Salted Chocolate Fudge Bites. All the chocolatey creaminess, and all the indulgence, without any of the guilt.
Are these really healthy?
Truthfully, yes, we can really call these healthy. Coconut milk and coconut oil are full of healthy saturated fats (the whole low-fat craze was actually a terrible thing for our health) and dark chocolate is choc-full of health benefits. Both coconut and dark chocolate are considered to be among the healthiest foods on the planet. And as they say: everything in moderation, my friend – which is why I recommend making these in mini cupcake liners.
Recipe: Vegan Salted Chocolate Fudge Bites
Here’s what goes in these delicious treats:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar-free chocolate chips (equivalent to one 9 oz bag)*
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3/8 cup organic full fat coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt + sea salt or maldon sea salt flakes for garnish (optional)
- mini cupcake liners
* You may use any chocolate chip brand you prefer, but bear in mind most do have sugar. Lily’s, linked above, is a sugar-free, stevia-sweetened brand carried by various grocery chains. You may also use 100% cacao baking bars, chopped, plus a stevia sweetener to taste.
- Heat the coconut oil and coconut milk in a small saucepan on the stove on medium heat until just boiling (the coconut oil should be melted), whisking a couple times to blend thoroughly.
- Place the chocolate in a medium sized glass bowl and pour the warmed coconut blend over the chips, stirring together until the chocolate is completely melted. *If the chocolate doesn’t melt thoroughly, you can place a small amount of water in the saucepan, bring to a boil, and place the glass bowl on top, double-boiler style, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Mix in cinnamon and sea salt.
- Place the mini cupcake holders on a baking sheet and fill them about 2/3-3/4 full. Sprinkle with the salt flakes if desired. Chill in the freezer for about an hour (max) or the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until set. Makes about 20.