I’ve got 2 recipes for you today:
First up is homemade nut butter, which you can then use to make yummy healthy fudge!
This is such a great recipe for this time of year. It is very rich, creamy, and has amazing flavor. At this time of year, isn’t it wonderful to have yummy little treats in the house to grab with a big mug of tea? I made this fudge for my husband to take to his holiday potluck at work. I have to admit… I was a little hesitant sending in healthy fudge. He works in facilities management and the team is overwhelmingly men. Not your typical audience wanting healthy fudge! Fortunately, this is not your typical fudge! Although it has no gluten, dairy, soy, or refined sugar…. it does have lots of flavor!
If you don’t feel like making the nut butter (or need to whip a batch up fast), you could substitute the homemade nut butter for any store bought (peanut, almond, or sunflower butter).
Let’s start with the nut butter:
1 and 3/4 cups Almonds
1/4 cup pecans
3ish Tbsp Coconut oil
Pinch of salt
Maple syrup (optional)
I know, this looks like a Kirkland commercial. No affiliation or connections with them! I just happen to use these ingredients frequently and buy them in bulk.
First, roast the almonds and pecans until toasted (spread nuts in a single layer. Watch closely – they go from unroasted to burned in 30 seconds!)
Let the nuts cool a little then pour them into your food processor. Run until the nuts are starting to come together as a butter. This can take 12 or 15 minutes depending upon your food processor. That’s normal. Just be patient. 🙂 The nuts will first turn to flour, then they will start to release their oils, and will come together
That black part on top is a bowl scraper. It let’s me scrape the bowl while it is mixing. If yours doesn’t have one, just stop the blade and scrape the sides down frequently to make sure it is all blending up evenly.
Once it seems to be coming together as a nut butter like in the picture above, go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients. Add just a little coconut oil at first (say 1 Tbsp) – you can always add more if needed. I find that I need different amounts of coconut butter depending upon the nuts I’m using, whether I roasted them, and even how old the nuts are. Remember – you can always add more oil if needed but if you add too much… well, then you just have oily nut butter I guess!
Process again until you have gorgeous, smooth, delicious nut butter.
Pecan-Almond Chocolate Fudge
Now let’s put that yummy nut butter to good use and turn it into fudge!
1 and 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (if you are sensitive to soy or dairy, make sure to check ingredients to make your fudge soy and dairy free.)
1/4 cup Coconut oil
2/3 cups Nut Butter (My recommendation is to use the homemade Pecan-Almond butter but really, any nut or seed butter will do)
Pinch of salt (optional)
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)
2 Tsp Crushed Pecans (optional)
Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl and warm until the chocolate has melted. You can also do this in a pan on the stove. I don’t use the microwave very often, but I do like it for melting chocolate. Word of warning – you need to keep stopping it and mixing the chocolate regularly. Like every 10 seconds. And pull it out before it is totally melted. As you mix, the chocolate will continue to melt – if you leave it in there until the chocolate is totally melted, you’ve probably burned the chocolate.
If you have a little one running around, they love to help mix! These little hands jumped in and photo-bombed this shot. 🙂
Add half of the nut butter, salt, and maple syrup to the melted chocolate and whisk until totally mixed. Add the last half of the nut butter and whisk again. It will get quite stiff and difficult to whisk. That’s all good.
Pour the fudge into a container to set. I like to line it with plastic to make removing and cutting the fudge So. Much. Easier.
You can also add any kind of toppings at this point. I used chopped pecans, which I sprinkled on top and pressed lightly into the fudge.
Put the container of fudge into the freezer to set up. Give it at least 2 hours, then pull it out and cut into bite-size pieces. Keep them in the freezer otherwise they will soften up. You can eat them directly from the freezer (no judgement here) or pull them out 10 minutes or so before serving to let them soften up slightly.
Nom nom nom…