First of all, if you missed my post on Silky Smooth Bean Fudge, you'll want to go back and check it out– for two reasons:
1. The recipe is the base for the one that I am sharing today.
2. It's got a fun video clip of Bill Cosby that will give you a nice afternoon “pick me up” if you need one. And who doesn't sometimes? (Especially with this massive heat wave hitting the Midwest here :-(.
3. You can make it without the nuts for those with allergy concerns.
Just when I thought that we had the Bean Fudge thing perfected, I got my recipe out and worked on it again.
I must say that while the other recipe sure got rave reviews, this one will pass the test of any “non-whole-foodie”.
I made up a whole bunch of Bean Fudge yesterday in an attempt to perfect my recipe and to work on a few variations. And believe me, you do not want to see how much fudge I have now in my fridge. Good thing it freezes well :-)!
Well, it all turned out well and even some of it got eaten by friends whom we visited last night, both the ones who were off of sugar and those who were not.
But I thought I still needed to work on it some more and well –here is the result of today's reworking.
And boy is it good. The changes?:
- More cocoa (or in my case, carob) and
- a bit more sweetener, and
- the cruchyness of almonds!!
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Dairy-Free Chocolate Almond Fudge (with Sugar-Free option)
3 1/2 cups beans (See notes on beans below.)*
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted (ghee or palm shortening would work as well.)**
1 1/2 cups cocoa or carob powder (or any mix of the two)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (if using granulated sweetener, you will need to add a bit of water. I added 2 Tbsp.)***
6 scoops (1/32 tsp each) of pure stevia extract (not the kind with fillers). (One great brand is KAL.) Here are tips on using stevia. You may substitute an additional 6 -12 Tbsp other sweetener if you prefer.)
1/8 tsp salt (I recommend Real Salt)
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds (soaked and dehydrated preferable)****
1. Put all ingredients except almonds in high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) or food processor and process until totally smooth. Adjust sweetener to taste at this point.
2. Add almonds, or other nut/seed of choice. You can either mix these in by pulsing the food processor carefully, or put the fudge base into a bowl (or your pan) and mix the nuts in by hand.
3. Spread the mixture in an 8×8 pan, pressing down firmly. Top with additional almonds if desired. Lick fingers and spatula :-). If there is any left :-), place in refrigerator , for at least one hour or until firm. Slice into squares and serve.
4. Store in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer storage or for a frozen fudgey treat. It defrosts nicely on the counter or in the refrigerator. Do not use the microwave (you’re backing off using that anyway, aren’t you?) or you will have fudge sauce. Then again, fudge sauce sounds quite nice, eh?
Notes and Tips:
*Beans: First, make sure that you read How to De-Gas Beans. Almost any bean variety will work, but darker varieties like pinto, red kidney, cranberry, adzuki, will obviously result in a darker finished product making the fudge darker in appearance. I do not recommend using epazote for beans that will be used for sweet desserts as the flavor might be a bit strong.
**Oils: In warmer weather, I have found that melting is not necessary. Just make sure that you aren't working your food processor too hard :-)!) I recommend expeller-pressed coconut oil as this will cut down on coconut flavor. With a lot of chocolate or carob, however, this might not be an issue.
***Sweeteners: I recommend healthier sweeteners and avoiding sugar whenever possible. For a healthier choice than regular granulated sugar, I recommend Sucanat or honey. If you are avoiding sugar, I recommend stevia, vegetable glycerine, xylitol and/or erythritol. (I know that the last two are not typical recommendations from “whole foodies” but I am having some problems with stevia apparently and while I am sorting this out, this is what I have to work with as I am off sugars completely.) Also, if you are using cocoa powder alone, you may need additional sweetener as carob has an inherent sweetness.
****Nuts: Please feel free to substitute any tolerated nuts or seeds. I think that macadamias, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts would be particularly nice.)
Time Saving Tip: Shape the fudge “free-form” on a baking stone or cookie sheet, rather than spreading it in a baking pan. Just make sure that it can fit in your fridge first :-). Clean up will be a little easier this way.
Well, there you have it. Rich, creamy and great for you.
Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like remade into a healthier version?