Thursday, December 1, 2011

Guilt Free - Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving has already come and gone and that today marks December 1. Wow! Where does the time go? As I child, I remember hearing the adults in my life say that time moves at a more rapid pace the older you get. By-golly I think they were right! Okay, well that’s enough, we don’t have time to waste…there is decorating to be done and holiday baking to be started! You heard me – baking! Of course you can expect that this recipe will be sugar, dairy, and gluten free! But I promise, it will still be delicious!

Now there may be a few ingredients that you don’t have at home, but they are ingredients that belong in every kitchen, and ingredients that you will find over and over again in my recipes (i.e. raw cacao). Raw cacao is a SUPERFOOD and contains more antioxidants than blueberries, red wine, and green tea. In fact, raw cacao contains four times the antioxidant flavonoids found in green tea!

Many of us feel that indulging on chocolate is a “guilty pleasure.” I am going to rock your world today when I tell you to eat up! The reason chocolate gets a bad reputation is due to the large amount of processed ingredients that are added, like white sugar. If you consume chocolate in its original natural state, your body will actually be nourished with an abundance of nutrients.

Unprocessed chocolate contains antioxidants, which are great for promoting cardiovascular health and protecting our skin and body from free radicals found in the environment. This superfood also contains minerals such as magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium builds strong bones, balances brain chemistry, and regulates blood pressure and heart rate. This is also a mineral deficiency in 80% of Americans. Sulfur is a great beauty mineral and helps to build strong nails and hair and detoxifies the liver – no wonder we eat dark chocolate with red wine. Saving the best for last, chocolate is an aphrodisiac and the love drug! Chocolate increases neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin and phenylethylamine. Phenylethylamine is released in the body when we’re “in love” and serotonin acts as a natural anti-depressant and gives us a sense of wholeness. Whoah! If this doesn’t give us reason to eat chocolate, I don’t know what will J

Happy shopping and happy baking!

1 jar (16 oz.) of organic, natural peanut butter (Jiff and Skippy do not count J)
¼ cup of raw cacao powder
½ cup of coconut milk (put the can in the refrigerator a couple hours prior to baking and use the thick cream layer that forms at the top)
½ cup of organic maple syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (do not melt)
1 teaspoon of organic pure vanilla
½ teaspoon of sea salt

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and use an electric mixer to combine the ingredients. The mixture should be slightly oily and somewhat sticky. Spoon the fudge into an 8x8 pan and place in the freezer. Indulge after 30 minutes of waiting patiently. *This fudge must be kept in the freezer or the refrigerator to maintain it’s chewy, delicious texture!

**This recipe could also be made using any of your favorite nut butters: almond, cashew, macadamia, etc. Also, feel free to add orange zest, maybe ginger, cacao nibs, or nuts for added flavor and texture. Let me know what you think!

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