I've been having so much fun experimenting with this homespun version of fudge.
Now, I should probably get this out of the way right off the top. This is not your grandma's fudge (nor likely your aunt's, uncle's or sister-in-law's). If you're anticipating a traditional fudge recipe with accompanying taste, you will be disappointed.
On the other hand, if you're open to a very low sugar alternative that is sourced from whole foods and also happens to have a beautiful, subtle taste and a melt-in-your-mouth texture, you will be delighted!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how well apple and almond butter work together. Amazingly, both flavors come through distinctly in the fudge without one taking away from the other. The apple sauce creates the most exquisite and delicate fresh flavor owing to the no-bake properties and the almond butter keeps it grounded.
I like using coconut oil not only for its taste and texture but for its health properties. Although coconut oil is largely comprised of saturated fat, this plant based saturated fat is made up of a unique blend of medium-chain fatty acids (most fats in our diet are long-chain fatty acids) which appear to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, notably raising HDL (good) cholesterol. These same medium-chain fats also appear to increase calorie burning in the body through their action of direct delivery to the liver for energy.
All Natural Apple and Almond Butter Fudge (Vegan, No Bake, Gluten Free)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Makes 24 - 30 fudge squares
Place melted coconut oil, apple sauce, almond butter and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add pecans and process again leaving small chunks or processing until smooth as preferred.
At this point, you can taste the batter and determine whether it is sufficiently sweet for your taste. I find the amount of maple syrup perfect but you can add a touch more or use honey, etc. as you wish.
Meanwhile, line a loaf pan with parchment or wax paper such that it hangs over the edges. Poor fudge batter into the loaf pan.
Place loaf pan in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the fudge has solidified into a slab without over-hardening (you should still be able to run a knife through the fudge relatively easily).
Remove fudge slab from pan by pulling up on paper and then gently peel back the paper before slicing.
Slice the slab vertically into bars - you should be able to get at least 8 clean bars.
Slice each of the bars into three squares to produce 24 to 30 fudge squares (about 1" x 1" each).
I like to store the fudge in a sealed container in the freezer (mostly to hide them from the rest of the family ;o) and then bring them out as desired - they only take about 5-8 minutes at room temperature to soften up. You could also store these squares in a container in the fridge. But you don't want to leave them out at room temperature for a long period of time.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! They are truly delightful.