Tuesday, April 23, 2013

All Natural Apple and Almond Butter Fudge (Vegan, No Bake, Gluten Free)


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

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Makes 24 - 30 fudge squares

Directions:



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.



23 comments:

  1. I hope you are sending the photo with the beautiful tin to Tastespotting... so beautiful! I have everything at home to make these, except coconut oil, but that's easy to fix, our grocery store carries several brands. I bet Phil will go crazy for this!

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  2. How interesting Kelly, I'm sure this treat would go over nicely in the heat of the summer. I like all the ingredients although I'm still not comfortable using coconut oil (old habits die hard).
    http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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  3. Sonia! The Healthy FoodieApril 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    No way! I can't believe the ingredients in this. I have to try something similar, using my favorite nut butter of all, cashew butter! Looks so crazy decadent, I'm afraid the freezer isn't going to do the trick for me. I'll have to have a piece or two and give the rest away...

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  4. Sandra @ Kitchen ApparelApril 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    This fudge sounds so healthy and yummy...I can't wait to try it. You are so awesome Kelly :)

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  5. What a great treat! Gotta try this!

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  6. I'm not surprised, I often have apple dipped in salted almond butter for a snack. This sounds super yummy. :)

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  7. WAY sister! The only thing is you can't leave them out on the counter for long otherwise they get too soft. But I tell you, the taste is just exquisite (in my humble view anyway :o)

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  8. Thanks Sally! I'm glad you like the photo - I tried something new stylistically and a little out of my comfort zone. It's fun to walk on the wild side from time to time - haha! ;o)

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  9. Love this idea! I'm totally trying this. I can imagine the flavor with that almond butter shining through, and I bet it's so yummy :)

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  10. Ah, je comprends. I would recommend Mary Enig on fats (lipid biochemist and one of the few people actually qualified to speak on the subject) or Michael Pollan's review of Enig's work and the fat/heart hypothesis generally in his book "In Defense of Food"

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  11. Thanks so much Sandra! I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try ;0)

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  12. How nice of you to drop in Terri! I greatly appreciate your support. Let me know if you give them a try.

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  13. You're so right! One of our favorite snacks is sliced pear dipped in almond butter. Cheers Judy ;0)

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  14. wild side... it's my side.. Actually, I am smiling because you seem to have hit on the subject of my next blog post... cyber sisters, you think? ;-)

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  15. Sissi_Withaglass.comApril 23, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Kelly, first of all, these photos are simply breathtaking. As if taken from a confectioner's website! I love the mixture of colours, the composition, the neat fudge pieces... everything is perfect and so appetising! Your fudge looks incredibly good (even if, as you say, it's not the traditional fudge). It's so unusual, I imagine you spending hours in the kitchen, playing with ingredients... and ending up with something I'm sure is delicious. I have never used coconut oil or almond butter, but I see both regularly in my organic shop. At least now I have one wonderful recipe as an excuse to buy them!

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  16. can't wait! ;o)

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  17. Kelly! I want to make these right this second! But then I read that I have to let them sit in the freezer and I legitimately don't think that I would be able to control myself right now. I shall approach this recipe when I am in a calmer state of mind-- I mean, calmer state of stomach?


    They look amazing. Just what my grumbling tummy wants after a busy day at work and no time to eat!!

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  18. LOVE this recipe! I think this stuff will go a lonnnggg way to helping me over my forced breakup with ice cream bars. I can't wait to try them sometime REAL soon!

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  19. These are so tempting! Easy to make and so delicious too.

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  20. What an utterly ingenious idea Kelly - I made some fudge... the more traditional version last year and my God it's sweet. You slowly start to feel like it's melting away your teeth and now, as a more... ahem... sensible adult, I can only really manage 2 pieces before it's just sugar overload.


    I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before - I love it. I'm definitely going to save this and have a shot some time. Great fun to customise too no doubt!

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  21. mjskit @mjskitchen.comApril 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    A healthy fudge? Isn't that a contradiction of terms? :) I'm one of those fudge eaters that takes 30 minutes to eat a piece of fudge. I love breaking off little pieces and just letting it melt in my mouth. Weird, but decadent. :) I don't think I would feel guilty about doing that with this fudge at all! What different flavors for a fudge and it looks like the perfect texture as well! Great recipe Kelly!

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  22. Being as I've never had real fudge before, I'm guessing I wouldn't be disappointed at all. ;) Isn't kitchen experimenting so much fun!!! Hope you have a great weekend Kelly!

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  23. I made some fudge recently with coconut oil, cocoa powder, an peanut butter. Delish, but you are right. Do not let it set out too long. They will puddle. :). Can't wait to try your recipe with the apple sauce.

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Thank you for your feedback - it's wonderful to hear from you!