If you saw my last blog post (this amazing Chocolate orange pudding, vegan & GF), than you know that I’m kind of into chocolate lately. Hey, wait, actually I’m kind of always into chocolate haha! 😀 I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate and raw cacao and love making treats, dessert and breakfasts using those two gorgeous ingredients. Cacao is just the best!
Did you know that raw cacao powder contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate, more than 20 times than that of blueberries. Protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids are also present and they all have have incredible benefits for our bodies, such as lowered LDL cholesterol, improved heart function and reduced cancer risk. So I love using it in sweet treats and when combined with other healthy ingredients like coconut oil, dates or maple syrup or honey, vanilla, nut butters etc we can enjoy something delicious and decadent but at the same time healthy and good for us. Isn’t that just amazing!?
So let’s talk a bit more about cacao (I really want to convince you to start using raw cacao powder instead of processed and loaded with sugar cacao powder).
Here are some of cacao powder benefits:
- it’s rich source of Magnesium a a mineral that is essential for energy production, for a healthy brain and nervous system, for our muscles and for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium may also support a healthy blood pressure.
- it’s a source of iron, which builds the blood and helps to transport oxygen around our body, as well as potassium, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.
- cacao can also be high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity. Raw cacao and flavonoid-rich chocolate have been linked with heart health benefits including increasing the good form of cholesterol (HDL) in our blood and lowering blood pressure.
- cacao contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA for short!). PEA is thought to elevate mood and support energy, and is said to be one of the reasons that many people love chocolate!
Ok, that’s enough for today, hope you found all these fact interesting! Now let’s go back to our yummy chocolatey date caramel fudge that is simple ‘melt in your mouth’ good!
All ingredients in these little chocolatey bites are good for us and our bodies but let me just mention gorgeous dates! Sure, dates are high in natural sugars and rich in calories and that’s why we should enjoy them in small quantities but they are so healthy and so much better that anything with refined sugar!
Here are some of the amazing benefits of dates: relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunctions, diarrhea, abdominal cancer, and many other conditions. Dates also help for a healthy weight gain. They are rich in several vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These delicious fruit contain calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium, which are all beneficial for health.
I already mentioned this here on the blog but I’m really not a fan of regular caramel. I just find it overly sweet and when ordering a dessert out I never order something with caramel. BUT that was until I discovered that you can make your own date caramel that sure is sweet but in a totally different way! Those are natural sugars and now I’m definitely a caramel date fan, specially when it’s combined with raw cacao that is slightly bitter, match made in heaven if you ask me! If this sounds good to you, make sure to check out these recipes from the blog: Chocolate cups filled with date caramel, Raw chocolate date cups or these fun Apple date caramel party bites!
The things I love about this recipe:
- It’s very chocolatey!!!
- It’s made with healthy ingredients.
- It’s very easy to make and no need to turn on the oven.
- It has date caramel in it!!!
- Small quantity goes a long way.
- It’s a decadent treat but at the same time good for us.
- It’s vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
- That sea salt on top is heaven!
- For fudge
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup dates (soaked in water for 15 min)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- For date caramel
- 1½ cup dates (soaked in water for 15 min)
- ¼ cup plant-based milk (I used almond)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Topping: high quality sea salt (optional)
- Note: 1 cup = 250 ml
- This makes a small quantity.Even though these are healthy they are also rich in calories so small bites go a long way. I used a small food container, size 13 x 17 cm / 5 x 6.5 inch.
- Put all the ingredients for fudge into your food processor and process until you get a smooth thick mixture.
- Transfer it into a small food container and press it using your fingers or a back of the spoon.
- Prepare date caramel by put all its ingredients into food processor and process until you get smooth creamy mixture. If necessary, add a bit more milk so it blend easier.
- Spread date caramel on top of the fudge and put it in the freezer for about 30 min or until it firms up enough so you can slice it with a knife.
- Slice in small squares, sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt and keep in the fridge. Enjoy!