As a child, one of my favourite sweet treats was fudge. My grandfather would often, on a trip out to the market or a day trip, would pack or purchase a little fudge as a sweet treat. His favourite was rum and raisin – and I wasn’t the biggest fan of this but as a young rebel I loved the idea that I might be sneaking a small amount of rum.
But since re-healthing my lifestyle and diet, it felt like the right choice to cut down on refined sugar. And rum.
It took many different attempts over the years to find a texture and taste that most closely resembled fudge. “Real” fudge contains cream, butter and lots of refined sugar. There are even many vegan alternatives that still contain lots and lots of sugar. Too much sugar – I find them too sweet for me to eat.
This variation on fudge contains no added sugar. Not a single teaspoonful.
Instead of sugar, this recipe uses dried fruit. In this case, dates. Now, in large quantities like any sugar, dates are not that great for you. I think, like honey or molasses they are classed as a free sugar, and therefore shouldn’t make up more than 5% of our total sugar intake.1 But they add a delicious caramel-like taste and colouring that add so much to this fudge recipe!
Sugar is still a vital part of your diet, and while there is no need to eat it to excess, we use sugars to help maintain the inner liquids of the body like the interstitial fluids, lymph and CSF. While the diets of our ancestors may have been low in sugar, they didn’t need to use their brains in quite the same way. Our reliance on sugar to help us power up our brains has lead to poor diet, and sugar addiction.
Thankfully, this vegan fudge is starch and protein-rich so it is a lot more filling than other kinds of fudge. It doesn’t rely on sugar to create it’s texture either, which is why you don’t need any. It is so simple to make.
- Coconut oil*
- Pinto beans*
- Dates* (2-5 to taste)
- Vanilla essence* (1 tsp)
- Orange essence* (1tsp)
- Cacao powder* (1 tbsp)
I judged the coconut oil and pinto beans by eye – there was enough mixture to fill a small tray like this one*.
How to make:
- Rinse the pinto beans thoroughly, then boil for 90 minutes and allow to cool.
- Blend the dates with warm water to form a sticky, but smooth paste. Remove and set aside.
- Add the pre-cooked beans.
- Melt the coconut oil gently in a pan.
- Add enough coconut oil to cover the beans. Blend the dates, coconut oil, and essences with the beans. (I use a magic bullet* – so easy!)
- Add cacao powder.
- Pour into a small tray 3x6inches and refrigerate to set for 30 minutes.
- Cut into cubes and eat your delicious, no bake, refined-sugar free vegan chocolate orange fudge.
Coconut oil may be substituted for any edible oil that is solid refrigerated or at room temperature.
Pinto beans may be substituted for any bean or legume that is similar in texture.
Dates may be substituted for raisins, dried apricots or other seedless soft dried fruit.