Are you trying to eat healthier but really, really crave fudge? This one uses healthy fats and honey. It's also dairy-free and gluten-free for those who need to avoid those.
Avocados are high in three amazing fats: both phytosterols and PFAs (polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols) are documented to be anti-inflammatory, and oleic acid, which helps our digestive tract absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Coconut oil is healthy for many reasons, including being anti-inflammatory and having a high lauric acid and medium-chain fatty acids content.
But enough about that.
The big question is, doesn't avocado totally mess up the flavor here?
No. I have a pretty discriminating set of tastebuds, and the only way I can detect the avocado is by a faint fruity flavor. Because of that, some of my favorite variations of this fudge include fruit: orange zest or oil, chopped dried cherries (and toasted almonds!), and the like. This fudge is really only a slightly thicker version of my ChocolateTruffle Pie
The recipe below includes both orange and pecans; if you don't want them, just omit the pecans and orange zest or orange oil.
You can also use this recipe to make truffles; cut into squares, then quickly roll each square into a ball; roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts to coat.Orange-Pecan Fudge makes about 3/4 of a pound
1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. water
zest from half of an orange (about 1/2 Tbsp.), or 2 drops orange essential oil
3/4 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt (1/16 tsp.)
1/4 c. toasted chopped pecans
Line a 5 1/2 x 3 loaf pan (or 2-cup rectangular or square container) with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Put the water, zest (should be about 1 Tbsp), honey, coconut oil, cocoa, avocado, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor. Run on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours until set.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer. If freezing this, let pieces thaw about 10 minutes before serving. I don't know how long it will keep in the fridge because it gets eaten so quickly. But the one piece that survived us for a week and a half was still good. Any longer than a week, though, it'd be better preserved in the freezer. Wrap tightly.
This is 'strained yogurt', the same thing as authentic Greek yogurt; use it like cream cheese in recipes, or eat it with a little jam or fruit. Add a bit of salt if subbing this for cream cheese.
Since the whey- which contains the lactose, or milk sugar- is drained off, you end up with a product that has twice as much protein and quite a bit less milk sugar.
All you do is pour plain yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined colander, set it over a bowl overnight, and check on it in the morning. You can either leave it on the counter or do this in the fridge. The longer it drains, the thicker it gets. It works best with homemade, unthickened yogurt, since added thickeners make it hard for the whey to separate away from the solids. If you don't have cheesecloth, use something else that liquid can drain through but the solids won't, like the superstrong paper towels, or a clean flat-woven dish towel.
16 ounces of plain yogurt will yield about 8 ounces each of yogurt cheese and whey. You can substitute whey in place of buttermilk in recipes. I use it for part of the liquid when making bread
Sweetened Condensed Milk-
use it to make my favorite, Two-Minute Fudge
For the closest version to a 14-oz can, use1/2 c. (non-instant) powdered milk1/2 c. water1 c. sugar2 Tbsp. butter, optional
To read more about making it or how to use it, see here
If you happen to need it, here's a recipe for dairy-free sweetened condensed milk
Do you want something simple to give to friends and neighbors? Here are some quickies; if you have more time you might like Candy Cane Bread
, shaped and decorated like a candy cane.
Recipes for the fudge and the gingerbread syrup are below.
For the jars to pour syrup in, I save jars through the year: spaghetti sauce jars, pickle jars, jelly jars,baby food jars, peanut butter containers (don't use those for anyone with peanut allergies!)...
After Christmas, anything that didn't get used gets put in the recycle bin, and I have cupboard space once again!
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
7 oz. marshmallow creme (may use 7 oz. marshmallows instead)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. cherry flavor (I used wild cherry, and it was amazing!)
1/4 c. dried cherries or cranberries, finely chopped
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment or foil; butter well if using foil. Set aside. Combine the sugar and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then boil for 3 minutes. Pull off the heat, then add marshmallow creme, chocolate chips, almond and cherry extracts, and dried cherries. Stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan, and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm, then cut into squares. Store airtight at room temperature.
Makes just over 2 pounds.
(notice this recipe is basically the same as above, only without the marshmallow, and with extra milk to make it pourable) If you don't have cinnamon chips, use white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips, then add 1-2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon, to taste.
2 c. sugar (can use brown sugar for deeper flavor, or add 1 Tbsp. molasses)
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. milk
12 oz. cinnamon chips (I used Hershey's brand)
1 tsp. ground ginger OR 1 drop ginger essential oil
1/2 tsp. ground cloves OR 1 toothpick of clove oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. pecans, toasted and finely chopped
In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon chips, ginger, cloves, salt, and stir until smooth. Stir in pecans, then pour syrup into jars. Store in the refrigerator. Warm before serving. (If too thick, microwave briefly.)
Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
This is a dairy-free version of sweetened condensed milk,
as the sweetener. For some other ways to make a substitute for sweetened condensed milk, including some with dairy, see here
It doesn't need cooked, which not only makes it super fast to make, but is great if you want to use raw honey and keep the enzymes.
Due to the fiber in this recipe, it won't be as smooth as the store product, but it is still thick, creamy, and sweet
This has one rather obscure ingredient: coconut butter
. That, however, is super easy to make, and will store at room temperature for a long time. Months, at least.
Coconut butter is plain, unsweetened
coconut ('macaroon coconut') that has been pureed in a blender or food processor for several minutes, until it becomes liquid and creamy. It, like coconut oil, will solidify at temperatures under about 75 F, but can be gently heated to liquefy again. If you make your own, use at least 2 cups of coconut to begin with so there's enough in the blender or bowl to puree. This much will give you about 1 cup of coconut butter. If you want other ideas on using this coconut butter, see here
or the Tropical Traditions recipe blog
, where they call it Coconut Cream Concentrate.No-cook Honey-Sweetened Condensed (coconut) Milk
Makes about 14 ounces
2/3 c. honey (7 oz. by weight)
1/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. water, warm but not hot
1/2 c. coconut butter (also known as coconut cream concentrate), warmedAdd the warm water and coconut cream to the liquid measuring cup you have the honey in. Whisk together.
Mixture will thicken as it cools to room temperature, but can be used right away.
To thicken faster, cover and put it in the fridge.
This can be used any way that you'd use regular sweetened condensed milk, EXCEPT in the no-bake cheesecakes that call for lemon juice. It won't thicken up properly there, because the condensed (dairy) milk thickens by the lemon juice curdling it. Coconut milk doesn't.
Try it with the Two-Minute Fudge
One tablespoon of this sweetened condensed milk contains 1g of fiber, 1g of protein, 7g fat, and 19g sugars. The regular canned stuff has no fiber, 3g protein, 3g fat, and 22g sugar.
So this recipe is higher in fat, but it's a healthy fat
. It's lower in sugar, plus contains coconut fiber, which has shown an ability
to reduce the glycemic load of foods by slowing glucose release.
This is a variation for a previous post, Creamy Chocolate Blender Frosting
which uses unsweetened chocolate instead.
Chocolate Blender Frosting
using milk chocolate chips
2 c. milk chocolate chips (1 bag, 11-12 oz.)
¾ c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
⅓ c. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)
Chop chocolate, then put everything into a blender. Blend on low until better chopped, then scrape down sides with a spatula. Blend on high until it becomes dark and smooth. This may take about ten minutes, or only two minutes in a Vitamix or similar. Makes 3 cups.
*TIP* to clean that last bit of frosting out of your blender, add about 3/4 cup of hot milk to it (depends on how much frosting is still in there), cover and blend. The milk will clean the blender better, and will give you some very creamy hot chocolate!
For different flavors, try using a different extract than vanilla- maple, orange, rum, mint. You could also add a teaspoon of frozen concentrated orange juice, a couple Tbsp. of maraschino cherry juice in place of the same amount evaporated milk (along with maybe a 1/2 tsp. almond extract). Or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon for a nice winter flavor.
Any extra frosting may be used as a base for some hot chocolate: 2-4 Tbsp. per cup of milk, use a blender to mix. Add more plain cocoa powder if you like. (Personally, I use up my extra by putting it on a spoon...)Chocolate-hazelnut
In the blender, combine 1-2 cups toasted hazelnuts (5-10 oz- depends on how nutty you want this) and 1 1/3 c. evaporated milk; blend nuts and milk together first. Reduce milk chocolate chips to 1 cups, increase salt to 1/4- 1/2 tsp. salt, use 1/3 c. sugar and 4 T. butter. Blend until smooth. Taste, then add more sugar if you want this sweeter, up to 3/4 cup total.
Click here for more variations
- caramel, coconut-chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter frostings.
Fresh fudge, made whatever flavor you feel like. This one is Gingerbread Fudge.
Truffles, the same on the inside but rolled in cocoa, powdered sugar, and sprinkles.
For this batch of chocolate-peanut butter fudge, I used the Five Minute Fudge
recipe but split the batch in half after adding the marshmallow. Half of it got peanut butter, half of it got chocolate chips. I spread the peanut butter layer into a lined pan, then topped it with the chocolate mixture.
Lining the pan with waxed paper or foil, buttered, makes it much easier to cut the fudge when finished.
To make the peanut butter swirl, drop several small spoonfuls of plain peanut butter on top.
Tap the pan on the counter to get the peanut butter to flatten into the fudge.
Drag a knife or spoon back and forth through it to swirl a bit.
It's best to not break it up too much. Tap the pan on the counter again to flatten the top.
Chill until it's firm, then lift the whole batch out. Put it on a cutting board, and cut into squares.