Creamy almond butter fudge with a chocolate swirl that is filled with energizing healthy fats and made without sugar!
NEW YEAR, NEW MINDSET.
January is often a time defined by new diets and deprivation. Resolutions often include cleanses, detoxes, or commitments to eliminate certain foods. Rather than starting the year off by thinking constantly about all of the things you can’t have, it’s so much more beneficial to focus on adding in more goodness. I’m hoping that Caroline’s Kitchen helps share ideas and inspiration for all the delicious things that can be made using real, whole ingredients. Wondering where to start? This fudge should do just the trick!
THE BASIS: Why less sugar?
While I’m not a fan of diets or cleanses, I have noticed a huge increase in sugar consumption awareness this January, which I think can be really beneficial when approached with a balanced mindset. It’s a subject I have become especially interested in and passionate about in the last few months since starting to assist with research at UCLA that focuses on the glycemic index, glucose metabolism, body composition, and the relationships between sugar and chronic disease.
Particularly in America, sugar is everywhere. The vast majority of store bought soups, salad dressings, and sauces all have added sugars. Products that are advertised as “healthy” like 100 calorie yogurts or high-protein energy bars are often filled with additives that you can’t pronounce and more refined sugar than a candy bar.
THE SCIENCE: What actually happens?
Consuming too much sugar has a huge impact on the body, and becoming more cognizant of sugar is something I’ve personally felt has made a huge difference on everything from my skin to my energy levels. Eating too much sugar at once rapidly raises blood glucose levels, which causes your body to release insulin. Most, of the time, this insulin can carry the glucose to various places in your body to be used as energy, but if excess glucose is present, it cannot be properly digested. Following the spike in blood glucose levels produced by refined sugars comes an inevitable sugar crash, which leaves you craving more sugar.
Sugar causes your brain to release dopamine, the same reward hormone that is released when cocaine enters the bloodstream. For this reason, sugar is highly addictive, causing the body to have withdrawals when blood sugar levels becomes too low. These frequent blood sugar spikes and crashes cause various hormones to be released, which can have a large impact on your mood and stress levels. Bottom line, eating excessive amounts of sugar is easy to do, but will not leave you feeling your best.
THE GOOD NEWS: What’s in the fudge.
Here’s the good news about sugar–it certainly won’t kill you when eaten in moderation and recipes like this fudge are a testament to the fact that it is highly possible to make delicious treats without it! With several people limiting their sugar intake for the new year, I figured this would be the perfect time to share my favorite fudge recipe that I’ve been making for months.
The base is made with just 3 simple ingredients: almond butter, coconut butter, and coconut oil. This combination gives the fudge the perfect chewy and ultra creamy texture that makes it taste incredibly rich and indulgent. With cinnamon, nutmeg, and cacao for some added flavor, it’s the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth with no sugar at all!
The nourishing fats from almond and coconut not only make this fudge taste amazing, but also extremely satiating and blood sugar stabilizing. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut are easily digested and converted into energy, so this fudge will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.
THE TASTE: What to expect.
If you’re new to low sugar or no sugar sweets, this probably won’t taste like a very sweet recipe. If you’re like me, and are prone to liking things less sweet, the subtle sweetness from the almond and coconut butter will be perfect. Regardless of if you’re looking to cut out sugar completely, reduce your sugar intake, or simply try something new, I promise this fudge will taste rich, luxurious, and 100% delicious!
- ½ cup almond butter (smooth with nothing added works best)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup coconut butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk all ingredients except the cacao powder in a mixing bowl until well combined. Set aside 2 tbsp of the mix in a small bowl and pour the rest into the lined loaf pan. Place in the fridge to set.
- Add the cacao powder to the remaining mix and whisk until combined.
- Take the fudge mix out of the fridge and drizzle over the chocolate mix in straight lines to form stripes. Use a toothpick to swirl the cacao mix into the fudge, tracing in lines perpendicular to the lines of the cacao mix stripes.
- Place back in the fridge and let set until completely hard, at least 2 hours.
- Remove the loaf pan from the fridge, remove the parchment liner, and cut the fudge into small squares. Store in the fridge for a creamier, chewier fudge, or the freezer for a harder fudge.