Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge & The Fed Up Challenge

This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Slightly adapted from Peachy Plate.

Produce On Parade - Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge & The Fed Up Challenge - This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Adapted from Peachy Plate.

You know the things that inevitably change your life for the better? Like seriously for the better? They don't happen all that often, or as often as I'd like. Most recently though was creating a Pandora radio station based on Come And Get Your Love by Redbone (think Guardians of the Galaxy). Another was replacing paper towels and mopping pads with reuseable microfiber clothes. Goodbye paper towels. And now, it's this fudge. An odd assortment, I agree, but it is what it is.

Hold your head! You were not made for failure, you were made for victory. Go forward with joyful confidence.
— George Eliot

I have an insane sweet tooth. Sugar is my vice. Speaking of which, Todd and I watched the documentary Fed Up about a week ago. It basically explains how sugar is added to everything (bagels, ketchup, flour tortillas, salsa, etc.) and how cocaine addicted rats (what kind of monsters would do such a thing?), when provided with both cocaine water and sugar water...went for the sugar. Yikes! That shit's in errything, but it's not really shocking. People already know this, right? This should not be a surprise.

Anyways, at the end of the film Katie Couric convinces you to do their 10-Day Fed Up Challenge. No added sugars, no exceptions, no mercy! Not even artificial or zero-calorie sweeteners (goodbye for now, Zevia...though I might have used a few drops of liquid stevia in emergencies...namely coffee). Now, I know added sugar is everything but I don't really care. I need the stuff. Suffice to say I had a mild panic attack when Todd excitedly gasped, "We should do the challenge!" Excuse me, what? What is this world coming to when my junk-food loving husband is willing to give up sugar completely for 10 days. "Oh, yea...well...only if you really want to honey." I managed through clenched teeth and frightened eyes. Could I do this challenge? I guess I was about to find out. 

We only have a few days left. The gig is up on Monday and this girl needs her Silk coffee creamer. Soymilk and a few drops of stevia with maple extract can only be so acceptable*. However, I can't say I didn't come through without a few changed behaviors. I know I'll think twice about which salsa I pick up. Maybe I'll use less sugar in my homemade bread and replace granulated sugar with date sugar in my baked goods, etc. It wouldn't be true to tell you that the challenge really didn't affect me. Though I confess, I honestly thought it would change nothing*not at all acceptable

Produce On Parade - Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge & The Fed Up Challenge - This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Adapted from Peachy Plate.

However, after five days I desperately needed some sweets. Sweets withdrawal. Tea just wasn't cutting it. Feeling very burnt-out creatively (after finishing up the  manuscript for the cookbook) I decided not to experiment too much and peruse the internet for flour-free (did I mention you're not to have white flour either?), no sugar added (including natural sweeteners!) desserts. I finally landed on a fudge that I had actually already been wanting to make since I came across it several months ago on Peachy Plate

Let me first say that I'm almost always unimpressed by such "whole-food" desserts, as they usually end up absolutely dreadful. I've had my fair share of clean-eating dessert run-ins mind you. Every once and awhile I'll decide I absolutely eat entirely too much chocolate, desserts, you name it and force myself to go a on a dessert-clean-eating trip. It usually doesn't end well. Cardboard cookies, crumbly brownies, tasteless muffins, etc.

Produce On Parade - Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge & The Fed Up Challenge - This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Adapted from Peachy Plate.

But this  is different. I won't tell you it's super sweet and sugary and melt-in-your-mouth like regular fudge. It's not really fair to compare the two. But it does have a wonderfully smooth texture, it's rich, slightly sweet, and full of that craveable, deep chocolate flavor. My favorite thing is that it's healthy enough to eat on the regular (as a daily snack). So, I guess it doesn't solve my biggest food issue...eating dessert errryday. Oh well. I'm still tickled pink about this fudge. Just look at those stats! And no, I don't normally calculate the nutritional information for my meals but I couldn't resist finding out how much protein and fiber were in these bad boys. Eat up!

Produce On Parade - Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge & The Fed Up Challenge - This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Adapted from Peachy Plate.

Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge

Recipe by Katie @ Produce On Parade

This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Slightly adapted from Peachy Plate.

Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 large squares

Calories per serving: 155

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (60g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (90g) pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • two pinches of kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant, freeze-dried coffee (optional)
  • 6 drops liquid stevia (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Add everything to a food processor and process until super smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. If your dates are a bit old and not very soft anymore, soak them in enough boiling water to cover for about 10-20 minutes, then drain.
  2. Transfer the fudge to a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and smooth out the top with a spatula so it's even.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing into 8 squares. Serve chilled. Store in an airtight container the fridge. One large square has 155 calories, 7 g fat, 19 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 7 g natural sugar, 4 g protein.
Produce On Parade - Dark Chocolate Protein Fudge & The Fed Up Challenge - This delicious, rich fudge is full of protein thanks to a little help from good ol' black beans and peanut butter, and is sweetened with dates! No added sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar here, folks. You won't believe how incredible this fudge is. It's a new staple snack/dessert in our home and the perfect thing to grab for a healthy breakfast on the go. Best yet, it's ready in 35 minutes. Adapted from Peachy Plate.

Information For The Day

Read all about how our modern lives are totally messing us up. For real though, you need to learn about gut microbiomes. Get the scoop, here, from NPR. "Looks like many of us don't have the right stomach for a paleo diet. Literally." Ditch the paleo already. 

Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana Fudge

So, as you may know, I pretty much want sweets all the time. However, as they have a propensity for...errr..not so good-for-you-ness...I do try to limit myself. Key word here is "try". Usually this fails. I'm pretty sure that if I were to cut out all sweets in my diet, I would be about 97 pounds. Which, for several reasons is pretty alarming and downright disconcerting. Obviously, this will never happen. A family member once told me they'd never have to worry about me being anorexic because I love food too much. Ummm, thanks...I guess? I was also told that my parents knew they'd never have to worry about me doing any drugs because I'm much too stubborn and peer pressure never bothered me the slightest. I'm pretty sure it was just a nicer way to say that I'm super obstinate and aggressively autonomous. *squinty face* I guess they're right about both. I really do love food, and I've never done any illicit drugs.

In my roundabout sorta way, what I am trying to tell you is that I am super excited to present you with a delicious, vegan fudge bar that is so good you'll want to eat the entire pan.

These really are quite deceiving...and somewhat upsetting. I could have been making this amazing fudge all this time and it's healthy!? I feel somewhat betrayed by the universe, and the Patron Saint of Healthy Desserts. I looked it up, and there is not a patron saint for desserts, let alone healthy desserts. But, there is one for Bakers, Cooks and oddly enough...Radiologists. Alright! 

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana Fudge

Enough nonsense.  Whole food, vegan fudge bars with a nut-date crust and a creamy chocolate filling. Deceptively addictive and completely rich and satisfying. They even have flax seeds! The only thing that I wouldn't really consider as "healthy" is the maple syrup. That's not really healthy. But we'll let it slide this time. Yep, this is definitely my new favorite, easy dessert!

Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana Fudge

Inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie

Serves 16

  • --Crust---
  • 11 large medjool dates, pitted (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. whole flax seeds (or ground)
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • --Filling--
  • 2 ripe bananas (one of them frozen, if you want)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • tiny pinch of kosher salt
  • finishing salt (for topping)
  • --Notes--
  • Feel free to substitute any mixture of nuts you'd like. 

In a food processor, add all the crust ingredients and process for about 3 minutes, or until the crust is well blended.

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana FudgeProduce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana Fudge

Transfer to a 8 x 8 inch baking dish and press it with the back of a spoon until it is firm and even.  

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana FudgeWash out the processor and add in all the filling ingredients except for the finishing salt. Process until smooth and silky, then pour over the crust. 

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana FudgeSmooth it out evenly with a spatula.  

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana FudgeProduce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana FudgeCover and place in the freezer for about 5 hours, or until firm. It does take a while to firm up. Once firm, garnish with the finishing salt and cut into 16 squares. 

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana FudgeServe straight from the freezer or allow to thaw for a few minutes before serving. Keep the leftovers in the freezer. 

Produce On Parade -  Healthy Peanut Butter Maple Banana Fudge

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