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Recipes

Filtering by Tag: sweets

Cardamom-Pistachio Chocolate Covered Dates

Brittany Carlson

Holiday gift buying has been something that I would wait until the last minute to do in past years. It’s hard to buy something meaningful for over 7 people at once! At our house, we go around the room several times addressing each person with one gift at a time (yes, it takes hours and many pots of coffee!) --I’ve always felt lukewarm about the gifts I’ve given— often trinket-like objects that will perhaps be thrown away after a few months of sitting on a shelf or inside someone's sock drawer. 

Last year, my brother Dustin made the most delicious chocolate covered dates coated with unique spices and toppings. They were a hit and we enjoyed them the entire week as a healthier dessert option or afternoon pick-me-up. My favorite was the Cardamom-pistachio, so I made some this year for my friends and placed them in little boxes with a red ribbon (spoiler alert if you’re reading this and are receiving these!). As well, I experimented with coconut and sesame seeds, which also turned out nicely. 

Try making these or another holiday gift this year! It is all the more fun and meaningful to give  something that you created with your own hands. I know I love receiving homemade treats that someone made just for me : ) These also won't sit in a sock drawer or anywhere else for very long for that matter-- they are delicious!

Added Bonus-- these old-fashion candies have no added sugar. The chocolate is unsweetened so all of the sweetness is coming from the dates : )

Here’s the recipe--

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 bars of unsweetened 100% baking chocolate
  • 30 dates (with the pits-- the dates sold without pits are usually dry)
  • 30 whole pecans (or match however many dates you have)
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, chopped well
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cardamom spice (for dusting the dates)
  • sea salt or himalayan salt to sprinkle on dates 

Directions

1. Remove pits from dates and replace them with one pecan per date. 

2. Melt chocolate on low heat.

3. Once chocolate is melted, drop a few dates in your pot at a time and roll them in the chocolate so they are well coated. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 

4. While the dates are fresh out of the chocolate, lightly dust them with cardamom and flakey sea salt.

5. Roll your chocolate covered dates in the pistachios and place them back on your baking tray to dry. 

Tip: You can put your dates in the fridge so they dry more quickly or leave them out-- either way, wait for them to dry, and enjoy!

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My Favorite Fudge of All Time

Brittany Carlson

These disappeared very fast in our house!

We all need a little something sweet every once in a while, right? I think so! I make this delicious dairy-free fudge about once a month to satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthy and replenishing way. It is loaded with healthy fats and fiber, keeping your blood sugar balanced and your mood even keel. The beauty of this 5-ingredient fudge is in the nutrient-dense ingredients. Take a look at some of the health benefits and then whip up a batch for yourself! It takes 5 minutes or less.

**Raw Cacao powder**
Cacao is an energy boosting superfood. It is loaded with immune boosting antioxidants, and packed with critical vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc.  It's health benefits include mood enhancement, stress relief, cholesterol improvement, and appetite control. I often add it to smoothies for added energy and a smooth chocolatey taste. 

**Coconut Oil**
Coconut oil is for fat burning! Really? Yes! Since coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid, it creates heat in the body, which helps to regulate overall body temperature and boost your metabolism. Coconut oil also helps your body absorb fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. The healthy omega 3 fats found in coconut oil nourish the brain and are beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

**Maple Syrup**
Maple syrup is a great natural sweetener, _when used in moderation_ : ). It is still sugar so don't go too crazy but it is a perfect alternative to regular cane sugar. Derived from the sap of maple trees, maple syrup is less tampered with and processed than regular sugar, upholding many of it's original nutrients and is known for its trace minerals and antioxidants. It also has a lower glycemic index number of 54, compared to regular cane sugar, which is around 65 so it wont cause your blood sugar to spike quite as high. Combining maple syrup with fat and fiber, like we're doing in this fudge recipe, will also slow down the digestion of sugar from the maple syrup, keeping your blood sugar levels more stable. 

What you'll need

  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (room temp, do not melt)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon coconut sugar

Optional Toppings

  • Cacao nibs for topping (optional)
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Himalayan Salt

Method

  • Combine all ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes. You will need to get in there with a spoon and stir to make sure everything combines.

  • Once, everything is smoothly blended, scoop the fudge into a small pan or pyrex dish and spread evenly. I like my fudge thick so I used an extra small dish.

  • Refrigerate for about 2 hours, until fudge is hard and set. Enjoy!

Note: Be sure to store  fudge in the refrigerator so it doesn't melt!

I sprinkled coconut flakes and cacao nibs over my fudge. It was delicious!

I sprinkled coconut flakes and cacao nibs over my fudge. It was delicious!