Looking for a healthy treat to satisfy a sweet tooth? Or a delicious gift suitable for a foodie/ vegan/ gluten-intolerant friend? Then try this plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, no-refined sugar fudge! It takes under 15 mins to prepare and no baking is required; you simply pop the fudge in the freezer for 2-3 hrs to set.
You need less than 10 ingredients and only 1 saucepan and 1 tray (so there is little washing up!). These do come with a warning though; they are so more-ish, it is hard not to eat the whole tray!
I have used hazelnuts for this fudge recipe. But you can of course use other nuts (like pistachios which lend a beautiful green hue, walnuts, almonds, macadaemias), seeds (sunflower work well) or dried fruit (sour cherries, goji berries, dried cranberries and dried goldenberries work well).
To boost the nutrient profile of this fudge, I have included protein powder (soya bean, pea and whey protein varieties are great choices) and maca powder. If you have run out of these, simply substitute for more nuts or dried fruit.
This fudge keeps well in the freezer for months, making it a super convenient treat or gift that can be made in advance. I love these as petit fours after a meal and as an energy-boosting snack before a workout. Give it a go…you will be amazed how easy it is to make!
Preparation time: under 15 mins, plus 2-3 hrs chilling time in the freezer
Makes: 1 tray (approx.: 16cm X 26cm)
- 380g dried dates (Medjool dates if possible as these are lovely and soft)
- 200ml boiling water
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ tsp salt (I use Maldon salt)
- 3 tbsp protein powder (soya bean, pea or whey depending on dietary needs)
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 10 tbsp peanut, almond or hazelnut butter
- 4 tbsp cacao powder (or cacao powder with maca and bee pollen for non-vegans looking for an extra boost of vitamins, protein and minerals)
- 75g whole raw hazelnuts, halve some randomly so you get all sorted sizes to munch on
- Line a small baking tin measuring 16cm X 26cm with baking parchment and a little coconut oil.
- Place the dates and boiling water in a saucepan on a low heat for about 5 mins. The dates will become a mushy paste.
- Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the coconut oil and salt.
- Transfer the paste into a blender. Add the protein powder, maca powder, nut butter of choice, cacao powder and whizz to combine.
- Transfer the fudge mixture back into the saucepan (or a mixing bowl if you prefer!). Stir in the hazelnuts. The mixture will be quite stiff.
- Transfer into the prepared baking. Using a spatula, squish the mixture down so that the fudge is level. I use a silicone spatula and if the mixture if very tacky, it helps to dip the spatula head in a little water before squishing the mixture down.
- Pop in the freezer for 2-3 hours to allow to set. Transfer the fudge slab onto a chopping board and slice into chunks. This fudge is best kept in the freezer and defrosted at room temperature for a few mins prior to eating. Enoy!