Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge with Walnuts and Sea Salt

Comfort for me is usually spelled c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e. I can’t get enough. Because of my lactose intolerance, I can usually only do some dark chocolate, which is amazing, but sometimes it does not taste all that rich (or comforting). Sometimes, in fact, it’s downright bitter. I hate to say it, but it’s missing the creaminess of the milk and butter (darn you, lactose!!). UNTIL NOW! This super easy, rich and creamy, incredibly decadent, mouthwatering fudge will change your lactose-hating life. Even if lactose has nothing on you, you will love this fudge! What’s also really great about it, is that it’s relatively healthy. I don’t count calories, but instead look at what ingredients I’m using to see if I’m putting fuel in my body, or junk. Yes, I do realize there is sugar in this…and peanut butter isn’t the most nutritious of the nut butters (if you are into Paleo)…but it is dang good! And healthier than most types of fudge out there—you’ll see.  Ladies of a certain age…you may want to make this for your man immediately. Read on.

Chocolate is just plain good! Dark chocolate may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to information from New York University’s Langone Medical Center. Cocoa powder also contains essential minerals that support your heart, bones and immune system. Better yet, it has antioxidants (that magical word we all want to hear), and antidepressant effects. In addition to the above possible health benefits of cocoa powder, UMIM says that cocoa may lower LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, lower high blood pressure, boost cognitive performance and provide essential minerals such as calcium and potassium. Yep. I’ll take it.

Coconut oil is a one of the healthiest oils out there. It’s full of antioxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-viral compounds, special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to reduce cholesterol and maintain weight. It also positively affects our hormones and blood sugar, supports the immune system, speeds recovery, and nourishes the brain. And it is SO yummy!

Walnuts, of course, are packed with vitamin E, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, phytonutrients, and Omega 3-fats—just to name a few. They are also known to help with stress reduction, heart health, weight maintenance, brain health, and men’s reproductive health. Yes, you read that right.

Good ol’ peanut butter has protein, healthy fats, potassium and fiber. If you are ok with legumes, this is a must.

Maple syrup is lower in sugar and calories than honey, and it is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, which provide antioxidants (Yes! It’s true!), immune defense, heart health, and men’s reproductive health. Yes, there it is again! Didn’t I tell you?

If this is not a miracle food, I don’t know what is. Oh, did I mention it is ridiculously easy to make?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge with Walnuts and Sea Salt

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup creamy, salted peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped (plus more for the top)

pinch fine grain sea salt, to taste (plus another pinch to spread over the top)

In a medium bowl, use electric beaters to beat together the coconut oil and peanut butter. Next, sift in the cocoa powder and beat again until combined. Then, pour in the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth. Last, with a spoon, stir in the walnuts.

Line a loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper, and scoop the chocolate mixture into the pan and spread out until even. Take another pinch of sea salt (or so), and spread it evenly across the fudge. Then, take another handful of walnuts, break them up, and sprinkled over the top of the fudge for extra crunch and good looks. Freeze uncovered for about 1 hour, or until solid. Slice into small squares and enjoy all the chocolaty comfort (and health benefits!).

 

This is a no-cook fudge, so it needs to be kept in the freezer or fridge, as it will soften quite a bit. It’s perfect right out of the freezer on a hot day!

Other Options:

-Use any nut butter you like!

-You can use any chopped nuts that you like or have on hand! Almonds would be great; peanuts too.

-Instead of maple syrup, you can use agave nectar, honey, or maybe even brown sugar…I’ll try that next!

-You can play around with the extracts. Almond extract, coconut, orange, etc. could all be yummy!

-You don’t have to sprinkle sea salt on the top if you don’t want to, but I think it gave the fudge an almost toffee like flavor. Have to have it.

 

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Inspired by: Oh She Glows

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