Rob thought it was a (not so) silent cry for help when I said I hadn’t been to the gym for over 2 months. I was hoping I would have good news to share. We ended up going to a spinning class together last weekend but sadly, it was another week without mid-week gym action. I am going to try to go to the gym before work next week, so we’ll see how that goes.
While I feel 90-95% back to my regular self, I know I am getting better when I want to return to the gym and more importantly, eat all the desserts. No stranger to freezer fudge (I loved this cinnamon almond freezer fudge), this was a quick snack to stash away until my next chocolate craving. Simple ingredients including dates, almond butter, coconut oil and cacao powder, this was basically like eating a raw vegan chocolate cheesecake from the freezer. However, it was already the perfect consistency the minute you removed it from the freezer. No thawing required. I mistakenly forgot to line my container with parchment paper, so it was a bit more difficult to remove my fudge from the container while still maintaining a semblance of prettiness. Afterwards, I returned the pieces back to the freezer and I had easily accessible nibbles.
The recipe stems from Ella Woodward’s first cookbook, Deliciously Ella. You are probably already familiar with her wildly popular blog of the same name, Deliciously Ella. Not to be confused with Naturally Ella who’s name is actually Erin and who also writes cookbooks (confusing, I know). In any case, Ella has shared over 100 plant-based recipes (nearly all gluten-free and all with whole foods ingredients) brimming with photos from nearly every recipe. With her simple approach to coaxing natural flavours out of the foods, this is a very approachable cookbook and her writing style is equally non-threatening. The cookbook is divided into the major pillars of plant-based ingredients: grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, vegetables, fruit, smoothies and juices. While it is a good way to think about approaching a balanced meal as a vegan, I wish the index were more thorough. Imagine not having the Key Lime Pie listed under Lime in the index. Yet it was included under avocados, probably because it was filed in the Fruit chapter. I look forward to eating my way through this cookbook and this freezer fudge was an excellent place to start.
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me what you like most: grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, vegetables, fruit, smoothies or juices. The winner will be selected at random on June 10, 2015. Good luck!
Recipes from Deliciously Ella spotted elsewhere:
Baked apples with coconut cream
Banana ice cream
Black bean and kidney bean chilli
Carrot, orange and cashew salad
Classic carrot cake
Coconut Thai curry with chickpeas
Easy avocado chocolate mousse
Key lime pie
Lentil, zucchini and mint salad
Mexican quinoa bowl
Stuffed Cremini mushrooms
Sweet potato brownies
Sweet potato pancakes
Warm winter salad
Zucchini noodles with Avocado pesto
Almond Butter Fudge
Reprinted, with permission, from Deliciously Ella
Ella’s note: The first time I made this fudge my roommates and I ate the whole batch within about three hours and then had to remake it the next day because we were craving it so much; it’s that good—dangerously good, even! Each bite is so gooey and chocolaty, it’s crazy to think it’s made from just four ingredients. The fudge is stored in the freezer, so you can make big batches of it to store for later, which means you always have something deliciously healthy to enjoy any time of the day.
7 ounces Medjool dates (about 20), pitted (I used regular dates, no problem, same weight)
10 tablespoons almond butter
4 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1. Place the dates in a saucepan with a little boiling water. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes, until they’re really soft and all sticking together. If there is any water left in the pan, then drain it and set the dates to one side to cool for a couple of minutes.
2. Place the almond butter, coconut oil and cacao powder in a food processor and add the dates in before blending for a minute or 2, until a sticky paste forms.
3. Line a 10-inch baking dish with parchment paper and pour the mix in before putting it into the freezer to set for at least 3 hours before serving.
4. Store in the freezer. When you want to enjoy a piece, take it out of the freezer and allow it to warm up for a few minutes before eating. (Janet’s tip: Remove from freezer and cut into your desired pieces. Return to freezer to have quicker access to bite-size freezer fudge)
Try adding chunks of nuts and raisins to this to change the texture and add more of a crunch.
Makes about 20 pieces
Excerpted from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward. Copyright © 2015 by Ella Woodward. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.