Saturday, June 13, 2015

German Chocolate Fudge Bites

So, last month I was asked to talk a little about healthy eating to the women in my church. I was honored and flattered, of course, but if you've ever looked at the countless sweets on my blog than you know I'm not a complete health nut. It is true, however, that over the last year or so I have been steering my family onto a journey of better health. This includes only eating "real" food (no weird chemicals or preservatives that I can't find in a normal household kitchen), and trying to cut out highly processed foods (like white flour and most sugars). Most people call this "clean eating." We do have occasional treats with the "bad stuff" (white flour/sugar) but we try to stay away from those ingredients in our day to day meals and snacks. Becuase they aren't completely "bad" they are just empty calories without any benefits.
  The whole family has taken to this way of life pretty well, and the kids are even checking the ingredients lists on packages before they ask me for anything in the grocery store! (Win!) Watching the movie Fed Up with them was all it took for them to be on the no sugar band wagon with me. (Even if we take occasional hops off the wagon and jump back on, it's much better than the way we were previously eating.) If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it.
   While on my journey to discovering better health and "real" food I was in desperate need to find substitutes for my chocolate desserts that I love so much. I actually made my own chocolate (another story for another day), and I am finding new ways to get that chocolate flavor without using the factory produced chocolate chips and bars that are so near and dear to my heart. These German Chocolate Fudge Bites are one of those ways.
   This recipe was shared with me by a friend, Chelsi, that was heading up a clean eating challenge. I did the challenge, tried this recipe and I fell in love with it. My kids call them "chocolate balls" and have no idea that they have NO processed sugar in them at all. These treats are only sweetened with dates! They are raw, gluten free, and can easily be made nut free if needed. I knew this was going to be the dessert that I shared with the ladies at church. (If you're curious, these are the other 4 recipes I shared with the group.) You should definitely try them, because they are delicious, not because they are healthy. That's just a bonus!

This is how it starts: It's all made in the food processor. You'll need a package of Majule dates. I multiplied the recipe by 5 for the church group, so when you make yours it won't be as many ingredients. But it will be the same ingredients as what's in the picture.
These dates were HUGE, so a normal recipe would only need 3 of these giant guys, or 6 of the normal size. (3/4 cup)

Don't forget to take the pit out of the dates! Just break the date in half. See the pit inside?

Then take the pit out. The pit is discarded and the rest of the date goes into the food processor.

For a single recipe you will need 3/4 cup of pitted dates. But, like I mentioned before, I multiplied the recipe by 5 so I have a lot more here.

I like to blend the dates up a bit, just to make more room in the food processor, but this step isn't really necessary.

Then all the other ingredients are added: Unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark), or you could use raw cocao powder if desired.

A little salt,

pure vanilla extract,


and pecans go into the bowl of the food processor with the dates.

Just turn the sucker on and let it go. When the mixture comes together it's done!

You can make your fudge bites as big or as small as you would like, but I find that a rounded teaspoon full is perfect for us.

Just scoop them, and roll them in your hand.

It's a messy job, so beware! This was after about 40 balls. :)

When all the balls are rolled out, then just store them in an airtight container. I usually put them in a zip-top sandwich bag, but since I was making so many I opted to put them into a glass Pyrex container with a lid.
When it was time to serve it to the ladies I put each one into a mini muffin liner. They were adorable. (I regret not taking a picture.)
   I hope you enjoy them and they inspire you to find healthier alternatives to your every day treats/snacks. :)

Here's the recipe:
from Chocolate Covered Katie

German Chocolate Fudge Bites

3/4 cup pitted dates 
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
2 tbsp shredded coconut (sweetened or not is your choice)
1/3 cup raw pecans

*If you really need more chocolate, you can add some chocolate chips, but I don't.
Blend all ingredients in a food processor, until the mixture comes together in a ball. Scoop and roll into desired sized balls. Store in an airtight container

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