Vegan Chocolate Freezer Fudge

By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Chocolate cravings are sometimes too difficult to pass up, but that doesn’t mean you need to reach for the next chocolate bar you see at the grocery store. Make your own for a healthier option, like this freezer fudge, that’s easy to make and gluten and dairy-free. This antioxidant-rich take on a traditional chocolaty treat is full of heart healthy nutrients and perfect year round.

My very Southern grandmother from Birmingham, Alabama, used to make the BEST fudge; a family recipe passed down through generations.  But in her house if you wanted chocolate you had to look in the freezer.  And yup, the freezer was powder blue and had a huge silver handle, 1960’s style. My grandmother attributed her freezer-only view of chocolate to a combination of depression-era thriftiness of avoiding precious food waste and keeping-trim calorie control.  When chocolate is frozen, it takes longer to eat, so a little bit goes a long way in terms of savoring the flavors.

Of course my southern matriarch’s versions of fudge was full of butter, sugar, milk… and of course love!  While delicious, I wanted to take on a healthier, plant-based version that keeps in line with the smart thinking of freezer chocolate and maintains all the love.

Chocolate CAN be good for you… well, it turns out for some more than others. A new study found, that for younger, healthy-weight men, eating more vs. less chocolate led to a lower risk of developing diabetes while for post-menopausal women, more chocolate candy meant… you got it, more weight gain!  While you may be crying, no fair!  Or rejoicing!  Or… duh, of course!!  Let’s remember that chocolate is still full of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, it’s often the “other stuff” we add that devalues this phytonutrient rich plant food.  And clearly these studies highlight that amounts and personal characteristics matter when making eating choices.

Let’s give a small square (or two) of this delicious, easy to make vegan, freezer chocolate a try.  Feel free to substitute different types of nut butters, seeds or dried fruits.

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp (40 g) unsweetened cacao powder
  • ¼ cup (30 g) goji berries
  • ¼ cup (40 g) dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup (15 g) gluten free puffed rice cereal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • ½ cup (125 ml) coconut oil, melted
  • dash of Himalayan or sea salt

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Pour mixture into pan then cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes then cut into squares.
  5. Place back in freezer until ready to serve. Note: It may need to sit out of the freezer for at least 15 minutes before serving if it’s too hard.

Substitutions:

  • Maple Syrup: honey, molasses, agave
  • Puff Rice Cereal: any GF cereal
  • Goji Berries: dried cranberries or blueberries (sulfite free)
  • Chocolate Chips: Cacao Nibs
  • Cocoa Powder: can include some maca powder
  • Almond butter: peanut butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter
  • Can add in chopped nuts or seeds

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes (in the freezer)

Servings: 16

  • Nutrition per serving:
  • Calories120
  • Fat10g
  • Saturated Fat7g
  • Cholesterol0mg
  • Sodium50mg
  • Carbohydrates8g
  • Fiber2g
  • Sugars5g
  • Protein 2g

Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used.

Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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