Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Than Just Fudge

I want to tell you about a couple quick and easy "healthy" fudge recipes that I have fallen in love with over the past week... BUT that's not all!  I want to chat with you about "more than just fudge" such as a few last minute healthy gift ideas and my contribution to the Christmas meal. I can't believe it's only a few days until Christmas!
Fudge is first.  I wanted to take some sweet treats to the office last week, but my healthier version of course.  Let's face it though... it's still dessert, and just because it might be a healthier version doesn't mean you can eat more of it... it's still sugar.  Moderation, moderation, moderation.  I needed something quick and easy, and, thankfully Sam found two great recipes! 
Old Fashioned Fudge
(recipe from

5/6 cup non-dairy creamer (I like coconut milk creamer.)
2 1/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions: Grease or line an 8 x 8" pan.  In large heavy pan, combine cream and sugar.  Stir constantly. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium to continue boiling for 5 minutes.  Keep stirring this entire time.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and chocolate chips.  Keep stirring until satiny. Add vanilla.  Immediately pour in prepared pan. Cool at room temperature.  

The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it in so many ways depending on the season.  So for Christmas, we made this fudge into Candy Cane Peppermint Fudge by adding crushed candy canes on top right after we poured it into the pan and before it cooled.  This recipe really took only about 10 minutes to prepare and allow at least 1 hour to cool. 
Candy Cane Peppermint Fudge

For Thanksgiving, you could put dried cranberries on top or mixed into the fudge.  For Valentines, you could add the cute hearts with the sayings on top (that's not the most healthy option, but a cute one!).  There's variety with this recipe... play with it!  Don't listen to your mom on this one... go ahead and play with your food. :)
This next fudge recipe is probably my favorite. It is SO tasty!  The base of the fudge is cashews, and if you tasted it, you would have no idea! (My co-workers didn't.)  The consistency comes out like a thick cake batter, but it's cashews!  
Cashews vs. processed cake/fudge batter? Cashews win!
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Marble Fudge
(recipe from

Chocolate Fudge
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tablespoons coconut oil (health benefits of coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Peanut Butter Fudge
1/2 cup cashews
pinch salt
1/2 organic peanut butter (the only ingredient should be peanuts and maybe salt, aka not Jif!)
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Chocolate Fudge: Process the cashews in a food processor until it turns into a dense butter (it should look sort of like play-doh but still be crumbly, no lumps though!) Then add cocoa and salt. Blend until combined. Add maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Blend until thoroughly combined, it should ball up at this point. Take out and set aside on cutting board or clean countertop.

2. Peanut Butter Fudge: Process cashews the same way as for the chocolate fudge. Add salt, blend until combined. Add peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Process until thoroughly combined.

3. Rip dough into 4 large chunks so you have 8 total. Marble fudge by combining the 8 separate pieces together, and knead until you see it marbling. Shape into a 1-inch thick flat rectangle. Chill covered in fridge overnight or at least 3 hours. 

Sam building the fudge tower

I wish I would have taken a picture of our final product, but thank goodness they have a pic on the website!  It should look something like this...

 Warning: If your fudge doesn't look as pretty as this picture, it's okay. Our fudge didn't.  But it still tasted divine. 
Changing topics... here are a couple last minute healthy & happy gift ideas that I thought about over the past week.  
I came across this book on Sunday while I was shopping in Anthropologie for Christmas gifts. Side note: Anthropologie has great books! You wouldn't think to go there for a book.  The book immediately caught my attention because of the title.  
I love it... The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.   Now, who doesn't want to read about that!  So I started skimming through it and found out that it stayed on the #1 New York Bestseller list for months.  Well, I didn't buy the book, but I wish I had, and I have been thinking about it ever since.  Thank goodness you can get it online! To sample chapters go here. This 30 second video gives you a little insight into the book... it's worth the 30 seconds, even if you don't want to read the book.  
Next on the list: A blender! I thought about adding this to the list this morning while I was making my smoothie.  I know we would all love to have the fancy VitaMix blender that can make almonds into milk, but it costs a pretty penny ($400-$500).  However, have no fear! I have a great alternative.
(available at Williams-Sonoma)

I have made a smoothie almost every day using frozen bananas for the past year and a half with this blender, and it still works great!  It's $150 at Williams-Sonoma.  Everyone should have a good blender, specifically to make smoothies! Smoothies are the perfect meal (if you make them with nutritious ingredients).  For me, the smoothie is my first meal of the day.  Check out this post for my go-to breakfast smoothie.  For other healthy smoothie ideas, check out this lululemon athletica blog post.

Now onto my last topic... my contribution to the Christmas meal.  Unless somebody blogs about a delicious recipe between now and Christmas, then this is what I'm going with...

Cranberry, Pear, and Sweet and Spicy Pecan Spinach Salad 
in a Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Visit Oh She Glows for the Salad and Vinaigrette Recipe
Visit MindBodyGreen for the Sweet and Spicy Pecan Recipe   

I made this salad for Thanksgiving and it was a hit!  It was pretty sweet especially along with the sweet potato casserole.  So to reduce the sweetness, I'm going with the sweet and spicy pecans instead of the candied pecans in the original recipe. 

Sweet Potato Casserole 
(recipe from Oh She Glows)

Fresh Cranberry Sauce 
(recipe from Oh She Glows)

This sauce was a hit at Thanksgiving too! 

I would like to provide one other dish that is more of a main course. Maybe you can help me decide.  Right now I'm trying to choose from an array of holiday recipes at Peas & Thank You.  I'm thinking about either her Meaty Green Bean Casserole or her stuffing.  Thoughts?
Well, that's it for today.  I told you I wanted to chat about "more than just fudge."  I know it was a jumble of things, but when I finally find the time to write and the stamina to stare at the computer again after a long day at work, I just have to get out all of the topics that have been on my mind.  Hope that's okay :)
DON'T FORGET! Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean your workout has to take a holiday too.  Pack those tennis shoes or your yoga mat.  Check out Tone It Up's Full Body Circuit for great on-the-go workout that requires zero equipment, just a little space to move around.  Or pull up Tara Stiles' yoga videos on YouTube on your phone or computer. It's all there... no excuses!  You know you will feel better if you take the time to squeeze in a little workout amidst all the holiday feasts! 
I will be traveling for the holidays, so I probably won't be posting again until after Christmas.  So I would like to wish all of you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday! 
With Love, Health, and Happiness,


Marla said...

I use So Delicious coconut milk creamer to make fudge, and it's always sooo good! I love your idea for candy cane fudge, and I'm going to make this for Christmas.

Ange said...

We're reading The Happiness Projects in our book club starting in Jan and I can't wait!!!
Love your blog posts!
Merry Cmas Cami!

Cami said...

Marla~ Did you make the candy cane fudge? How did it turn out?!

Ange~ I got the book for Christmas! I'm on page 27, but I'm loving the idea of the book so far. You will have to let me know what you think of it

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