This melt-in-your-mouth cacao fudge is made even more delicious with a sprinkle of sea salt! I decided not to call this recipe “Whole30” because I feel like these could be too easy to overeat, especially if you are crazy for sweets! So, I’ll just call them “Paleo” instead 😉 These fudgey little bites taste amazing, even without any refined sugar or added sweeteners, and they pack a protein punch from the collagen (more on the benefits of collagen here).
For this recipe, I used Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen Peptides , which are “Whole30 approved” are perfect for making protein-packed fruit smoothies and energy balls. If you omit the collagen peptides, you’ll also want to skip the brewed coffee or water this recipe calls for. If you opt to use a different protein powder, such as whey, whey-casein blend, or plant-based protein, you will need to also add more liquid in order to get a thick taffy-like substance. Just don’t add too much liquid or it will become impossibly sticky! If your mixture is too sticky but you don’t wish to add collagen or protein powder, just add coconut flour or almond flour until the desired consistency is reached.
To add that “fudge-factor,” use almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or tahini with no added sugar (my favorite in this recipe is almond butter). Feel free to also add a couple tablespoons of calorie-free sweetener, maple syrup or honey for additional sweetness. Let me just say – I LOVED the cacao nibs in these! Cacao nibs are chocolate in it’s raw form, before adding any sugar or processing. Dark chocolate chips would be delicious too!
I used dates to sweeten this recipe, but if you don’t have them, you can sub three tablespoons of maple syrup or honey, or three tablespoons of coconut butter (or solid oil) plus calorie-free sweetener (like Pyure Organic Stevia Blend) to taste for a keto version. This recipe truly is pretty hard to mess up – even if you get a slightly different texture, it will still taste awesome!
Here’s the printable recipe! I’d love for you to rate and/or comment below if you try it 😉
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- 170g (2/3 cup) natural almond or cashew butter
- 100g (3/4 cup) pitted dates*
- 90g unflavored collagen peptides*
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided (optional)*
- 2 tbsp. cacao nibs (optional)*
- 3-4 tbsp. brewed coffee (or water)
- *See substitutions above.
- Blend/process all ingredients (except 1/4 tsp. salt) in a blender or food processor until you get a thick mixture that sticks to itself (see notes above).
- Line a 7"x5" Pyrex dish or another small rectangular container with parchment paper.
- Press mixture into corners using hands lightly coated with cooking spray (this prevents mixture sticking to your hands).
- Place dish in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, then remove and cut into 18 equal pieces.
- Enjoy! Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to one week.
- Calories (per serving, minus optionals): 91kcal, Fat: 5.2g, Sat fat: 0.4g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 7g, Sodium: 28mg
- Calories (per serving, including optionals): 96kcal, Fat: 5.6g, Sat fat: 0.6g, Carbs: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 7g, Sodium: 77mg
- © 2017 No Excuses Nutrition. If you wish to publish this exact recipe digitally (website, blog, ebook) or in tangible format (cookbook, magazine), you must first request permission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If publishing an adapted version with one or more ingredients changed, it is sufficient to mention "inspired by No Excuses Nutrition."