Tag: fudge

Double Chocolate Fudge Popsciles

Do you know the difference between cacao and cocoa powder? Not many people actually do, so don’t worry if you’re not sure of the difference — or if you’ve used the two interchangeably thinking they mean the same thing. Once I started to explore ingredients towards the end of my nutrition training, that was  when I first learned what makes cacao different from cocoa powder. It’s all chocolate in the end, but it has to do with how the cacao beans are processed and  become the powder we purchase on   store shelves that matters.

So, why are we talking about cacao or cocoa powder in  a nut butter blog ? Well, we strive to bring you recipes with wholesome ingredients that not only taste amazing, but also provide you with optimum  nutrition. Therefore, knowing how to distinguish between those two powders will help you make better-informed ingredient choices based upon your health goals.

The process of making chocolate starts with cacao beans. Cacao is a plant native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. They produce a fruit called the cacao pod which houses 20 to 60 seeds, usually called cacao beans; they are embedded within a white pulp. The fruit, once ripened, is harvested and opened to remove the pulp with seeds. The pulp is placed in a bin and covered for fermentation to occur. During fermentation the pulp is converted into alcohol by the yeasts present in the air and  heat. The beans are mixed several times during the process to increase oxygenation, which turns the alcohol into lactic and acetic acids. This process slowly changes the beans, converting them from having a bitter flavor to having more of the complex flavors that we know collectively as “chocolate.”

Cacao powder is made by cold-pressing raw cacao beans, which allows some living enzymes in the cacao to remain active; however, this process removes the fat from the beans (We are talking about cacao butter, the substance used to make chocolate bars). Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made when the cacao beans are roasted at a high temperature and  then ground into fine powder. This also removes  fat, as well as the living enzymes.  Although cocoa powder may seem nutritionally inferior to cacao powder, they are both great sources of antioxidants, and cocoa powder is cheaper. Cacao powder contains more fiber and calories than cocoa powder since more of the nutrients from the whole bean remain  intact. Cacao is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber and a small amount of protein as well. When choosing to buy cocoa powder, stay away from cocoa mixes since those contain added sugar. Both powders are a rich source of fiber and antioxidants, so you can’t go wrong!

Now that you know the difference between the two powders, let’s add cacao powder  to a healthy treat –shall we? Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter is the perfect flavor match for cacao powder. Their combination provides a creamy texture and rich flavor that makes this Double Chocolate Fudge Popsicle better than any other version out there! And here are some tips for making the recipe successfully: First, make sure you combine the sunflower seed butter and cacao powder well before adding other ingredients. Also, using a well ripened avocado is important to achieve the smooth texture of a fudgelike popsicle. And finally , make several batches because these treats will go quickly!

Double Fudge Popsciles

Double Chocolate Fudge Popsicle

1 tablespoon of Once Again Sunflower Butter

2 tablespoons of unsweetened cacao powder

1 cup of milk of your choice (use whole fat milk for creamier result)

½ of one avocado

Chocolate chips

Start with Once Again Sunflower Seed butter and mix in cacao powder. Once well mixed, add it to a blender and slowly add avocado and milk. You will  have a thick mixture, Pour it into molds, filling each  up only up halfway. Add a few chocolate chips to each, and then add the rest of the mixture, filling up the rest of each mold. Makes about 3 popsicles, depending on size of your mold.

Peanut Butter Banana Chilled Fudge

Chances are you have some bananas in your kitchen right now! Bananas continue to be one of the most popular commercially sold foods in the world, and with  good reason. Bananas are nature’s pre-packaged, ready to-go, nutrient-filled, sweet snack for all ages. Bananas are often baby’s first fruit, athlete’s secret weapon to avoid cramps and a quick boost of energy for working adults’ at mid-day when these fruits function as a sweet treat. On average Americans consume up to 6,500 bananas in their lifetime, and that’s a whole bunch (pun intended)!

If we are all such big fans of bananas, why do an estimated 1.4 million bananas go to waste daily around the world? Well, if you tossed that brown, spotted banana in the trash this morning, it’s easy to connect the dots. The good news is that we are collectively working on decreasing this astonishingly high number of wasted bananas by coming up with new ways to use the not-so-fresh ones for meals and snacks.

Peanut butter and banana chilled fudge2It’s inevitable, after a few days, if you weren’t able to consume all the bananas you purchased at the store, they will start to show some browning on the peel, and the inside of the fruit will soften gradually. That’s no reason to toss them away, however! They are now perfect for many different uses. The easiest way to put them to good use is to peel, dice and freeze them. Frozen bananas added to smoothies with other fruits and vegetables will add the thick and creamy quality we all look for in a perfectly blended beverage. Banana ice cream was a social media favorite in 2014:  A  search on Yummly and Pinterest will yield over 10,000 recipes for ways to create ice cream with frozen bananas.

Perhaps the oldest way to use up the not so perfectly yellow bananas is to make banana bread. And those recipes never get old. There is nothing quite like the smell of banana bread in the oven. In fact, bananas and baked goods are a match made in heaven.  Bananas can sweeten your baked goods while adding moisture; they substitute for refined sugar and fat at the same time. Our PB&Banana mini-muffins recipe that you can make in the blender offer another way to make the best out of browning bananas (See recipe here).

But we were able to find yet another way to use up your bananas! And this one is a contender to make your top list since it combines bananas and Once Again Peanut Butter in a whole new way. Do you wish fudge could be more than just an every once in a while treat? Great! This recipe is for you.  It’s a  peanut butter banana fudge you can enjoy for breakfast, snack or a desert. There is no cooking involved, and you can prep it all  in fewer  than 10 minutes, then just pop the fudge  in the freezer and forget about it. It  will be ready in 12 hours or so, and you can keep them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Just as with the popular banana ice cream versions, this fudge recipe has room for you to personalize it. Add cacao powder for a chocolate fudge version, or chop up some dark chocolate chips and walnuts for a Rocky Road-type fudge.

… have fun and reduce your waste with this delicious fudge!

Carolina

Peanut Butter and Banana chilled fudgePeanut Butter Banana Chilled Fudge

Makes 15 pieces

½ cup Once Again Peanut Butter
2 bananas
½ cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons Killer Bee Honey
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients and place in silicone mold or freezer safe dish lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 4 hours for best results. Keep in freezer for up to two weeks. They are vegan and gluten free.