Healthy Decadence

There’s a real art in finding the delicate balance between want and need, sweet and savory, austere and indulgent. All too often battling cravings that fall on the more hedonistic side of the scale, reaching some semblance of middle ground is especially important for this constant snacker. Grazing through my day with the greatest of ease, finding that ideal combination that will satisfy both my sweet tooth and my hunger is always the goal, but rarely the result of endless pantry raids throughout the day.

Inspired by yet another excellent new protein powder kindly provided as a sample by Ka’Chava, rather than just drink my superfoods straight, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get in the kitchen and play around. Energy bars were a natural first though, but too obvious, too easy to get excited about. Healthy, protein-packed fudge, though? Now that’s a wholesome treat one could lust after.

Rich, but not overwhelmingly so, crunchy cacao nibs punctuate the soft texture, much like chocolate chips strewn through unbaked cookie dough. A thin sheet of dark, slightly bitter chocolate caps off each small square with just the right extra dose of decadence, although it’s strictly optional if you’re more of a protein purist. Eaten straight out of the fridge, there are few tastier yet still healthy tidbits out there that can power me through a long day.

Protein Fudge

1 Cup Raw Cashews, Soaked for 4 – 6 Hours
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
1 Packet (58.5g) Ka’Chava Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs

To Finish:

3 Ounces Dark Chocolate, Finely Chopped
1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil, Melted

Thoroughly drain your cashews before tossing them into your blender. A high-speed blender is recommended for this recipe to ensure the smoothest texture possible, but as long as you’re patient with a lower-powered model and let it process for a bit longer, the recipe shouldn’t suffer. Add in the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, protein powder, vanilla, and salt, and start the machine on the lowest setting to begin breaking down the cashews. Slowly increase the speed until you reach the highest setting, using the plunger to keep the contents of the blender all moving towards the blade, or pausing to scrape down the sides of the container, as needed. It may take some time for everything to combine smoothly, without any residual cashew pieces or graininess to be found.

Meanwhile, line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with foil, lightly grease, and set aside.

Once your fudge mixture is thoroughly blended, stir in the cacao nibs by hand to evenly distribute them throughout. Transfer everything to your prepared pan and use a wide spatula to smooth out the top. Place the pan on a flat surface in your freezer to begin solidifying.

To finish off your fudge, place the finely chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 60 seconds. Stir thoroughly until all of the chocolate is melted and no pieces remain. If necessary, continue microwaving at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring well after each one, until perfectly smooth. Retrieve the fudge from the freezer, pour the melted chocolate all over the top, and spread it out evenly so that it covers the entire pan. Return the pan of fudge to the freezer and let rest, undisturbed, for at least 3 hours.

Using the foil as a sling, pull the fudge out of the loaf pan and slice into small squares with a very sharp knife. To make cleaner cuts through the chocolate topping, first run the knife under very hot water and dry thoroughly before making your first incision.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes 16 – 20 Small Squares

Printable Recipe


23 thoughts on “Healthy Decadence

  1. Oh man this is totally fudge I can get behind- all of my favourite ingredients are in there! The only problem wth recipes like this is I feel justified in eating multiple servings in one sitting. Is it still healthy if I’ve eaten the whole tray?? Important nutritional and philosophical question!

  2. wondering if you have another protein powder you’d recommend to substitute for the ka’chava? That is a really big container to commit to. =)

    1. Absolutely, I’m sure other protein powders could work as well! Since Ka’Chava is a blend that is made up primarily of pea protein, I would just seek out an option with a similar base, since different proteins absorb liquids at different rates. The one that comes to mind first is Genuine Vegan Proteins, but of course, I haven’t experimented with it and can’t say for sure how it would affect the texture. You may still need to adjust the amount of coconut oil, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be such a big problem.

      1. Thank you very much! I didn’t think all protein powders would work the same, and not being vegan I am not familiar with plant based proteins. =)

  3. Ooh so healthy but it looks incredibly delicious all the same!! I need to remember using my cacao nibs. They have been hiding in storage for too long!!

    1. I wouldn’t say it’s mousse-like since it’s firm, and although it looks like there’s some texture to it in the pictures, I didn’t feel like it was grainy at all. It’s all a matter of how smoothly you can blend your cashews.

  4. Gosh, I nearly did a backflip when this recipe popped up in my reader. I LOVE chocolate. Like LOVE LOVE it and this looks like a fantastic, healthy way to feed that craving.

  5. OH this is FABULOUS! I am going sugar-free for a bit and what a perfect recipe to find! catching up on your posts has made me ravenous though! :P lol

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