I fell in love with raw desserts in one fell swoop. Convinced they would taste like, uh, blended dates, my mind was blown when I discovered, through an entry-level raw brownie, how rich and complex the flavors could be when you combined raw, natural ingredients. On top of that, these raw desserts are, what, healthy?! When we cook or process foods, we necessarily destroy some of the live enzymes, vitamins and minerals–the same enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that are absolutely critical to our health and aging process. So eating raw foods brings you as close as possible to the “whole” version of a food–uncooked, unprocessed, and perhaps just blended up a bit. It’s almost not even fair. To baked desserts.
Not that I imagine I’ll be giving up my homemade Nutella or vegan chocolate coffee cake any time soon…
Of course, raw vanilla fudge isn’t quite as insanely healthy as a raw zucchini “pasta” covered in a cauliflower “alfredo”, considering it’s based around legumses and nuts (and often the peanuts that go into peanut butter are roasted, sort of defeating the “raw” purpose), but it’s damn better than that HFCS-laden yogurt you cover with mochi and hot fudge (and maybe a strawberry or two, for balance) at Pinkberry. Chocolate raw desserts are all well and good, but sometimes you crazy the aromatic sweetness of vanilla-infused raw treats! I do, at least, and I understand as well as anybody the necessary effects of cocoa–believe me. And in those moments? Reach for these babies.
You’ll love this raw vanilla fudge because it’s insanely easy, damn healthy, and the rich, complex sweetness of the maple syrup or agave nectar (maple syrup if you’re 100% raw) naturally mingles with the aromatic vanilla for a positively gourmet treat. They last a long time in the freezer in an air-tight container, too, so whenever the craving strikes, you’ll be prepared! Especially with the hot weather upon us, a cool, light, and enzyme-heavy treat is just what the doctor ordered.
If you have a Vitamix, the texture will be just like that of traditional fudge–smooth and dense, mmm. If you, like us at the time of this picture, have just a regular ole’ blender, never fear! You’ll have equally delicious fudge, with just a little bit of texture from the cashews.
Raw Vanilla Fudge (Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
In a blender (preferably a high-speed blender like a Vitamix), blend cashews and salt until they turn into a dense butter. Mix in peanut or almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla and process until thoroughly combined.
Press mixture into a wax paper-lined loaf pan. Chill in the fridge at least 3 hours or in the freezer at least one hour. Cut into squares and serve. Keep in the freezer in an air-tight container for several weeks, or in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.