I’ve always had a big sweet tooth. As a child, my friends and I used to spend our allowance every week on penny candy. Aside from that however, I’ve always loved chocolate bars!
As an adult, I try to stay away from processed candy and since I’ve gone vegan, I can honestly say that the candy bars no longer tempt me in the checkout lines like they used to. Of course, I still love to indulge in sweets, but I do it my way by making treats in my own kitchen.
It’s amazing how much healthier you can make sweets just by controlling the ingredients yourself. As you’ll see with this recipe (which tastes just like a Rolo) you can make a luxurious caramel using soft, buttery medjool dates instead of the sugary alternatives.
These chocolates taste so much like the real thing, I promise you’ll be able to fool everyone around you!
Healthy, vegan, homemade chocolates (with just five ingredients!)
Add a sprinkle of chia seeds on top of these treats for a burst of nutrition and a spooky bug-like appearance for Halloween.
Also keep in mind you want to use very soft medjool dates. If your dates are firm, soak them in water to soften before using and be sure to drain well.
For the date caramel:
200 grams pitted soft medjool dates (about 13 large)
1/2 tbsp peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
For the chocolate coating:
Scant 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (ensure they have no milk in them)
1 tsp coconut oil
Chia seeds (optional)
1. Process pitted dates in food processor until a sticky paste forms. Now, add in the nut or seed butter along with a pinch of fine grain sea salt. Process until combined. The mixture will be SUPER sticky, but this is a good thing!
2. Scoop out the sticky mixture into a bowl and freeze for about 10 minutes. Chilling it makes the caramel easier to shape into balls. After chilling, lightly wet your fingers and shape caramel into small balls to make about 18 little nuggets total.
3. Place balls back into the freezer for another 10 minutes on a parchment lined plate. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips along with 1 teaspoon coconut oil on the stove top over low heat. When 2/3 of the chips are melted, remove from heat and stir until everything is melted.
4. Remove balls from freezer and dunk each ball into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Roll around to coat. Tap off excess chocolate and place back onto parchment-lined plate. Sprinkle with chia seeds (optional) and stick a toothpick into each. Repeat for the rest.
5. Freeze again for at least 20 minutes until set. Bites taste best straight from the freezer and will soften (but will not melt) at room temperature.
Angela Liddon is the creator of Oh She Glows — an inspiring, healthy vegan recipe website — and one of Chatelaine‘s Women of the Year 2011. Angela’s passion for healthy vegan food is contagious and she’s eager to show others that vegan (and often gluten-free) food can blow your taste buds away.