Tis the season for baking! I’ll be the first to admit that come Christmas trees and lights and festivals and songs about homemade pumpkin pie, I am all about doing some baking of my own.

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Ever since I can remember, my mom and I have whipped out our favorite Christmas cookie recipes and made a night of it… or a weekend. Unfortunately, I can’t eat most of the recipes we used to make anymore, but that won’t stop me from holiday tradition. Instead, I challenge myself to find new recipes, or to tweak old recipes to make them healthier!

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Have you noticed this trend in my blog? I have shared with you a healthy version of chocolate peanut butter cups, coconut macaroons, apple pie, sweet potato pie, browniesmashed potatoes, peppermint patties, lots of cookies, and the list goes on. As your health coach, I don’t ask that you stop eating the foods that you love. I ask that you cut back, eat in moderation and find ways to make them healthier.

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So, this week, I’m sharing a fudge recipe I found on the website of Dr. Jesse Chappus, who I wrote a guest blog post for in the summer. I had a few different recipes to try, but this is the one I settled on, and boy am I glad. I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday. He’s a HUGE fan of fudge. As in, anytime we walk into somewhere selling fudge, he leaves with three to four different kinds.

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Since I’m clearly not a fan of him doing that, I wanted to prove that healthy fudge is possible. So in this recipe, I combined almond butter (health fat and protein with lots of health benefits) with coconut oil (also a healthy fat with lots of health benefits), cocoa powder (very good for you when it has no additives) and honey (nutritious form of sweetener with enzymes and vitamins when local and raw). No milk from a can, no white sugar, no butter, and no full jar of marshmallow whip, like my mom and I used to use.

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Guess what? My boyfriend LOVED the fuge. He said to write that “the taste tester gives it two thumbs up.” I couldn’t get enough of it. I was scraping the pan, sure not to waste one crumb of it. Then, guess what happened after eating two pieces? I was full. Because as I can say about all my healthier versions of food, it is satisfying and nutritious rather than empty calories. Win!

I highly recommend this for your homemade holiday gifts this year. Enjoy!

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Healthy Fudge

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

2 cups almond butter

1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted

1 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup walnuts, if desired

Directions:

Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a 8-by-8-inch greased dish (I used coconut oil). Place the dish in the freezer and allow to chill for two hours. Can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer after that.

Note: I would have preferred the fudge to be a little less sweet, actually. I think you could get away with 3/4 cup honey instead.