Few things scream the holidays like the taste of chocolate and peppermint – especially when paired together. And as tempting as it may be to go out and buy a package of William’s Sonoma Peppermint Bark every time you’re wanting that chocolatey pepperminty fix, here’s an easy way to get the flavors you love at home using just a blender.

Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy too? That’s right! Raw cacao is full of anti-oxidants which can protect the body from a buildup of free radicals from sun exposure, pollution, overly processed diet, cigarette smoking, etc., which may damage healthy body tissue giving rise to cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Not only that, There are many components of cacao including alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, that all work together to improve physical and mental health.  For example, theombromine helps to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles, and dilate blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy;  “bliss” chemicals found in cacao help to increase circulation and availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in brain, improving mood and combating depression.

So get those levels of euphoria going this holiday season by doubling up on this raw peppermint fudge!

Raw Peppermint Fudge 
Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 Pitted medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or dark agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs pumpkin seeds (if desired)
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries (if desired

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients excluding the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries in blender. Blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape off the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula.

Take a standard cookie pan and line it with with parchment paper. Then pour entire contents into the pan and spread fudge 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. If desired, sprinkle pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries on top.

Place the entire pan in the refrigerator for two hours. Once the chocolate is nice and firm, cut into 1 inch squares, and gently remove fudge pieces from pan.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Note: You if you’re fresh out of mint or if you’re wanting to taste the magic of orange and chocolate, add a tbs of orange zest instead of mint, or just leave it plain. Either way, it’s going to be a hit.