Sugar is a dangerous thing. It has addictive qualities similar to cocaine. Cocaine! Some people may think its biggest danger is rotting our teeth, but the perils of sugar go way beyond the cavities it may create.
Have you seen the trailer for Fed Up, the newest food-industry documentary from Katie Couric and Laurie David? Check it out if you have a minute. If not, I get it. Just scroll down to the chocolate. I can’t blame you for that.
Fed Up is opening in my area this Friday and I’m trying to figure out how I can get there. Tim doesn’t exactly share my zeal for food documentaries and convincing friends that it’s a good way to spend a mom’s night out might be tough. I think it’s a movie everyone needs to see, though, as it focuses on how sugar has come to dominate our culture and what the repercussions are for our generation and the next.
Speaking of sugar, it’s been one month since I cut it out from my diet. At first it was really hard. Then, it got easier. The less sugar you have, the less you crave it. And the other way is true, too. The more sugar you eat, whether it is natural sugars found in honey or maple syrup or the processed white stuff, the more you crave it. Like cocaine.
So the good news is that after the initial period of wanting it everyday, it got a lot easier to just not eat sugary foods. There is one small thing that I still crave though. Okay, it’s not a small thing. It’s a big, important thing.
I needed to create something that would let me have some chocolate without adding sugar. Not an easy task. I turned to my old friends, dates. Thank you, dates, for being nature’s candy and helping me get my chocolate fix.
I created a rich, lovely vegan chocolate fudge sauce that has no added sugar whatsoever. It’s dreamy.
I made this two ways. First I used full-fat coconut milk. I figured if I was relying only on the sugar from the dates, I’d want the flavor from the fat. The results were fantastic. Decadent. Then, I tried it with unsweetened almond milk. I thought it would be much worse as almond milk is almost like water, but it was still really good. The almond milk makes it less caloric, so if you are looking for a lighter version, go for that one. Really, I think you could use whatever milk you have hanging out in your fridge right now. I know you are going to want to make this amazing, healthy chocolate fudge sauce right away, so don’t worry about waiting until your next trip to the grocery store.
The last thing I experimented with was adding a little stevia. The dates lend a lightly sweet flavor to the chocolate sauce, not a super sweet flavor of traditional hot fudge sauce. The stevia sweetens it up a bit more. I loved it with just dates, but if you are looking for a slightly sweeter hot fudge sauce that is still healthy, try a little stevia. I list it as optional in the recipe as I liked it both ways.
I served my hot fudge sauce as a super healthy hot fudge sundae. It’s made with banana ice cream, which I’m sure you’ve all tried by now, right? If not, you just have to freeze some bananas, and then process them in your food processor (not sure if a blender works as I always use my food processor for this). That’s it! Top your banana ice cream with some of this healthy hot fudge sauce and you have yourself a hot fudge sundae that’s only about 200 calories and 100% real food with no added sugar.
No Sugar Added Vegan Chocolate Fudge Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup
10 pitted dates
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
1 (1 oz.) square unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of pure stevia, or to taste (optional)
In a small sauce pan, cover your dates with water. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Drain the dates and transfer them to a blender. Add the milk and blend until the dates and milk are super smooth. Put the date and milk mixture back into the sauce pan and add the chocolate. Gently bring it to a slow boil, mixing the whole time, and then immediately turn off the heat and continue to stir while it cools. Stir in the salt and stevia, if using. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It will become thinner and pourable again if you reheat it after storing it in the refrigerator. Enjoy!