Amazing Chocolate Fudge
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so (I think) I deserve chocolate! But, chocolate is expensive when it comes to my calorie and money budgets. A co-worker has a recipe for fudge made with pinto beans that should be less expensive than commercial chocolates. Although it won’t be so healthy I can eat all I want, it will be less un-healthy than what I might otherwise buy. The fudge is called Amazing Chocolate Fudge.
Here are additional tips:
- It would be cheaper to purchase dried pinto beans and cook them; but, I bought the canned store brand on sale. First, I drained and rinsed them—it cuts down on the sodium by about a third.
- The recipe says to sift the powdered sugar; but, if it’s fresh you can skip this step. If you do need to sift it, just use a wire mesh strainer and large spoon to work as a sieve.
- If you have an electric mixer, use it. It will get a workout though—remember fudge is supposed to be thick! It’s amazing how the powdered sugar just melts and makes the fudge more spreadable.
- Once the powdered sugar is mixed in, you may add walnuts and dried cherries if you like. I added cherries to mine because President’s Day, also celebrated in February, makes me think of cherries. Even though I purchased the store brand, they can be pretty expensive. Raisins would do just as well and be lots cheaper.
Amazing Chocolate Fudge (You’ll never guess pinto beans are the amazing ingredient!)
2 1/2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans (one 15-ounce can equals 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup dried cherries (optional)
- Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- Melt margarine and baking chocolate together.
- Warm the beans 1-2 minutes in the microwave. This makes them easier to mash and the fudge easier to stir.
- Combine the beans and margarine/chocolate mixture in a food processor or blender and mash.
- Scrape bean mixture into a bowl, add cocoa and vanilla.
- Gradually mix in powdered sugar—mixture will be stiff.
- Stir in walnuts and/or dried cherries if you like.
- Press into pan. Cut into 48 pieces (6 x 8). Store fudge in refrigerator up to one week. If you won’t get it all eaten in a week, divide into smaller packages and freeze.
Now, enjoy a little chocolate on Valentine’s Day and not totally blow your budget!
Each piece w/walnuts and cherries: 70 calories, 2.1 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 0.1 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 29.3 mg sodium, 12.8 g carbohydrate, 0.9 g fiber, 0.9 g protein
Cost: 10¢/piece with nuts and cherries; 6¢/piece with no nuts or fruit
Source: Vegetable Desserts by E. Schafer& J. L. Miller, RD. Chronimed Publishing, Minneapolis, MN. ISBN 1-56561-135-7.
-contributed by Jan Temple