This post was sponsored by Crisco® Coconut Oil as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
You know, when I sat down to write this post I had this whole little monologue in my mind to talk about how it’s what’s on the inside that matters and that you can’t judge a book by its cover and just because something kind of looks a little questionable doesn’t mean you should just brush it off because there might be something crazy good underneath.
But then I realized that I should cut the politics and just say: there is peanut butter underneath a layer of chocolate in this and it’s not totally, crazy bad for you. Because we all know that sometimes, you just need to know the facts to fall in love.
That’s what we’re dealing with here, people: love at first taste. (because first sight is a little iffy, if I’m being honest.)
Something weird happens when you’re a food blogger – you start having these crazy high expectations of how your creations will look. And, if I’m being totally honest, the magical vision that I create in my mind rarely comes to fruition. Sometimes, this is for the better! Sometimes.. well.. it tastes really good.
Okay, so let’s call ’em like I see ’em. These chocolate peanut butter treats are 1. really ugly. 2. really delicious. 3. kind of sort of healthy. But the most important part: they’re really delicious. An easy peanut butter fudge that uses only 4 ingredients and zero-refined sugar is covered in smooth chocolate dotted with crunchy slivered almonds to create the perfect treat.
The secret is coconut oil. If you’ve been following for some time, you may remember the healthier peanut butter cups I posted forever ago. Imagine taking those and bumping them up about a billion notches. But the basis is the same – quality coconut oil, a little patience, and a ton of deliciousness.
I remember when coconut oil first ‘came out’ (yes, I know it always existed, I mean in the mainstream sense, people.) and it was such a huge deal. Being marketed as a ‘natural miracle cure,’ I was pretty sure it would be a fad as most random healthy items end up being. But low and behold, you don’t have to go to a fancy health store or order it online anymore to get yourself some coconut oil. Nope, you now can just go to Target and grab some from trusted, well-known brands.
For this recipe I used unrefined coconut oil from Crisco® which is my favorite brand for coconut oil – I can find it everywhere and since it’s a brand that’s been in my home since I was a kid. If you struggle with refined vs unrefined coconut oil, I totally feel you. There are some healthy benefits for each, but to be honest, if you’re looking to get more coconut oil into your kids you’re probably most concerned with taste. Crisco Refined coconut oil doesn’t taste super coconut oil-y and the Unrefined one definitely has most of a coconut flavor – though it doesn’t taste like you’re eating sunscreen or anything.
Oh, and since I know you’re probably shopping at Target, make sure you use your Cartwheel app to get a discount on your Crisco coconut oil purchase!
Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
1 jar of peanut butter, creamy*
1 cup of Crisco coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
honey or maple syrup, to taste*
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup of slivered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons of Crisco coconut oil
To make fudge
Gently melt coconut oil and peanut butter together over low until the coconut oil is barely melted. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Pour into a lined pan and place in freezer to cool. (I used a loaf pan lined in plastic wrap. Silicone trays work really well as well.
Once totally solid, cut into squares the desired size with a warm knife and return to the freezer while making the coating.
To make the coating:
In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips. Once the chips are just barely melted (still a few lumps can be seen) remove from heat and add the coconut oil, stirring to melt. Remove the peanut butter from the freezer and dip the bottoms into the smooth chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper before returning to the freezer to firm up.
Add toasted almonds to your remaining chocolate and add 1 TBS of coconut oil if it seems too thick. Gently spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the chocolate onto the tops of your peanut butter bites. If you’re crazy (like me) you can do this on a cooling rack to ensure no pooling.
Return to the freezer to set and enjoy! Store in the fridge or freezer.
Want to keep the entire recipe sugar free? Replace the chocolate with a mixture of 1 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder, plus sweetener of choice. I like stevia, honey or maple syrup. You may need to do more than 1 layer of dipping (allowing to set in the freezer in between) as the mixture is much thinner.
Nut Free version:
To make nut free, substitute sunflower seed butter with the peanut butter and toasted (de-shelled) sunflower seeds or pepitas.
Dairy Free version:
Avoiding dairy? Try the cocoa mixture in the sugar-free option or substitute a dairy-free chocolate for traditional chocolate chips.
Okay, so tell me – do you feel bummed out when your food comes out ugly? Do you care how your food looks? Do you use coconut oil in your home? Let me know in the comments!