I’m not really a fan of protein powder.
Unless it’s used to make fudge.
I find most protein powder is either chalky, fake tasting, or devoid of taste.
This fudge is none of those things. It’s rich, dense, chewy, sweet, and chocolatey.
Combining chocolate protein powder with honey, peanuts, and peanut butter is the best use ever for protein powder.
Any day that I can make fudge from protein powder and things already in my cupboards is a good day.
You can make the fudge as thick or thin as your little fudge eatin’ heart desires. I made mine into fairly thin squares but next time I may double up the height and make cubes rather than squares.
Or slice your fudge into strips, bars, triangles, or use a heart shaped cookie cutter. Get creative.
The dark dried fruit is dried bing cherries. They came in my Naturebox and oh, how I love cherries. Fresh, frozen, maraschino, or dried, I’ve never met
a cherry in a mixed drink soaked in booze a cherry that I didn’t love.
They proved to be the “jelly” in these PB&J fudgy bites but raisins, dried blueberries, or even a spoonful of jelly swirled in the batter will work.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Protein Fudge (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, no refined sugar added)
Makes approximately 30 small bites (1-inch-by-1-inch pieces that are about 1/2-inch high; how you pour the batter and slice the fudge, i.e. thin/thick, cubes, bars, etc. will determine the piece count but this is not a “huge” recipe)
3/4 cup honey* (or brown rice syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup)
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used non-natural, i.e. Jif)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder* ( I used Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Brown Rice Protein Powder in Chocolate)
1/3 cup diced dried cherries* (or diced raisins, dried blueberries, dried fruit of your liking, or omit)
1/3 cup chopped peanuts* (or other nuts, or omit)
Note: This is a fast moving recipe so have everything ready to go before you begin and work quickly through the steps.
Line an 8-by-8-inch baking dish (or slightly smaller if you have it) or 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Dice the dried fruit and chop the peanuts and set aside. Dicing and chopping is preferred because smaller pieces will incorporate better into the batter.
Pour the honey into a medium-sized sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until it almost begins to boil but do not let it boil; turn off the heat. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir, using caution as it could bubble up a bit. Add the protein powder and stir, taking care to work quickly because batter will get increasingly stiff as time elapses. Quickly fold in the diced fruit and peanuts.
Spread the mixture into approximately half the width of the prepared pan, noting the mixture will not cover the entire pan. Keep the mixture about 1/2 inch in thickness, or thicker if you prefer thicker cube-like fudge, but do not spread it paper thin (I called for an 8-by-8-inch pan because most people have that size or something similar and if using a loaf pan, the mixture could likely cover the base of the pan entirely). Place pan into the freezer for at least 90 minutes. Remove from the freezer and slice fudge into desired size, waiting five to ten minutes to slice it if fudge has frozen too solid for slicing.
Store fudge in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months or in the refrigerator for up to one month. I do not recommend storing this at room temperature as it becomes too soft for my liking. I store mine in the freezer and remove it five minutes before I intend to eat it as I like my fudge well-chilled.
*Notes, suggestions, variations:
The honey can replaced with maple syrup, yacon syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar or mix-and-match various sweeteners.
I used Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Rice Brown Protein Powder in Chocolate. The recipe can likely be made with any flavor protein powder you have from vanilla to strawberry to cookies and cream and I’m sure other flavors, brands, and types will work (whey, soy, etc.) but I have not tested them. I called for 1/2 cup of protein powder and the batter was tacky and sticky however if using another type of protein powder or you want to make this more dry and crumbly than dense and chewy fudge-like, increase the protein powder amount based on your preference and brand used.
Dried fruits such as: raisins, apricots, dates, pineapple, mango, blueberries, apples or any type of dried fruit you have and like, or use one at all.
Nuts and seeds such as: diced cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, or any type of nut or seed you have and like, or use none at all.
You could also add coconut flakes, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, cereal pieces, whole rolled oats.
Ingredients and ratios may need to be altered and tweaked based on type and brand of protein powder used, peanut butter used, add-in’s used, and personal taste preferences.
The best part of this fudge is that it’s “healthy”. I really don’t like using that word because we all have different definitions of what it means, in both food and in life.
I think it’s healthy to have some mindless reality tv lined up on your DVR for mental escapes every now and then. We all know that there’s a new season of the Karsdashians and that the Real Housewives of New Jersey are starting back up soon, right?
I think green salads are healthy but so is indulging in fluffy frosting every now and then. Moderation, balance.
However, this fudge is probably healthier than Crack Pie.
How much healthier? I couldn’t really tell you. I don’t keep track of “stats” on any food I make but there are plenty of online websites that you can plug the values into if you track these types of things. I’d rather
waste time spend my time on Pinterest.
What I can tell you is that:
This fudge literally only took 5 minutes to make
It makes a modest batch of about 30 one-inch thinnish squares (bars or thicker cubes will yield a lower piece count)
It’s vegan (use agave, brown rice syrup, or or the other suggestions I gave in the recipe if you don’t consume honey)
There’s no added white or brown sugar in this fudge – that’s a first
It’s protein packed from the protein powder, peanut butter, and peanuts
The peanuts and dried fruit added great texture to this chewy, dense, yet soft fudge
The slight saltiness of the peanut butter balances the sweetness of the honey or other sweetener
Peanut butter and chocolate (or chocolate protein powder) is always a winning food combo
The possibility to get creative with how thick to make the fudge, the shapes it’s sliced in, the add-in’s used…oh the sky is the limit.
My wheels are already turning for my next version.
Related protein powder recipes:
Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats (vegan, GF) – I used to eat this all the time but forgot about it for, oh, a couple years now. Whoops
Microwave Banana Oat Cakes (vegan, GF) – Add a scoop of protein powder to the batter
Other fudge recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (no-bake, GF)
Girl Scout “Thin Mint”-Inspired Fudge (raw/no-bake, vegan, GF)
Vegan Fudge (no-bake, Gluten/Soy/Tree-Nut Free)
Do you use protein powder and if so, how? Any favorite brands, recipes, or thoughts about protein powder?
I used Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Brown Rice Protein Powder in Chocolate in this recipe and as I mentioned, I’m sure other types of protein powder will work from soy to whey, from vanilla flavored to peanut butter flavored. Let me know if you experiment with them.
If you’re in the market for protein powder, consider buying it from iHerb.com because they are so reasonable.
Use coupon code AVE630 to save $10 off your first order until the end of this month. At other times, that code will save you $5 off your order and all orders over $40 ship free. Never pay retail again for your probiotics, nutritional yeast, or stevia. My newest find are these probiotics. Love them.
I don’t “track” my protein consumption. Protein is not something I “concentrate on getting more of” but everyone’s bodies and are so different. I’ve found my body seems to thrive with more carbs and fat than protein, and protein powders can be harsh on my gut. Of all the protein powders I’ve tried, Sun Warrior brown rice in chocolate is my favorite and bothers my stomach the least. Their vanilla is nice, too; the natural is a bit too boring for me.
Do you like fudge?
Safe to assume with my multiple varieties of it, that yes, I do like it.
However, I can go for 6 or 12 months without making any. Most of the fudge recipes I’ve featured have been made in November or December, every year, in advance of the Christmas and New Years holidays. I don’t normally think fudge in the spring but clearly fudge knows no season for me.
Winner of the KitchenAid 7-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway announced on Wednesday