Chocolate, caramel, nutty chewiness-ahh, the pure joy of a chocolate turtle!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m thinking all things chocolate-including my nourishing chocolate turtles!
Now, I can’t take all of the credit. This past Christmas, my aunt made something very similar and I was amazed! Essentially refined sugar free, these turtles contain whole pecan halves, pureed dates, and dark chocolate to make the perfect after-dinner sweet-fix.
Healthier Desserts and Intuitive Eating?
These little dessert bites are refined sugar free and loaded with fiber and antioxidants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something with a little more sugar on occasion, too! With intuitive eating, you use gentle nutrition to guide your food choices based on what makes your body FEEL its best. Personally, I feel my best when I eat whole foods and low amounts of refined sugars, but I definitely enjoy a double dark chocolate fudge brownie from time to time. 🙂 Read all about intuitive eating here. It is 100% okay to choose a “healthier” choice for dessert…it all boils down to your relationship with food and your reasoning for food choices.
Dates are a great way to naturally sweeten your baked goods, energy bites, oatmeal, or just to treat your sweet tooth.
While these babies are perfect to satisfy a sweet craving, they are also very nutritious. Dates are good sources of fiber and antioxidants, making them great for digestion and fighting against chronic diseases. I recommend buying the medjool dates because they have a better texture and flavor than other pre-packaged pitted dates. PSA: Aldi has GREAT prices on medjool dates 🙂
On to the recipe!
Healthier Chocolate Turtles
18 Medjool dates (soak in warm water for 30 minutes)
warm water to thin (use as needed, about 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves (~50 pecan half pieces)
3 ounces dark chocolate (or any other chocolate you like)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Soak dates in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This will help soften the dates making them easier to puree.
- Remove the pit from the dates. Add pitted dates to high powered blender or food processor.
- Add warm water (as needed, using a little at a time), cinnamon and vanilla. Puree dates until smooth yet sticky consistency. *you want the puree to be thick so you can spoon on top of pecan halves. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place clusters of pecans down (2 or 3 pecan halves per turtle).
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the date mixture on top of the pecan clusters. Once dates are on top of pecans, freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- While dates are freezing, melt chocolate. In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate and coconut oil. Melt in microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring in between to prevent burning) until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Remove pecans + dates from freezer. Spoon/drizzle dark chocolate ontop of each cluster. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Note: these turtles store well in the freezer! Make a batch and freeze for later day when you want a sweet treat!
What a perfect way to treat your Valentine (or Galentine)! No matter what dessert you choose to celebrate with, take time to enjoy this special time with your loved ones.
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