Next time you’re tempted to reach for a piece of candy grab one of these Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan Turtles instead. Your craving for something sweet will be satisfied and you will be guilt free because these delightful little treats are made with healthy ingredients like dates, peanuts, flaxseed, dark chocolate, and pecans – and they contain less than half the sugar of a traditional chocolate turtle candy. A 1 oz. serving of the most popular brand of chocolate turtle candies has 13g of sugar. The same size serving of these Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan Turtles has only 6g of sugar!
They are a snap to make. The only cooking required is melting the chocolate in a microwave oven. You do however, need a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or a very powerful food processor. If you use a food processor heat the dates up in the microwave to soften them up a bit before blending them with peanuts, flaxseed, vanilla, and salt. This way the motor won’t have to work as hard to combine all the ingredients.
Roll the date mixture into 20 little balls, flatten them with the palm of your hand to form patties, and then press the pecan halves into each patty. (I opted to use pecans in this recipe but cashews would also be delicious.) The date, peanut, flaxseed mixture mimics the taste of caramel – soft and chewy but without the biting sweetness of a corn syrup based caramel.
Coat the top of each turtle with the melted chocolate. You can use a teaspoon to do this but I like to melt the chocolate in a small microwave safe measuring pitcher so that I can drizzle the chocolate over the turtles directly from the pitcher.
Let the chocolate set for a couple of hours before serving. The bottom of these Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan Turtles is very sticky – just like a caramel – so I suggest you line your serving platter with a layer of parchment paper, especially if the ambient temperature is warm. Enjoy! No Guilt Necessary!
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- ½ cup flaxseed
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Place the dates, peanuts, flaxseed, vanilla, and salt in a Vitamix or other high powered blender and, with the aid of the tamper tool process until smooth. Roll the date mixture into 20 balls that are approximately ¾ ounce each (a little smaller than a ping pong ball) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- With the palm of your hand flatten each ball to a thickness of about ½ inch. Press 4 evenly spaced pecan halves into each ball, letting the bottom part of each pecan half overhang slightly.
- Put the bittersweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate and put it back in the microwave for 30 second intervals until it is completely melted, stirring after each interval. Drizzle the chocolate over each date/pecan candy. Let chocolate set/harden before removing to a serving platter.
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