Fall. is. magic.
Crimson red, rosy pink, canary yellow, blaze orange…… even at 32, seeing the leaves create their own pantone color palette is mesmerizing. I take a neighborhood walk nearly every day, and it seems if I didn’t know the date on the calendar, I would know by the pace of the trees changing, eventually losing their leaves to the cool, crisp wind.
This season brings a magical change to the kitchen as well, a parallel shift with the trees…… From summer’s bold, vibrant colors to the stunning, neutral hues of squash, pumpkins, and root vegetables. And although (as most of you know) I prefer the likes of kabocha and butternut over little sugar pies, it’s Sara’s annual #VirtualPumpkinParty, and 70+ of us gal pals are flooding the internet with sweet and savory ways to pumpkin.
My contribution? Since I went savory last year, I went sweet this time around. To the tune of Magic Vegan Pumpkin Fudge Recipe, which has put a spell on me like whoa. The result of doing something I typically wrinkle my nose at.
I put beans in dessert.
I’ll push black bean brownies away faster than you can offer me one. But this fudge….. uses not chickpeas, not white beans, but PINK beans. I found them while getting letting lost in the Hispanic section of a local grocery store, in a can, alongside all the other beans. They look similar to pintos, but are different.
Flavor-wise they’re sweet and super mild, which is typically my issue – I can always detect a slight bean-y flavor in other desserts. And another big bonus: they have very thin skin so when pureed, they turn creamy and smooth, making them the perfect textural base for this fudge.
It’s much easier than traditional fudge, no candy thermometer to mess with or stovetop. Just a one bowl food processor, then freezer situation. It also differs in that it uses a few of my favorite wholesome ingredients: coconut butter, almond butter, and maple syrup. Blitzed with pumpkin, the pink beans, and pumpkin pie spice, the result is an ultra luxe and a pure taste of fall.
So dense, and creamy, I’d compare it to a pumpkin spin off of my grandmother’s old fashioned chocolate fudge she’d make every Christmas.
Cut into tiny squares, it’s like having a bite-size piece of warmly spiced pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake that just so happens to be vegan (and refined sugar-free). I love that it keeps in the refrigerator really well, almost better a few days after making it because the cinnamon and nutmeg really get a chance to deepen.
From a squash lover’s heart, I’d say this fudge is a bit of magic that should grace your kitchen sometime in the next few months. If not, then I’m sure you’ll find something else from one of the 70 other pumpkin recipes being shared today, which you can find the full list on Sara or Aimee’s blog posts. xo!
If you make this pumpkin fudge recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen or @heartbeetkitchen!
- Add pumpkin, beans, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and almond butter to food processor or high-powered blender. Puree for 20 seconds, then stop and scrape down sides. Puree for another 40 seconds, then scrape down sides.
- Add coconut butter, and puree for 30 seconds to bring everything together until completely smooth. Scrape into a 8" x 4" x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan (a little smaller or bigger will work too, it will just affect the thickness of your fudge) and smooth top with a spoon. Sprinkle pecans on top, then lightly press down on them so they attach to fudge.
- Freeze for 1 hour, then cut into small squares and serve. You can store leftovers in covered container in the freezer or refrigerator, for 2 weeks. Storing in refrigerator will result in a little softer fudge.
Adapted from this Blissful Basil recipe
*At room temperature, coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil) is solid. To get it into pourable, liquid state, set the tightly closed jar in a bath of hot water (not fully submerged just in case it would leak through the cap). Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir. Close jar and set back in water for 5 minutes. Stir until completely smooth. If a few clumps remain, microwave jar for 10 seconds, then stir, and repeat until no clumps remain.