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Turtle or Peanut Butter Bites

Makes 72

Filling (turtle version):

· 1 package pitted dates (about 6 oz or 170 grams)

· ¼ to ½ cup almond milk depending on desired consistency

· dash of Himalayan pink salt

· ½ cup pecan pieces

Filling (peanut butter version):

· 1 package pitted dates (about 6 oz or 170 grams)

· ¼ to ½ cup almond milk depending on desired consistency

· dash of Himalayan pink salt

· ½ cup peanut butter

Outside:

· 5-6 cups vegan chocolate chips

· 3-4 teaspoons coconut oil (optional to thin out chocolate)

note: You can sub any milk or type of chocolate chips depending on whether you want vegan and/or free of refined sugar. Also, the more coconut oil you use to thin out the chocolate, the less stable the chocolates will be at warmer temps. However if you don’t put any in, the chocolate will be thick and harder to work with. My suggestion is to start with a tiny bit and see if you need to add more. The less you use, the more likely you can keep them out of the refrigerator before serving without them melting.

Instructions:

In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine dates, milk, and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth but not too thin. Begin with ¼ cup of milk, then add a little at a time to reach desired consistency. You want it to be like smooth caramel. Place mixture in a small bowl and stir in pecan pieces if making the turtle version. If making the peanut butter version, set date caramel aside.

When done, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave 30 seconds at a time until most of the chips are melted. Mix with a spoon to melt the rest. You don’t want to overheat it and burn the chocolate.

Drizzle a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each section in your candy mold, just enough to coat the bottom. Place in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes or until hardens.

Take out of refrigerator and if making turtle version, put small spoonfuls of date/pecan mixture over each hardened chocolate layer, should be a small amount in the middle of each with room for chocolate around it. If making peanut butter version, put a small spoonful of date caramel first then a small spoonful of peanut butter on top. Again make sure that it is a small amount in the middle of each with room for chocolate around it.

Pour spoonfuls of melted chocolate into candy molds to cover filling and fill space. Place in refrigerator to harden and enjoy!

Sophia DeSantis is the author of Veggies Don’t Bite, a vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free food blog targeted to all types of eaters.

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