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homemade chocolate turtles on white board
How to Make...

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Turtles

Just 7 ingredients and less than 30 minutes for these Healthy Chocolate Turtles that are vegan, gluten free and paleo friendly. With a Medjool date “caramel” center, pecans and melted chocolate. Your friends and family will love this healthier take on holiday classic.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Turtles 1x
  • Scale:

Ingredients

  • 18 large medjool dates, pitted (soaked for 5 minutes if dry)
  • 3 TBSP cashew butter (or almond, tahini or sunbutter)
  • 12 TBSP creamer or coconut milk (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 70 pecan halves
  • 6 ounces (about 3/4 cup chips)
  • sea salt, for sprinkling tops

Instructions

  1. Make the date “caramel”: In the food processor bowl, add medjool dates (soak them for 5 minutes in warm water if they’re dry) and the nut or seed butter. As the dates begin to form a paste, add vanilla and creamer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The date caramel will be sticky and thick – transfer to parchment paper (I kind of rolled it into a ball) and place on plate or in bowl and stick in fridge for about 15 minutes.
  2. Create the Turtle Shapes: Place parchment paper on medium size baking sheet. Use a round tablespoon to shape the date caramel into round discs, about 1/2″ thick, 1.5″ in diameter. Then stick the pecan halves into the date caramel to create the head and (4) legs. So you’ll need 5 pecan halves per turtle. Then transfer pan to freezer to chill for about 10 minutes while you melt the chocolate.
  3. Melt the Chocolate: Chop chocolate (or use chips) and melt the chocolate on 1/2 power (50%) in microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments – stirring in between. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in saucepan on stovetop over low heat, stirring continuously until melted. Remove from heat. Whichever method you choose, watch carefully and be sure not to let the chocolate burn.
  4. Cover the Turtles in Chocolate: Now it’s time to cover the caramel turtle “bodies” with chocolate. Start by covering the caramel (top of the bodies) with about 1-2 teaspoons of chocolate. The chocolate will set pretty fast with the chilled dates. So if using flaked sea salt, be sure to sprinkle fairly quickly. Then once the chocolate top completely set (about 5 minutes) I flipped the turtles over and covered with about 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the back, placing them back on the parchment paper to set. 6 ounces of chocolate should be enough to cover all of the turtles fronts, with a little on the back as well. 
  5. Allow the turtles to completely set at room temperature, or place back in fridge. Store covered in container in fridge until ready to serve. They can be set out at room temperature for your guests enjoyment!

Nutrition Information:

  • Serving Size: 1 turtle
  • Calories: 196
  • Sugar: 28g
  • Sodium: 173mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg