Hippie Fudge

Easy vegan fudge made with dates, tahini, cacao powder, coconut oil + vanilla.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good. It has potential. But it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work, went through years of this.We know our work doesn’t have this special thing we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap. And your work will be good as good as your ambitions.”

– Ira Glass.

Photography has definitely been my biggest hurdle with this whole blog thing. It can be frustrating and challenging and like most creative work, forever changing. Somedays I feel like I have a handle on things, and the next day I feel like I haven’t made any progress at all. It’s a learning curve and it’s definitely a bumpy ride. Good shots don’t just happen everyday, or at least not for me. We’ve moved into a new place (it’s pet friendly but more on that later!) and I’ve been really struggling with the light, or I guess I should say lack thereof. I am always seeking out inspiration and advice in the photography world, and Rachel has become a friend and teacher over the years. Her site is full of wisdom and encouragement. It seemed almost too good to be true that she was putting together a list of tips from bloggers and photographers around the globe. I think no matter who we are and where we are at, we always have something to learn. It is the reason I am so grateful to be part of this community; motivation is never far away.

Keep your head up and your ambitions high. We’ll get there.

In other news, I have an article over on MindBodyGreen all about what I eat in a day. There’s coffee, and cookies  and – secret’s out – a lot of fudge. A little reading if you’re interested in that sort of thing or scroll down and fast forward to dessert.


These, if you ask me, are the perfect treat. This vegan fudge is chewy, rich and satisfying. Sweet without overdoing it, a little bit of salt, and deep flavor from the dates + tahini that keep you coming back for another piece. This fudge can be easily adapted to your favorite flavors. Use any other nut butter instead of the tahini and add your own favorite notes – peppermint, orange, cacao nibs, goji berries, etc. You can’t go wrong.

Chocolate + tahini are old lovers here. I do love a good reunion.

Vegan + Gluten Free.


2 cups pitted dates, packed
1/4 cup tahini
3  tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw cacao powder, or good quality cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


If your dates seem dry, soak them in hot water 10-15 minutes before making the fudge. Drain and dry with a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture. Dates should be soft and sticky. You can use medjools dates here if you’re fancy but my favorite everyday dates are deglet nours.

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat, then remove and let cool. It’s important to let the coconut oil cool before making the fudge, if it’s too hot it will just make it harder to work with.

Add dates to a food processor and blend until smooth. The dates will begin to form a ball in the food processor, that’s ok! Add the tahini and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add the cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until combined. The mixture might once again form a ball, if it looks smooth and uniform – then it’s done!

Line a  square/rectangular pan or glass container with parchment. Tip the fudge dough into the container and use clean hands to spread it out. Start on one side, pressing the fudge into the corners and work until you have a flat, level surface. Use a measuring cup  to pack it down and even out the top.

If the oil separates a little bit it’s ok, just continue working with clean hands and get the fudge into the fridge.

Allow fudge to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Slice as desired, dust with extra cacao powder if you want. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    Ashlae W.
    November 4, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Love everything about this post, lady – the Ira quote (I LOVE HIM), your willingness to open up about your struggles with this space, and that seriously decadent fudge recipe. <3 Sending big hugs your way.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 9, 2016 at 7:49 am

      Thanks Ashlea. No matter where I am at in life this quote always seems relevant to me. Sending big hugs and lots of courage your way as you are just starting out on a new journey yourself. Cheers to going for it! xx

  • Reply
    Maya | Spice + Sprout
    November 5, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I totally feel you, Jodi! Food photography is something that I am still trying to wrap my head around, and I feel like I have a different style every week :/ Just for the record, I’ve always loved your photos and simple styling. It’s an inspiration to me! Love this fudge, everything I could ever want in a chocolatey dessert <3

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 9, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Totally! But when you look back on all your different styles it’s like your own little journey – I just keep reminding myself that I do this for me and not for anyone else :) Thank you for the encouraging words, sweet Maya – hoping you have a wonderful week. Be proud, friend x

  • Reply
    Andrea M
    November 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

    omg this looks delicious!! Are the coconut oil and cacao measure in cups? I can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 7, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Hi Andrea! Indeed they are :) x

  • Reply
    Chelsea A
    November 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I can relate x100000. Photography is my biggest struggle and sometimes it just makes me dread doing a post. For what it’s worth, I think your pictures are always stunning. :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 9, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Ah thank you Chelsea! I’d have to agree with you, and most of the time I end up reshooting because I talk myself down when looking at my photos. Instead let’s talk ourselves up and be proud that we’re just doing what we’re doing! Have a wonderful week my dear x

  • Reply
    Gena Hamshaw
    November 7, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I spend most of my time criticizing and hating my food photography, and for me, it’s been one of the biggest hurdles, too (self-assurance is the biggest hurdle of all, but that’s another topic!). I think your photography is wonderful, evocative, colorful, and always styled with perfect simplicity. Know that what *you* see is not always what we see. It’s something I tell myself, too.

    I can’t wait to read Rachel’s tips. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 9, 2016 at 7:56 am

      ‘Know that what *you* see is not always what we see.’

      I love this Gena! Thank you for sharing that with me. I think that can relate to so many other aspects of my life! Phew, sometimes reading simple notes like that can feel like a weight off your shoulders :) Self-assurance to the fullest! Thank you for taking the time to say hi and for leaving this kind words – wishing you well today and everyday. You’re work is always inspiring to me x

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    November 8, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I love this so much Jodi. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t struggle and contemplate quitting it all. Need to get back to my roots and slow down. As creatives these feelings are inescapable, we just need to stick together and lift one another up <3 and you my lady, are as talented as they come. Always so refreshed and inspired to live life to the fullest whenever I stop by here. Adore you friend <3.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 10, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Yes indeed – lift one another up! Thank you, as always, for your kind and friendly word, Jessie! Your comments always make me smile :) Get back to the roots, slow down and remember why we started. I’m right there with you xx

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    November 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Oh, I needed to read that quote. Thank you so much for sharing Jodi. I’m always overly critical of my work and I doubt pretty much every single thing I put out there (guh!). It’s a constant struggle for me and it can sometimes weight quite heavily on my shoulders. It feels good to know we’re not alone in this. For what it’s worth, I think your photography is beautiful. It evokes a comfort, serenity and calmness that is truly unique to you, and that makes me want to come back for more. Thanks once again for such a lovely post. Every time I come here I leave feeling a little lighter, happier and inspired. So thank you for that. Big hugs and happy Sunday. xx

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 14, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you for the kind and heartfelt words, Sophie. I think we are so quick to compare our work with everybody else’s and I have to remind myself that fame is not why I got into this in the first place. It’s all about connecting over something we love, so we should be here to work together. I am so happy to have ‘met’ you from this space, your work is always inspiring to me. I just saw that you got some very well deserved recognition for your work with The Green Life, I hope you soak it all in and hold your head high. A million congratulations! Whoop! x

  • Reply
    Vera Greutink
    November 14, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Lovely quote! And so true, I often tell to my self that there are no shortcuts – in order to take good photos you just have to take all the hundreds of no so great ones. It pains me to look at photos I took six years ago but I know I had to take them :-) I also liked reading about what you eat in a day and the wonderful fruit project you are involved in. I try to grow most of our food but it is not easy to be self-sufficient during our long winter here in the Netherlands. If you’re interested, we filmed a video about what we are still harvesting from our permaculture garden in November: http://www.growntocook.com/?p=5886

  • Reply
    Sophie MacKenzie
    November 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I love that Ira quote, I totally just read it in his voice too <3 Some days, like today, I feel like I wasted hours of my life taking photos that will never be good enough to use. If I dare post them, I will spend the next few years cringing at the poor choice it was to do so. I love your work, Jodi. I feel that your IG has this wonderful fluidity to it that I so desperately seek in my own. I often turn to you photos for ideas and inspiration. You my friend have taste. And speaking of taste…. THIS FUDGE!! So gorg!!!

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    May 12, 2018 at 12:19 am

    I like this recipe because I don’t have to boil some of the ingredients. Most of the time, I heat it too much and it doesn’t turn out smooth and creamy. I won’t have that problem with this recipe since I only have to melt one ingredient!

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