An easy, healthy recipe for chocolate covered pecans coated with a 3-ingredient homemade chocolate sweetened only with maple syrup. These are amazing!
Find more great ideas on the Quick Healthy Recipes page.
This is a recipe that proves that there is such a thing as a healthy treat, which is why I am so happy to share this recipe!
Not only does it contain chocolate (uh, hello), but it is a simple, real food treat that is way better for you than other treats (but not better than broccoli, so it's not that healthy, okay?), and you're making your own chocolate - seriously. It's so cool.
I don't know why I constantly find this amazing - that I can make or grow things I grew up thinking you could only buy, but it never gets old to me.
And this recipe for dark chocolate covered pecans made with maple-sweetened homemade chocolate?
It's three-ingredient chocolate. (Pause for a moment to let that sink in while you think of all the ingredients in other chocolate...)
Now, to be fair, it's a softer chocolate and needs to be refrigerated, but it's chocolate - made from three ingredients!
Yep, exclamations and italics - you can tell I like this, can't you?
Well, as if that wasn't enough, let's throw easy and delicious into the mix. Oh, yeah.
Healthy Chocolate Covered Pecans (or Walnuts)
Well, I've kind of already gone on about the amazingly simple ingredient list for this, but let's make sure you have everything you need to make them - because you are going to want to.
- Whole pecans (walnuts work well, too - smoother almonds and cashews would be harder for the chocolate to stick)
- Cocoa powder
- Maple Syrup
- optional: pinch of salt; bit of maple sugar or coconut sugar
Toast the pecans and mix up your three ingredient chocolate (nope, sorry, it doesn't get old...) from butter, cocoa powder and maple syrup.
You can add a pinch of salt here because it's good, but doesn't count as another ingredient in my book at just a pinch and if you use salted butter, it's optional.
Then watch your homemade chocolate magically thicken, throw in your nuts to coat them...
Transfer individually to parchment, freeze for a bit...
And then dust them with more cocoa powder.
There's the whole recipe for you right there.
Ha - we're all going to be making our own healthy chocolate covered pecans now, aren't we?
I'm so in love with how these turned out (inspired by this recipe) that not only do I make them for us, I have also given them as a gift, at the holidays and as hostess gifts.
And guess what I discovered?
They fit beautifully in a reused mint tin lined with parchment!
Yes I'm one of those people who has a hard time just recycling our mint tins since they seem so useful for something. I've got them stuffed in drawers everywhere - and now I have something to use them for.
Even though they do need to be kept in the fridge to remain somewhat firm, they're perfectly fine for a few hours at room temperature, so these make a regular appearance in my holiday goodie bags.
Dark Chocolate Covered Pecans FAQ
Yes, you can substitute coconut oil for the butter. Just be sure to use refined coconut oil if you don't want a coconut flavor to your pecans.
Any well sealed container will work. For gifting, the recycled mint tins lined with parchment like I mentioned work well. I also use small cellophane bags that I tie with a gold or silver twisty.
We usually eat them within a week at our house, but if you don't eat them that fast, they should be good up to three weeks stored in the fridge.
I don't see why not! When transferring from the bowl of chocolate to parchment, simply take 3-5 pecans at a time, mounding any extra chocolate on top. Freeze as normal and then coat the whole cluster in the cocoa powder.
Best Reader Comment
"Oh my gosh!!! I made these right away as soon as I saw your post. They are delicious and so addictive! And my hubby likes them too, he doesn't usually like any 'healthy' chocolate things I make." -Kate
So, are you ready to make some chocolate?
Healthy Chocolate Covered Pecans with Homemade Maple-Sweetened Chocolate
- cookie sheet
- Parchment Paper
- medium saucepan
- small fine strainer
- 1½ cups pecan halves (or walnut halves)
- 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil to keep it dairy free, but the flavor of butter really shines here
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 tablespoons for dusting
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- pinch of salt if using unsalted butter or coconut oil, use 1/8 tsp.
- 1 tablespoons maple sugar or coconut sugar, optional, but helps soften the dusting cocoa powder's bitterness
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a medium sized cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans on the parchment and toast in the heated oven for 5 minutes. Turn the oven off, remove cookie sheet and set aside.
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the 1/3 cup cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt. It will thicken as you whisk fully.
- Toss the nuts into the pan and stir to coat well.
- Use a spoon to remove the nuts, one at a time to the parchment-lined cookie sheet you toasted the nuts on. Spoon any extra chocolate coating on any that look like they need more. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Place 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in a small bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon of maple or coconut sugar, if desired.
- Add a few chocolate-covered nuts at a time to the cocoa powder mixture (they may be a bit sticky, a flat spatula helps scrape them off the parchment), stir until coated and then place on a clean parchment-lined tray. I find it helps to use a little strainer to remove the extra coating before setting on the tray.
- Place the tray in the refrigerator until serving, or package the chocolate covered nuts up as desired. Store in the refrigerator.
Other Easy , Healthy Treats To Try:
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in November of 2014.