Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge (gluten-free, dairy-free, cane sugar-free, low sugar)

Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge

Ever since coming up with my recipe for Black Bean Fudge a couple years ago, various bean fudges have been my go-to quick dessert. But surprisingly, I've never posted any other bean fudge recipes to the blog! So I decided it was time. The other day I came up with this recipe, a rich adzuki bean fudge with hints of cinnamon, chili powder, and Young Living tangerine essential oil, inspired by the flavors of Mexican chocolate.  I took the fudge to a potluck at the ceramic studio where I take classes, and everyone loved it. Only a few pieces came home with me at the end of the night!

I'm including this recipe in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features the adzuki bean (a.k.a. aduki bean or azuki bean, or red bean, the list goes on). For all the details of the challenge, check out the rules HERE, then enter your recipe in the Linky.  Ricki and I look forward to seeing all the great adzuki bean recipes you make this month!

Okay, back to the recipe at hand. For a light, alluring flavor in this fudge, I included tangerine essential oil (you could also use orange). While you could use orange extract instead, I'd highly recommend getting your hands on a bottle of these essential oils if you want to make this recipe. I use tangerine essential oil from Young Living, my favorite brand of high-quality, therapeutic grade, food grade essential oils. I use their oils everyday in cooking, in the bath, in the home, and for self-massage.  The quality is beyond compare, and unlike other brands of essential oils, all of the Young Livingoils can be taken internally. They are more expensive than oils you'll find at your local health foods store, but their unsurpassed purity, superior quality, and high concentration means you'll get more bang for your buck. 

The benefit of using essential oils culinarily is that you get therapeutic benefits and an intense flavor, without any additives, alcohol, sugar, or stabilizers.  The unsurpassed purity and concentration of Young Living oils means you only need a drop or two added to an entire recipe. This is a great contrast to needed a full teaspoon of flavored extract! Many flavored extracts are more diluted, contain additives that may not agree with your diet, and the flavor may taste "fake".

Although I had already become addicted to using Young Living oils, after experiencing them in baking and cooking the last couple months, I'm truly in love.  In fact, I love their product so much that I became an independent distributor.  If you're interested in browsing the Young Living collection of essential oils, check out my distributor site.


Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge

yield approx. 24 pieces

I used Young Living Tangerine Essential Oil from in this recipe, which can be purchased here. Food-grade essential oils from Young Living are highly concentrated; you only need 1-2 drops for an entire recipe. If you prefer to use a culinary tangerine or orange flavored extract instead, which is less concentrated, start with 1/8-1/4 tsp, and add to taste. 

For a totally sugar-free dessert, omit honey/maple/etc and use more stevia, to taste. The mixture will be a little dryer, so add 1-2 more Tbsp of nut/seed butter.

  • 2 cups cooked adzuki beans
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup, agave nectar, honey (not vegan), brown rice syrup, or other natural liquid sweetener (this creates a dark, bittersweet-style fudge; if you prefer a sweeter flavor, add more)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini or other seed/nut butter
  • 1 tsp gluten-free pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 tsp plain or vanilla stevia liquid (I use NuNaturals Alcohol-Free Plain Stevia Liquid)
  • 2 drops Young Living Orange or Tangerine Essential Oil (if using orang extract instead, see note above)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (or carob powder)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp medium hot chili powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/8 tsp unrefined salt, plus more for dusting

Melt coconut oil over low heat until liquid. Place in a food processor with all other liquid ingredients, and process until beans are broken up. Then add remaining ingredients and process until mixture is combined and smooth, scraping sides as needed. Mixture will be very thick.

Spread into a plastic wrap-lined pan or dish, pressing down firmly. To smooth the top, fold over the plastic wrap and press down on top of the fudge (this works better than smoothing with a spoon or spatula). Then peel back plastic wrap and sprinkle with chili powder, cinnamon, and just a tiny pinch of salt. Then lightly cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm in the refrigerator. Slice into pieces of desired size and serve! Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week (although it won't last that long).

A note on pans:

The size of the pan you use will yield different thicknesses of fudge. If you want thick fudge, a small or medium size loaf pan works great. If you prefer a thinner fudge, use a larger pan or dish. My favorite pan is the one that came with my toaster oven. I spread the fudge over about 2/3 of the pan, and even it out with the height of the sides.  You could also free form the fudge on a plate, smoothing out the edges into a rectangle or square shape.

March SOS Kitchen Challenge: Adzuki Beans

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