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Okay, I have to admit it. I used to love, love, love Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. I couldn’t get enough. But then I got all healthy and somewhere along the way read the ingredients and they were quickly and efficiently but not deliciously eliminated from my diet: Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, and Soya Lecithin and PGPR), Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, and TBHQ and Citric Acid.
Reeses indicates a risk of gluten cross-contamination and besides that with the milk, peanuts, soy, corn (from dextrose) and preservatives, this is an allergenic, autistic and ADHD kid’s (or adult’s) worse nightmare! Add to that the excessive sugar (sugar, sugar and dextrose) use in it and my blood sugar starts rising just thinking about it? And hmmm…. what exactly is PGPR and TBHQ?
Hersheys is pretty smart, propaganda wise, PGPR and TBHQ sound almost cute, but their full names tip us off that these are additives of the worse sort. PGPR or Polyglycerol Polyrcinoleate is a food additive experiment. Read about its chemical composition here. It’s a chemical used to decrease the amount of cocoa butter needed in a chocolate product while still allowing for the chocolate flavor and texture. Mmmm… Just what I want, less chocolate and more chemicals!
TBHQ or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone is really, really scary. It’s a metabolite of BHA or butane, and according to Schilderman (1993) it “appeared to be a strong inducer of oxidative DNA damage.” And according to Naturalnews.com “Consuming high doses (between 1 and 4 grams) of TBHQ can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and vomiting. There are also suggestions that it may lead to hyperactivity in children as well as asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis. It may also further aggravate ADHD symptoms and cause restlessness. Long term, high doses of TBHQ in laboratory animals have shown a tendency for them to develop cancerous precursors in their stomachs, as well as cause DNA damage to them. It is also suggested that it may be responsible for affecting estrogen levels in women.”
Okay, so what’s a healthy, chocolate loving, allergen and chemical avoiding girl to do??? Well make her own healthy, allergen free, and raw (if desired) version of course!
1/8 cup unrefined raw coconut oil
1/4 cup raw organic coconut butter
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or chocolate powder if you don’t care if it’s raw)
1/4 cup raw honey or 1/8 cup raisins soaked in 1/8cup water or maple syrup (not raw) or use less of any of these sweeteners and add a dropper of stevia (not raw)
1/8 cup warm water
Filling of your choice: Homemade sunflower seed butter (if nut free and want to maintain as raw dessert) or store-bought sunflower seed butter (nut free but not raw) or homemade or store-bought raw almond butter or any other seed or nut butter of your choice. Sunflower seed butter tastes the most like peanut butter, if that’s what you are going for. But if you can do nuts, almond butter is delicious. I make my own sunflower seed butter when I want to stay raw, but when in a hurry, I’ve used Sunbutter which has cane sugar added which isn’t ideal. Marantha makes a sunflower seed butter that doesn’t contain sweeteners but has the risk of cross-contamination with nuts and with gluten. Or if you don’t want to do nut/seed butters at all, you could include a jam/jelly filling. I haven’t done this, but I imagine it would be delicious!
Blend all ingredients (excluding filling) together until nice and smooth. I usually do this in my little food processor as it’s too hard to get all of it out of the blender and I don’t want to waste one drop! Grease your candy tins, ice cube trays or mini muffin pans with coconut oil. Pour a layer of chocolate mixture onto bottom of each and let freeze for 10 minutes or so. Put a very small dollop of your filling of choice in the center of each tin or square with care to not let it spread to the sides. Pour another layer of melted chocolate mixture over top of filling and down sides to enclose completely. Return to freezer. Let set completely for another 15 minutes or longer (though I doubt you can wait!). Pop out of their containers or store in containers and store in freezer. I usually double the recipe because it is so delicious and I just can’t get enough–they go really fast! This recipe is rich, so that helps slow down how many you eat.
Please post what filling you use and how they turn out!
If you are interested in learning to cook without recipes and honing your creativity in the kitchen, please join me in Denver for one or more of my cooking classes.