There is No Secret to Getting Fit

My Journey to Fitness

Move Over Processed Candy!

on November 2, 2013

It’s that time of year again, when we are faced with bowls filled with the processed candy rewards of Halloween Trick-or-Treating.  Since I switched to eating clean, I can no longer indulge in highly processed candy without feeling bloated, headachy and moody.  Looking back, I think this was always my reaction to candy, but I never really made the connection until I switched to a clean diet.  Though I was never a huge candy junkie, I often over-indulged when candy was in my house.  One of my all time favorites has always been Almond Joys.  I cringe when I look at the ingredient list for this popular candy and, surprisingly, I am no longer remotely tempted to have even a taste of one.  The thought of that sticky, overly-sweet, artificially flavored, additive laced “treat” no longer tempts my taste buds.

Over the past year, I’ve tested a few sweet recipes, and this one is probably my favorite.  Though I can definitely say these are 100% natural, and organic (if you use organic ingredients), and the fat content is healthy fats, don’t go popping 10 of these babies at once.  They still have a high calorie content, but they are definitely a far better choice than their processed counterparts, and I would even go out on a limb to say they do have health benefits in small portions.  I get a bit annoyed when I see all of these “healthy” dessert recipes out there and people think they can over-indulge just because it’s not a processed food.  Sweets on occasion are fine.  If you over indulge in anything, it’s just not a good thing.  Listen to your body, enjoy the occasional dessert, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can eat as much as you want just because it’s not processed.

I came across this recipe through Facebook.  It was printed on a picture, so I can not give credit to the person that came up with it.  This is one of the few recipes I haven’t modified at all, however, I am not always exact on the measurements and I usually double the recipe so I can give them to people to try.

When I say you really won’t ever want to have a Hershey’s Almond Joy bar again, I mean it.  These are REALLY THAT GOOD!  Skeptical?  So was I, until I tried them!

Real Food Almond Joys

1 cup raw almonds (not roasted- the only ingredient should be almonds if you buy them packaged)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
6 large medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/3 lb (about 1/2 cup) melted dark chocolate

Line a small cookie sheet or plate with waxed paper and set aside.

Pulse the almonds and coconut in a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs.  Add the dates and coconut oil.  Pulse until the mixture starts to come together.

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I use a large cookie scoop to help form the balls, but a tablespoon would work just fine too

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Squeeze the mixture into a ball so it stays together.

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Drop the almond coconut ball into your dark chocolate and coat with chocolate.  I use 2 spoons to keep this part of the process as clean as possible.

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Place on your cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator to completely harden.

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Once hardened, store in an airtight container in the fridge.  They taste best after being in the fridge overnight, and I prefer them cold.

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A few notes:

Be sure to read the ingredients in your dark chocolate.  Not all chocolate is created equally.  Organic is always best, but even some organic chocolate contains additives like soy lecithin.  If you’d like to make your own dark chocolate, here is a recipe:  (I used store bought chocolate for this recipe.)

  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  •  1/3 cup of honey
  •  a few dashes of sea salt

Now that you know how easy it is to make your own delicious candy, I’d like to share the ingredients list for “real” Almond Joys versus this truly real-food version.

Hershey’s Almond Joy Bar:  CORN SYRUP; MILK CHOCOLATE  ( SUGAR; COCOA BUTTER; CHOCOLATE; MILK; LACTOSE; MILK FAT; NONFAT MILK; SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER) ; COCONUT; SUGAR; ALMONDS (ROASTED IN COCOA BUTTER AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL) ; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL); WHEY (MILK); COCOA; SALT; NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR ; CHOCOLATE; SOY LECITHIN; HYDROLYZED MILK PROTEIN; SODIUM METABISULFITE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; SULFUR DIOXIDE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; CARAMEL COLOR

Real-Food Almond Joys:  RAW ALMONDS; UNSWEETENED COCONUT FLAKES; MEDJOOL DATES; COCONUT OIL; DARK CHOCOLATE

Hopefully you already know the dangers of partially hydrogenated oils, and the health concerns over corn syrup, but there are many more concerns I have over the additional ingredients listed.

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