Un, flipping, BELIEVABLE!
(Yet it REALLY is true!)
You can ACTUALLY make homemade, HEALTHY, favorite versions....... of EVERYONE'S favorite candy! And.... vegan, too. What more can I say?
These are so delectable, tasty, EVEN better than the "real-thing." And, if we are being honest here, that candy we all know, and love, from the store..... it's ALL fake, fake, FAKE!
I was SO excited to hear about this weeks challenge. I have been eating this way for quite some time for several reasons.
One, is that sugar,
Real, RAW, delectable sugar is ACTUALLY
brown in color! Say WHAT?
Yeah, you heard me right, the sugar we eat in practically EVERYTHING we eat on a day to day basis (soda-pop, 99% of store bought candy and desserts, average dressings & sauces.... almost everything store-bought these days is FAKE, FAKE, FAKE!
That is why I choose to have self-control and make many of my meals from scratch... made with REAL & RAW foods.
And I actually was a sugar-addict for mostly my entire life. But, due to unforseen circumstances, I had to make the conscious-choice to eat foods that give my bones, my skin, my body, my health, the TRUE life it actually needs...
For almost forever & forever, people have been harvesting their OWN foods, growing their food, catching their food: this is what they do NOT teach in school! And it really bothers me, lets get honest here!
My kids should know the truth behind the horrific diets that the average consumer is lied about being healthy, every.... single.... day!
[Shaking my head right now]
Consuming refined sugar has been shown to worsen practically every disease under the sun including mood disorders, neurological conditions, gastrointestinal disease, hormonal and immune dysregulation, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.
Equal and NutraSweet are two brands of aspartame, a calorie-free artificial sweetener. Since it’s FDA approval in 1974, it has been a hot topic of controversy. After its FDA approval, an investigation of the data showing that it was harm-free was accused of being falsified by its producers (9).
Additionally, numerous studies, including large meta-analyses of a multitude of scientific studies, have concluded that there is no cardio-metabolic benefit for patients to consume it over regular sugar, and actually worsen diseases like diabetes (10). Over the past decade, there have been various animal studies for and against its association with increased risk of cancer. Due to the above, I place this in the “do not consume” category.
Splenda, also known as sucralose, is another calorie-free artificial sweetener that entered the market in 1999, and gained lots of traction in the early 2000’s. A 2016 study on rats showed that it increased the risk of some blood cell cancers (11).
In order to make sucralose, regular sugar (sucrose) is treated with chlorine. The resulting sucralose molecule contains 3 chlorocarbon atoms, which act as insecticides because of the toxic effect of chlorine.
This is why ants are repelled by sucralose or Splenda. It’s actually a fun experiment to watch them run from it. Chlorine is also toxic to humans and can specifically negatively impact the thyroid gland. Needless to say, let’s put this on the “do not consume” list (12).
Taken from: [[https://www.parsleyhealth.com/blog/fake-sugar-real-sugar-best-worst/]]
People have been cultivating sugarcane for thousands of years, and it’s thought that people living in India first developed the process to extract and purify the juice into sugar. Early sugar was formed into large, solid blocks ranging in color from off-white to light brown. Chunks were chiseled off and ground to a sugar powder.
Taken from: [[https://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/sweeteners-real-and-fake]]
Dee Momi, nutritionist & founder of MINT Wellbeing, says this can manifest in all sorts of ways. “From the most obviously visible – weight gain (particularly around the belly area), a higher risk of developing acne and fluctuating moods – to the more critical, including increasing your risk of CANCER, TYPE 2 DIABETES, and HEART DISEASE.
It also has the potential to disrupt an area of the brain, nutrition researcher from Brain Feed LTD, Dishalni Senthilkumaran, says. “Excess sugar can have an inflammatory effect on the brain’s memory centre and can be an increased risk factor in cognitive decline, whilst a 2017 study at UCL also sugar increases the likelihood of anxiety and depression.”
We know that sugar can cause a positive ‘rush’ over a short period of time. And while this is typically associated with hyperactivity in children, sugar actually triggers pleasure responses in adults too. “Sugar triggers your reward and pleasure chemical dopamine, which is released when you derive pleasure from great food, sex and a sense of accomplishment. Excess dopamine can reduce novelty and prompt impulsive behaviour.”
Coming down from a sugar rush as your blood sugar levels return to normal can leave you feeling fatigued, thirsty, with headaches and frequent need to urinate.
Along with the long-term risks of disease and the mental impacts, sugar is famously bad for your dental hygiene. The NHS say that sugary food and drinks are in fact one of the main causes of tooth decay, as “acid is produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugar. The acid dissolves the tooth surface, which is the first stage of tooth decay.”
Unrefined brown sugars ar3 produced directly from cane juice! Sugar mills all around the world, which are always close to cane fields, use hundreds of years old know-how to squeeze the cane juice and refine it.
This "refining" process involves 3 STEPS: The production starts by collecting and clarifying the cane juice and then boiling its water off through slow simmering in open kettles. And then, as cane juice is then concentrated, a sticky dark syrup which is called cane molasses, surrounds the pure sugar (sucrose) crystals. Hand paddling cools and dries the syrup. Then, the color of the resulting brown sugars depends on the amount of molasses that retain in the product.
In the past, sugar mills used to separate the sugars crystals from the molasses by using upright conical pots: The first unrefined sugar was called sugar loaf. The molasses drained through a hole at the base of a cone. We can still buy unrefined sugars shaped like a cone (piloncillo from Mexico) or a block (panela from Colombia).
All unrefined brown sugars sold in stores are non-genetically modified (non-GMO), kosher, and suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and Halal!!!
Parts borrowed from:
Now, onto the GOOD stuff... Jaggery.
Jaggery is an unrefined sugar product made in Asia and Africa.
It is sometimes referred to as a “non-centrifugal sugar,” because it’s not spun during processing to remove the nutritious molasses, which give REAL sugar that beautiful brown color. Most of our Planets production of this awesome unrefined sugar takes place in none other than... India!
This process has a nice 3-step-system:
First, EXTRACTION: The canes or palms are pressed to extract the sweet juice or sap.
Second, CLARIFICATION: The juice is allowed to stand in large containers so that any sediment settles to the bottom. It is then strained to produce a clear liquid!
Third, CONCENTRATION: The juice is placed in a very large, flat-bottomed pan and boiled.
During this process, the jaggery is stirred and the impurities are skimmed off the top until only a yellow, dough-like paste remains.
This stuff is honestly SUPER interesting to me, it gives you that like super-satisfying feeling, like when you watch super-satisfying video's on YouTube!
[[Seriously, these are legitimately WAY better than STORE BOUGHT!!!!!]
VEGAN SNICKERS BAR!!!!!!!!
I..... am actually NOT kidding right meow (stop it kitty, you STILL can't eat this, for humans only!)
Oh..... my..... goodness..... It blows my flipping mind that I don't have to waste my hard-earned cash anymore on a 150% fake candy bar from the store anymore... or EVER again!
I don't ever again have to waste my hard-earned cash on something that also make's me, lets get real here.... less of a motivated person over time.
In my opinion (and in science), UNREFINED SUGAR, and REAL, RAW, natural sweeteners, are serioualy, like, what we should be using!
And by the way, these taste actually WAY better than my old-time favorite candy the Snickers bar, Twix bars, and the classic everyone loves... 7 Layer bars. We'll, I would actually call it the "REAL but FAKE Snickers/Twix bars,"
because, these recipe's right here are the actually REAL, non-factory made candy bar's you should definitely know about.
Yes, I am NOT lying to you right meow (stop it, cat, this is for MAMA!!)
SIMPLE INGREDIENT LIST:
2 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
2/3 cup RAW cashews soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes
1/3 cup cacao butter ((see notes))
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup/agave/sweetener of choice
1 cup homemade VEGAN caramel
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
[[HOMEMADE VEGAN CARAMEL]]
1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup maple syrup, 1 cup coconut oil.
Melt all the ingredients together, either stovetop or in a microwave safe bowl. Whisk together, until the coconut oil is fully mixed into the other ingredients.
Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, melt 1 & 1/4 cups of chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate into the pan, and spread out until completely covered. Place in the refrigerator.
In a high speed blender or food processor, add your soaked cashews, cacao butter, and maple syrup. Pulse until thick and smooth. Pour the nougat mixture over the chocolate and refrigerate.
While it is refrigerating again, prepare your caramel. Pour that over the nougat and bottom layer of chocolate, followed by the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Melt remaining chocolate chips and pour over everything and refrigerate until the chocolate has firmed up. Slice into bars.
((Fridge: 2 weeks; freezer: 6 months!!))
VEGAN TWIX BARS!!!!!!!!!!
MORE SIMPLE INGREDIENTS:
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup almond flour/meal/flour of choice
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 tablespoons PURE honey/unrefined sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, & more for topping
3/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk, using only the coconut cream, no water
2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
12 ounces vegan chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
2. To make the coconut layer. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded coconut, almond flour, coconut oil, honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and salt until combined. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Transfer to the oven and bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. In a medium pot, combine the maple syrup and coconut cream and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 12-15 minutes or until thickened to a caramel like sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond butter and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Let the mix cool slightly, then pour over the coconut base layer. Transfer to the freezer, freeze 30 minutes, until firm.
4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave until melted and smooth. Let cool 10 minutes.
5. Cut bars into 16 bars. Cover/dip each bar in chocolate, return to the freezer to let the chocolate set up, about 10 minutes. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!!
VEGAN 7 LAYER BARS!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 & 1/2 cups fine graham crackers, crushed
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped dates OR more chocolate chips
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts, optional
2/3 cup full fat shredded coconut
1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
3 tbsp oil or buttery spread, optional
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper going a little up each side. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, toss the graham cracker crumbs with the sweetene, and then transfer evenly to the bottom of the prepared pan. Press down. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, dates, coconut, and optional nuts over top. Now evenly pour the coconut milk over top. Place in the oven. Bake 33 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 10-15 minutes to firm up. (If still too soft for some reason, they also get much firmer if you refrigerate overnight.) Slice into bars, wiping the knife after each cut!