If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have noticed this week I’m featuring alternative, real food ingredient recipes to all of our favorite candies being that Halloween is this week.

Why alternative real food recipes? 

Because the candies we all grew up loving and still do love (love me a Krackel or Butterfinger!), are something of a chemical-laden, processed foreign language of ingredients; usually from the cheapest, lowest quality sources… and low quality usually = low health when it comes to our body.  Food industry, unfortunately when it comes to our health, is a business like any other business that’s worried about one thing – the bottom line! (profits)

So first up this week, a healthier crunch bar alternative. 

 

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This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.  Out of all the recipes, this was the easiest to make.  It’s basically homemade chocolate sauce which are the same usual suspect ingredients, with crispy rice added.  A few steps and you’re done!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted cacao butter

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

3/4 cup cacao powder

2 tablespoons maple butter

1 tablespoon coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup Nature’s Path gluten-free crisp brown rice cereal

1/8 teaspoon pink salt

Optional:  I do a few different chocolate sauce recipes, but one option you can do is add 1-3 tablespoons of coconut milk.  I used one in this, but what it does is takes it progressively from a pure raw darker chocolate to a milkier chocolate.  I recommend adding a tablespoon at a time and tasting to your palate.

Note: links above are to products and brands I approve and personally use

Directions:

1. Start by melting your cacao butter and coconut oil in a sauce pan (see above picture).

When doing this only melt it on lowest heat.  I even recommend having the sauce pan barely on the burner, as well as taking it off the burner and letting it slowly melt as the pan heats up.  We want to keep the nutrient contents intact and raw cacao butter begins to melt between 95-100 degrees (that’s why chocolate melts in our mouth).  Do not microwave (that goes for anything…i’ll write an in-depth post on this in future).

2. After your cacao butter and coconut oil is melted, add all your other ingredients except the crispy rice and stir in off the heat.

3. Once all your ingredients are incorporated, add your crispy rice and stir in.

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Directions continued:

4.  Pour your chocolate-crisp rice mixture into a pan that will yield the thickness of crunch bar you want.  Pictured above I used an 8 x 8 inch metal pan that was semi-flexible.

5.  Place in freezer and let it set. I left in for about 45 minutes. 

6.  Once it’s done, pull it out of the freezer and remove from pan (see below – with a semi-flexible pan, I was able to slightly bend each side and loosen it up)

7.  Use a sharp knife to cut into section sizes you want.

8.  Store in freezer.

That’s it, fineto.

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Real food ingredient summary:

All ingredients in this crunch bar recipe are real food ingredients compared to the commercial alternative – Nestle’s Crunch Bar – with the exception of one ingredient (which you simply can not avoid for this recipe):  the crispy rice.  By definition, puffed rice is processed food, or what’s gone from a real food to a food-like product.  We don’t find “puffed” rice in nature, we find rice.  The process of “puffing” rice involves putting rice kernels under a high amount of pressure and heat, thus which can destroy nutrient content, as well as alters chemical structure to give us the puff look we see.  Sorry rice cake fans, I like them too, but they’re not part of the ’80’ in my 80/20 diet & lifestyle.  If I do ever have one, I’ll usually eat it on reward day if anything.

Now let’s take a quick look at the ingredients of a Nestle Crunch Bar:

– Milk Chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, vanillin).

– Crisped rice (rice flour, sugar, barley malt, salt).

source: ingredients

Ingredient Breakdown:

Processed sugar dominant product per being the first ingredient listed for the milk chocolate.  Ingredients on food labels are listed first to last based on highest quantity to lowest quantity. 

Cocoa butter likely not from the raw, unprocessed, unheated source.  When we process and heat raw ingredients, like many things, we lose nutrient value and can alter chemical structure.

Nonfat milk: likely from commercial sourced cows that are fed an unnatural diet to the cows biology (grains, soy, GMOs, etc), as well as kept in high stress feed-lot living conditions with little sunlight (kept indoors).  Cows are designed to eat grass and freely roam pastures in sunlight.

Soy lecithin: likely from GMO sources as around 91% of the soy crops grown in the US are genetically modified.  Soy in general, is not your friend, even though food industry, lobby and marketing would like to lead you to believe it is. One of the best books I’ve read on the truth about soy is called The Whole Soy Story, by Dr. Kaayla Daniel.  If you like soy-based products, I recommend checking out her website or her book.

Vanillin:  an artificial version of vanilla.  Just use vanilla extract!

 

Summary: 

A super simple, real food recipe to recreate in 5-10 minutes without all the chemical and processed ingredients to the alternative!

Now that being said just because it is a healthier alternative, I don’t recommend going crazy and eating a whole ton of it at one sitting.  Stay within your metabolic type ratios and enjoy in moderation like you would any candy living an 80/20 healthy lifestyle.

Enjoy!

 

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