Let me start off by saying that we RARELY eat candy here. By RARELY, I mean at Halloween and very sporadically throughout the year. (Unless, of course, the kids are given some at school as a reward-ANNOYING, anyone?!)
I digress… My point is that there is really no need for it EVER, and candy itself is probably one of the most refined food products out there, having virtually no nutritional value at all. You won’t find this momma offering it up regularly!
That being said, I do admit that I have a slight sweet tooth and am occasionally inclined to make something at home to satisfy these cravings!
Meet my Just Like Reese’s Bars.
These do not have the numerous questionable ingredients that the actual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have. They instead are just sweet enough to be satisfying, but do not leave you with a gross feeling in your stomach after you eat them! (Just don’t eat the whole pan!)
Just Like Reese’s Bars
➡️3/4 cup coconut butter
➡️1/2 cup peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter only. Peanuts are the only ingredient.)
➡️1/2 cup pure maple syrup
➡️2 tsp. vanilla
➡️1/4 tsp. salt (We use Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt.)
➡️1/2 cup chocolate chips (We use Enjoy Life brand. See ingredients.)
➡️1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
- In a saucepan, cream together all ingredients, except those listed for the topping.
- Stir ingredients together until they are creamy. The mixture may get a little thick. If it does, add small amounts of maple syrup until it is spreadable into an 8 x 8 pan.
- Spread it evenly into a greased 8 x 8 pan.
- Cool in the refrigerator until the topping is prepared.
- In a saucepan, melt together the topping ingredients.
- Pour chocolate mixture onto your first mixture and spread it evenly.
- Cool pan in the refrigerator until the topping has hardened.
- Store in the refrigerator and cut out bars as needed.
Note: We strive to eat naturally. To us, that means we eat locally, organically, and we avoid foods that are genetically-modified and/or processed whenever possible! When prepared, recipes are modified as such. Some of us here also eat gluten, soy, and dairy free!
Now let’s explore the ingredients in actual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, non-fat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR emulsifier), peanuts, sugar, dextrose, salt, TBHQ
Besides all the refined ingredients in this product, notice specifically the suspicious ingredients:
🤢 Soy lecithin. Although many people would argue that the amount of soy lecithin in products like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is nominal and generally should not be worried about, research says otherwise. Unless it is fermented, soy and food products containing soy lecithin tend to be very estrogenic, causing adverse health effects like hormone disruption. Additionally, most soy produced in the United States is genetically modified.
🤢 PGPR (polyglycerol pilyricinoleate). Made from castor beans (NOT COCOA BEANS!!), this ingredient is used to replace cocoa beans by reducing chocolate’s viscosity and manufacturing costs. Sounds like low-quality chocolate to me…
🤢 TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone). This is an aromatic organic compound used as a preservative in food, but is also found in paints and varnishes. Not only has it been found to increase tumor size in lab rats, it also has been linked to liver enlargement, convulsions, paralysis, amongst other neurotoxic effects. Some say consumption may intensify symptoms of ADHD.
Unfortunately, these ingredients are not only found in Reese’s candy, but in chocolate bars everywhere. Check out your labels!
What’s in YOUR favorite chocolate treat? Are you ready to try mine?