Nut Butter Cups

Superfood Nut Butter Cups

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I had pretty peculiar and passionate habits around candy as a kid. You can imagine then, that my favorite holiday of the year was Halloween.
I clearly remember coming home at the end of an exhausting night with my pillow case busting at the seams full of sugary bliss, dumping it all out on the living room floor and methodically sorting it. Little mountains of gummies, hard candies, mini chocolate bars and suckers landscaped the broadloom and I sat back admiring the new world I’d created. Obsessive? Oh yea. Freakishly.

But it didn’t stop there. Everything would then get put into smaller bags according to the type of candy and those into even smaller bundles according to how much I valued that particular item. I believe most “normal” kids would eat their favorite things first, but oh no, not me. I would actually suffer through all the cruddy stuff first and hoard the rest, usually well into the Christmas season when I knew my next shipment would be coming in with my stocking.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, to tell you that by the time Santa rolled into town I still had my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups under my bed. Hands down, they were my all-time favorite.

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What is it about the combination of peanuts and chocolate? Undoubtedly, it goes beyond the magic of salty-sweet coupling to achieve something inexplicably divine. And although I’ve moved on from Reese’s, I still obsess over this pairing, albeit with a slightly more, ahem, healthy attitude.

We all know that the one thing I really love making in my kitchen is food that tastes like indulgence, but is secretly good for you (kind of the point of this blog). The biggest compliment my husband can give is: “this tastes so bad for me!” Mission accomplished. These nut butter cups fit the bill with their silky smooth, decadent chocolate and salty, nutty filling. Can I also tell you that they are healthy? No joke! When I set out to make these chocolates, I wanted to make sure I could eat more than one of them and feel good about it because I believe that is how eating should be.

The wonderful thing about this recipe, is that you will learn how to make a basic raw chocolate that you can turn into anything. Candies, bars, syrup, chocolate coating, whatever! Even if you just want to eat the chocolate all on its own you can do that too. It’s super simple to make, only requires a few ingredients and is so much healthier than the regular kind of chocolate you buy at the store and melt down yourself. It’s totally raw, full of superfood antioxidants and energizing enzymes. Food to love that loves you back.

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Lovin’ me some Lucuma
Here’s a groovy food I’ve never talked about before: Lucuma! Lucuma is a super fruit and a total superfood. It hails from Peru where it is known as “Gold of the Incas”, and has been cherished for centuries. Here in the west, the golden coloured pulpy fruit is rather difficult, if not impossible to find, so I purchase it its dried and powdered form.

Lucuma is sweet, but low on the glycemic scale, so it is perfect for anyone looking to decrease their sugar consumption. The flavour is similar to caramel or maple, so it lends itself to a wide variety of sweets. For breakfast, add a tablespoon of lucuma powder to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal. You can of course use it in desserts as well by blending it into pudding, cakes, cookies, candies, and bars. It is especially delicious in homemade ice cream!

Lucuma contains antioxidants, good amounts of fiber, healthy carbohydrates, and minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. Judging the by the bright, yellow-orange hued flesh, we know that it is packed with beta-carotene, a powerful anti-carcinogenic compound.

Look for lucuma at health shops and natural food stores. Lucuma that has been dried at low temperatures and stone-ground is of the highest quality, as these processes preserve many of the delicate nutrients the fruit contains. If you are going to be using it in baked goods, this is less important. I’ve seen a few recipes online that use lucuma in cupcakes, breads, and cookies, which all sound amazing. If any of you have had success using lucuma in baked treats, let us know in the comments.

 

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2013-09-16T18:07:55+00:00