“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” -Julia Child
When I was a kid, I loved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I always wondered how it was they got the peanut butter in the inside. Did they use a syringe to do it? Did they ‘glue’ together the peanut butter layer in between the chocolate layers? I was mystified. But eventually I stopped thinking about it and ate them anyway.
Then I got older and wiser. And I learned how to make raw chocolate. I learned that raw food still holds all the beneficial enzymes and vitamins and nutrients that most cooked and processed foods are lacking.
And then - I looked up the ingredients in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. This is what their website gives us:
MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR; COCOA BUTTER; CHOCOLATE; NONFAT MILK; MILK FAT; LACTOSE; SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER); PEANUTS; SUGAR; DEXTROSE; SALT; TBHQ (PRESERVATIVE)
Lets break down a couple of the ingredients and why I don’t include them in my diet.
Milk: Conventional milk is toxic. It contains blood, pus, feces, antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones, and a whole variety of other toxic chemicals. In addition, the calcium in milk becomes inorganic and un-absorbable once the milk is pasteurized. Because of that, the calcium is deposited in the soft tissues of the body and calcify, literally forming hard deposits and leading to a number of diseases in the body. And finally, for most people, milk is indigestible after they pass the age of three. The body secretes little rennin and lactase after the mother stops breast feeding (roughly the age of three). The rennin and lactase are needed to break down the casein and lactose present in milk. Once a child stops breastfeeding, the intelligence of the body stops producing the enzymes necessary to digest milk.
Soy lecithin: "Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a "degumming" process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.” Read more.
Peanuts: Peanuts are frequently contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin. In addition, they are one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops. Furthermore, a common flame retardant chemical is showing up in a variety of store-bought foods including meat, peanut butter and fish. Does that sound like something you’d like to wrap chocolate around?
Sugar: Sugar, even in small amounts, is detrimental to your health. It suppresses the immune system for hours and plays significant effect on your hormones, throwing your body out of balance and into a state of biochemical chaos. Furthermore, sugar is actually an anti-nutrient, meaning that it leaches nutrients from your body! Because certain nutrients are removed from sugar in the refining process, your body cannot process it. So, it leaches minerals from your body to attach to the refined sugar molecules in order to move the sugar through your body. Also, because it’s an anti-nutrient, sugar also causes calcium to be lost in the urine, which in turn is replaced by calcium from the bones, leading to osteoporosis.
TBHQ: Consuming high doses (between 1 and 4 grams) of TBHQ can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and vomiting. It may also lead to hyperactivity in children as well as asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis. It may also further aggravate ADHD symptoms and cause restlessness. Long term, high doses of TBHQ in laboratory animals have shown a tendency for them to develop cancerous precursors in their stomachs, as well as cause DNA damage to them. It is also suggested that it may be responsible for affecting estrogen levels in women. Why is it we need to add this to our foods?
We don’t! Remove these health-harmers from your diet!
Instead, you can make your own healthy and raw Almond Butter Cups in as quick as 30 minutes!
Watch the Video and learn how easy it is to make your own!
1 cup cacao butter
1 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup honey or sugar cane crystals (or a mixture of both)
dash of sea salt (about a teaspoon)
dash of vanilla
1 tablespoon (ish) of almond butter per cup (or your nut butter of choice)
18 cupcake liners
Melt the cacao butter and cacao powder in a double broiler. Once you reach a velvety smooth consistency, turn off the heat. Stir in the sweetener, sea salt and vanilla until fully dissolved.
Place 1 cupcake liner in each cupcake spot. Add 1 tablespoon to each cup of the chocolate. Put cupcake container in freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from freezer and add about 1 tablespoon of almond butter to each cup. (Store bought is fine, but home-made is even better! It’s ridiculously easy.)
Top with the chocolate mixture to cover the almond butter completely. Put back in freezer for 30 more minutes to set completely.
When you are ready to eat, remove from freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to soften first.
This recipe makes 18 raw cacao cups. Enjoy. These are seriously the best! Super tasty and easy to make and you can get really creative with the filling; I like using different combinations of hazelnut, cashew butter, mint, lavender, rose, vanilla, etc.
Have fun with it! And remember that many of the foods you are buying can be quite easy to make yourself!
Erin Schumacher is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Erin is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.