Say ‘no’ to high-fructose corn syrup with these easy homemade treats filled with only the good stuff
Perhaps it’s counterintuitive to begin a post about sweets with talk of a food-based cleanse, but that’s what I’m doing, so let’s roll with it, shall we? When I kicked off my first Whole 30 four years ago, those who I divulged the information to were quick to balk at everything I was giving up. Alcohol, sugar, grains, dairy… Cheese-with-a-capitol-C… some of these categories are pillars of the modern diet, so it’s understandable when the premise of the program is met with disbelief. But what I chose to focus on was all that could be discovered. New ingredients, new preparations and, most importantly, a fresh understanding of how food affects our internal system. When the time came to reintroduce those off-limits foods and pay close attention the the results, I learned, among other things, that dairy makes me break out, quinoa causes stomach pain, and that peanuts and peanut butter wreak absolute havoc on my system. While I’m happy to give up dairy and set aside the quinoa, that last one was pretty hard to digest (pardon the pun). Peanut butter is delicious, am I right? But as much as giving up peanutty things was difficult, if I hadn’t done so I wouldn’t have discovered an even more delicious alternative: sunflower butter. Smooth and creamy, much like its legume counterpart, sunflower butter tastes similar and is just as satisfying (if not more so). I now keep a jar in my pantry at all times, ready and available for when the mood strikes or when a recipe calls for peanuts. It’s become a staple, one I wouldn’t have discovered had I not set aside the conventional in favor of something different.
Knowledge is power when it comes to all areas of your life, especially food. Whether you’re taking the time to build yourself the perfect power salad to take to work instead of buying lunch, or seeking the ingredients that make you feel your best, you’re sending a message of love and empowerment to your heart and mind. This includes sweets. After reading hundreds of labels and swearing off candy for those first 30 days, I knew that I wanted complete control when it came to the indulgences in my life. No high-fructose corn syrup. No unpronounceable ingredients. An indulgence should be something that makes you feel happy, something sweet and decadent you can bite into knowing it’s crafted with the highest quality ingredients and utmost care. With the Easter holiday coming up on Sunday, I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for the chocolate bunnies and peanut butter-filled eggs of my youth. On Wednesday I shared my recipe for date caramel chocolate eggs, and today I’ve brought you a recipe that puts store-bought peanut butter eggs to shame. These dark chocolate-covered sunflower butter eggs not only taste incredible, but they’re filled with only the good stuff, making them the perfect healthy(er) treat for Easter and beyond.
Sunflower Butter Dark Chocolate Eggs
- For the filling:
1 cup 100% sunflower butter (check the label to ensure no added sugar and oils)
2 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Optional: 3 tbsp organic confectioners sugar or coconut sugar (optional, but recommended. This thickens the filling)
- For the chocolate:
5 oz dark chocolate (I used 1 1/2 bars of Green & Black’s organic 85%)
Silicon egg mold (we found ours on Amazon)
Double boiler or a bowl nested in a pot
Small pastry brush (optional, but recommended)
To make the filling, combine all filling ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in the double boiler, stirring occasionally, being careful to not splash any water into the chocolate. Once melted, remove from heat. The hot water in the double boiler will keep the chocolate melted.
To make the chocolate shells: use the pastry brush to paint chocolate inside the well of each egg mold, starting off with a thin coat. Paint a coat, and place the mold in the freezer to set (about 5-10 minutes per coat — I did three coats). Repeat until you have a thick shell, with space in the middle for the sunflower butter filling.
To fill the shells: remove shells from the freezer. Use a spatula or spoon to gently fill each chocolate shell with the sunflower butter filling.
Once the shells are filled, pour a spoonful of melted chocolate over the top of each egg, smoothing it out with a spoon or spatula to ensure the top of each egg is completely covered. Place in the freezer for five minutes, then repeat until you achieve the desired thickness.
When you’re ready to remove the chocolate eggs from their molds, gently pull each end of the mold to loosen the edges, then poke out the eggs one by one by inverting the cups from the bottom. Use a sharp knife to trim any chocolate from around the edges. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a week.
More food posts from the BLDG 25 blog