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Healthy Candy Bars – No Refined Sugar

These bars are officially titled “Life-Changing Candy Bars” at our house, but really they are just some amazing, wholesome, healthy candy bars, and I hope you guys love em as much as we do!

*Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links in this post which just means if you buy something via a link in my post, I’d get a commission. ¬†It doesn’t cost you anything extra at all. ūüôā

healthycandybars

I really don’t think I’m being dramatic with that.

Our whole family was starting to get a little bit twitchy about the lack of sugar because …. sugar addiction (more on that here). ¬†We needed to get started experimenting with making desserts, particularly healthy candy bars, outta the good stuff and only the good stuff. ¬†And we did. ¬†When I was making this, I just wanted something sweet and yummy, and what I ended up with was the most decadent tasting healthy chocolate candy goodness I’ve ever tasted.

You guys, as soon as I tasted this stuff, I immediately felt a huge feeling of relief because I knew I wouldn’t be deprived even though I am no longer eating refined sugar! ¬†Yay! ¬†If you guys are scared to quit sugar because of the fear of not having any more yumminess, fear not. ¬†You need to try these healthy candy bars. ¬†Don’t let the word healthy fool you.

healthy candy bars

Let’s get going with how to make these babies so you can eat em up! ¬†They literally take like 5 minutes. ¬†Of course if you want to chill them or whatever, you totally can, but seriously, I can just eat the stuff right out of the food processor.

You’ll need a food processor for these. ¬†I suppose you could try a blender if your blender chops up nuts finely, but mine doesn’t. ¬†This is the food processor I have – cheap and works great.

healthycandybars

Ingredients

This recipe only takes 6 easy to find ingredients and about 5 minutes of time (a couple more minutes if you bought unpitted dates like I did). ¬†Don’t be scared of dates. ¬†I was for so long, but it was crazy because they are my new bestie. ¬†Aldi even has them in the produce section!!

15 pitted Medjool dates (also available on Amazon and Thrive)

1/4 cup heaping peanut butter or almond butter*

2 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa

1/2 cup rolled oats (could also use quick oats)

1/4 c heaping nuts (I like peanuts)

2 tbsp chia seeds (also available on Amazon)

*If you want these refined sugar free, you need to buy a peanut butter or other nut butter that does not contain refined sugar. ¬†They’ll totally work with “regular” if that’s what you have on hand.

medjooldates

Making the healthy candy bars

The first step is for if you have dates with pits in them. ¬†You’ll need to remove them. ¬†It’s not complicated (even though at first I was clueless). ¬†Just slice down each date, pull apart at the cut, and remove the pit. ¬†Easy peasy. ¬†Mmmm look at that caramelly goodness! ¬†Dates are God’ caramel, I’m convinced. ¬†Sometimes dates are not super gooey, and if you want to, you can totally soak them in water for 15 mins or so to soften them up which will make it easier on your food processor, but if they are soft and sticky, it’s really not necessary.

Pittingdates

Throw the dates into your food processor.

dates

Add in your peanuts (or other nuts of choice)

Throw in your oats

And your nut butter … I like a heaping measure because it gives you a little bit more candy!

Then add in your baking cocoa to transform these into chocolate heaven!

Toss in your chia seeds for some extra healthy candy bar goodness:

That’s it! ¬†Look at that deliciousness, but just wait …

Put the lid on your processor and go chop this goodness for about 30 seconds to a minute.  It will depend on your processor and how strong it is.

Seriously …. I need to go make some of this right this second!

Go ahead and have a bite of your healthy candy bars mixture!

It’s amazing. ¬†Life-changing. ¬†Chocolatey. ¬†Hubby and I were discussing that this would be SO good just as is all crumbly to top some banana or coconut milk ice cream.

Forming the bars

Now take it and smash your healthy candy bars into an 8 x 8 baking pan or whatever mold you want to use. ¬†My mold was a bit too big this time because both of my 8 x 8 pans were already in use. ¬†It really doesn’t matter. ¬†Smaller pan = fatter bars. ¬†Larger pan = thinner bars. ¬†Thinner bars are sad, but I’ll show you what I did with mine. ¬†It will all be okay. ¬†You could even roll them into balls.

I put plastic wrap in mine so that they’d be easy to take out after. ¬†I highly recommend it. ¬†Don’t you just love seeing those onions in the background?

Since my pan was a bit large and I ended up with thin healthy candy bars, I just double stacked em. ¬†You can cut them however you want, squares, candy bar shapes, whatever. ¬†I cut mine into rectangles that then got cut in half and stacked up. ¬†The moral of the story is it doesn’t matter. ¬†You could totally squish them into a chocolate mold or whatever too, to make them pretty.

Oh my heavenly goodness! Look at these healthy candy bars!!

These were gone in about 30 seconds once I yelled at the kids to grab one!

I cut these into 8 bars which seems perfect. ¬†If you need more, I’d make a separate batch rather than trying to shove more into the food processor because I feel like it wouldn’t mix as well.

healthy candy bars

Seriously, go make some and have your healthy candy bar dreams come true!

healthycandybars

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Sugar Dangers – The Sweet Poison

The Dangers of Sugar – The Sweet Poison

*This post may contain affiliate links which means if you purchase something through a link, I may earn a commission from the sale. ¬†I totally appreciate any sales made on my links! ūüôā

dangers of sugar

I have known for a long time that sugar is not a nutritious food. ¬†I have been told, “Don’t eat too much candy, it’s not good for you” many times. ¬†However, even though I know this, it never really sunk in deeply. ¬†I didn’t give it much of a second thought until recently. ¬†My husband was watching a documentary about health problems in America and mentioned to me that sugar was really dangerous. ¬†For him to get really concerned about it, I knew that there had to be some evidence and major issues there, so I began to research. ¬†It did not take long before I discovered a whole slew of incriminating information.

If you are anything like I was (and still am), you will probably not want to read this article because you don’t even want to know. ¬†You straight up don’t want to give up that indulgent, happiness-inducing sweet taste you crave. ¬†I assure you, though I have given up refined sugars, I have NOT given up sweetness. ¬†You certainly don’t have to either. ¬†There are plenty of sweet things that are naturally grown, so you will not have to deprive yourself. ¬† The only good thing sugar does is tastes good. ¬†I assure you many, many other things taste just as good without the dangers.

The Purpose of Eating

The main purpose of eating is to nourish our bodies, right? ¬†Food gives us the nutrients we need to function optimally. ¬†The pleasure of eating is no small thing either. ¬†One problem with sugar is that it has SO many negative effects, plus it offers us nothing in return – no protein, no vitamins, no enzymes – nothing. ¬†Here are just some of the many, many reasons that sugar is in fact a poison and should not be consumed. ¬†I know some people say everything in moderation, but with this evidence, I don’t want any part of it. ¬†There are plenty of healthy sweet foods to eat instead. ¬†I never want to touch the stuff again.

sugar is poison

Reasons Everyone Should Quit Sugar:

It weakens your liver:

When you eat sugar, it is broken down into glucose and fructose.  The fructose is what causes the problems.  The only way it can be broken down or metabolized is by the liver.  This is not a problem if you are eating a plant-based diet with some sugars from fruits, but if you are eating a standard American diet that includes massive amounts of sugar in a single sitting, then your poor liver is going to have trouble.  The excess sugars  end up being converted into fat (yes, FAT).

If you are eating tons of it daily, you are going to get an obnoxious amount of fat buildup which will lead to fatty liver disease. Fruit is not what causes these problems. ¬†What I’m talking about here is all the processed gross stuff that is put in candy bars, packaged snack cakes, even pasta sauces, cereals, and, well, pretty much 90% of processed foods.

SUGAR contributes to type II diabetes, obesity, and heart disease:

Excessive sugar in our bodies causes insulin to stop working correctly. ¬†Our cells become resistant to it because they are so overloaded. ¬†This leads to all kinds of dangerous problems, especially type II diabetes, which in turn can lead to other serious complications. ¬†No fun. ¬†I don’t know about you, but I want nothing to do with causing disease in my body. ¬†Drinking sugary sodas is a huge contributor to type II diabetes as well.

Sugar causes cancer:

You know how I just told you about how sugar causes insulin to stop working correctly in our bodies?  Well, this is BAD because insulin plays a big part in regulating cell growth and multiplication.  Cancer happens when cells are multiplying and growing in an abnormal way.  Eating sugar basically causes your body to not be able to control these growths, so you are basically giving cancer a free pass to grow itself in your body.  No thank you.

Sugar promotes obesity:

I’ve covered this a bit, but see, eating sugar is a big bad cycle. ¬†First of all, it causes all kinds of trouble in our bodies, but then secondly, it also doesn’t cause us to feel full when we eat it. Instead, eating it makes us want more and more. ¬†It’s like a drug in the fact that it is incredibly addictive. ¬†You know how you can eat like half a bag of Skittles in 1 sitting without feeling full? ¬†Maybe that’s just me. ¬†Anyway, the fact that this dangerous substance is so addictive AND doesn’t cause us to become full is a double whammy, and just majorly increases the dangerous effects in our bodies.

Sugar causes heart disease:

Isn’t it crazy that in our society, it seems like we choose a food to target as the bad guy, and focus on that so much that we ignore everything else? ¬†I remember as a teen, it was fat. ¬†Fat was what made you fat. ¬†Makes sense, right? ¬†There were all kinds of fat-free or low-fat products produced, and they were just totally sugar laden to make up for the lack of fat in them so they would still be palatable. ¬†Well, guess what? ¬†It was a total hoax. ¬†Sugar is the big culprit.

Sugar raises blood sugar, insulin levels, and it also raises your bad cholesterol (LDL). ¬†Guess what? ¬†Those are all major risk factors for heart disease. ¬†Now I’m not saying eating fats constantly is good either, but they are not the only bad guy here. ¬†This is a bit off topic, but honestly, if you stick with plant-based sources for your sugars and fats, you are going to be doing very well. ¬†It’s when you get into the processed crud that you start to have issues.

And there are plenty more …

While researching the dangers, I found so many lists of the negative effects. ¬†I didn’t research all of these. ¬†I picked out what seemed to be the most dangerous or life-threatening ones to really look into. ¬†If you are curious about more, a quick Google search will get you to lists of all kinds. ¬†Some of the other negative effects of sugar can include osteoporosis (weakened bones), rotting teeth (we have all heard this one), wrinkles and skin aging, gallstones, ulcers, damaging your immune system so you can’t fight disease as effectively, arthritis, eczema, and worsening eyesight.

All in all, I think the evidence is overwhelming that sugar is, in fact, a poison. ¬†The fact that it is all over the grocery store in attractive packaging, being passed off as food, just makes me mad. ¬†It should not be like this. ¬†My kids are not thrilled when we go to the store now – when they see a delicious-looking package of chocolate, of course they want it. ¬†So do I, because over the past 36 years of my life I’ve been conditioned to think sugar = yummy. ¬†Sugar = delicious. ¬†Sugar = happiness. ¬†We need to educate ourselves and retrain our brains to associate sugar with poison, disease, addiction, drugs, and danger.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION & Books on the subject:

10 Things You Don’t Know About Sugar (And What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You)

The Harmful Effects of Sugar

Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease

10 Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar is Bad For You



Coming Soon:  How to Survive While Quitting Sugar

I’m curious what you guys think.

Do you avoid sugar, or are you new to the party like me? ¬†I’m not going to say it’s easy – there’s that addiction – but the desire to avoid these negative effects is stronger for me. ¬†I have tried all kinds of diets over the past 15 years, and I have never felt the way I do now. ¬†Before, it was just about losing weight and looking better. ¬†Now, it’s about health and not damaging my body and my children’s bodies. ¬†And now that I know, how can I not change our ways?

Disclosure:  I am not a physician, and any information found on my blog should not be considered medical advice.  You should always seek professional medical guidance for your unique situation.