For most people it starts innocently enough, keeping energy bars in your desk drawer for an emergency or taking one with on a hike. But for some people this habit quickly gets out of control.
Most of these bars are a “who's who” of foods suspected of being allergens or addictive, like soy, wheat, corn syrup, and sugar.
If you find yourself grabbing a bar in place of a healthy meal, you may be in trouble. I'm embarrassed to admit it got so bad for me that I had hidden stashes around the house. I'd even hide a dozen or so in my suitcase when traveling to places known for their culinary delights, like Italy and Paris. How addicted is that?
When I finally quit eating commercial energy bars, one immediate side benefit was that I was immediately less hungry throughout the day.
Snack bars, health bars, nutrition bars, energy bars, or power bars — no matter what you call them, most of them are less healthy than a candy bar. And more expensive, too.
A very deceptive trick used on these labels is to list ingredients within ingredients. For example, a bar that contains “chocolate-flavored coating” may have that ingredient's components in parentheses. This lets the manufacturer divvy up the amount of sugar so it doesn’t appear high on the list of ingredients.
Sugar snack bars often contain other sugars like corn syrup, fructose syrup, fructose, and corn maltodextrin. Many also contain unhealthy vegetable oils like fractionated palm kernel oil (separated by heat), sunflower oil, high oleic safflower, and sunflower oil.
Isolated soy protein is a very common protein source, which is highly processed, stripped of nutrients, bathed in chemicals, hard to digest, and usually genetically modified.
I still like my sweet treats, though, so I came up with this recipe as a guilt-free snack that is nutrition dense and will fill you up instead of making you more hungry.
Healthy No-Bake Double Coconut Fudge
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I use rice syrup)
- 6 tablespoons almond butter
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons whey protein powder
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
Mix first 3 ingredients together. This works much better if the coconut oil is liquid and the almond butter is at room temperature.
Combine all other ingredients. Press into a small, flat container. (A storage container designed to hold a sandwich works perfectly.)
Store in the fridge. Once it’s semisolid cut into 9-12 serving size pieces.
Substitutions are welcome! If you don’t use whey protein, you can substitute with a healthy dry ingredient of your choice like almond or coconut flour or meal. Try using honey instead of rice syrup, chopped almonds instead of walnuts, or peanut butter instead of almond butter.
This fudge is very rich and a small portion will keep you satisfied. It keeps very well in the fridge but once you serve it, you should eat it soon since it will get soft.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com