I'm excited to share my first recipe from a guest poster and it's a good one! I have always had a pretty big sweet tooth and that didn't go away entirely when I decided to eat cleaner. I did get over my "addiction" to sugar (thankgoodness) but I do still like to have some homemade treats once in awhile, that are refined sugar free and deliciously YUMMY. So I was psyched to try these homemade peanut butter cups from Nicole Waenink over at LittleHomeCookbook.com. And you will be too!
Alright, Nicole... take it from here!
I came from a place where I almost entirely ate home cooked meals. My mom always did an incredible job ensuring that our family ate primarily whole foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, and I thought I was living incredibly healthy. My journey changed when I met my husband; due to his personal health convictions and family’s history of food allergies he has a very restricted diet. I’m a total foodie so I saw this as a new challenge to my cooking skills. Our kitchen is currently completely gluten and dairy free, we mostly shop from the produce section of the grocery store, and most importantly are on a path to completely eliminate refined sugar from our diet.
Eliminating refined sugar from our diet has been the most challenging aspect of changing my diet, but also the most rewarding. I noticed that giving up sugar has made three big impacts on my life.
1) My skin cleared up.
This is HUGE for me! And for so many other people. Acne is something that I have struggled with since my teenage years and into my adult life. It is so incredibly frustrating to watch as the skin of almost everyone around you appears flawless and smooth while you are constantly battling another breakout!
After I got married, I began seeing a naturopath. Over the next couple months, my acne was slowly but surely starting to get better. I was seeing fewer and less aggressive breakouts. I figured it had everything to do with the magic that my naturopathic doctor was working until I did a very lazy thing; I made a dessert using white sugar. It tasted sensational! The next day I tried another experiment with white sugar, also incredibly delicious. But NOT worth it! My face exploded with pimples! And I ate sugar for a week – because I couldn’t stop! The reward centers in my brain were freaking out and thoroughly enjoying my indulgent failure.
So I was stuck seeing the aftermath of my silly sugar adventure for several weeks – goodbye white sugar!
2) I was in control of my body.
I did a foolish thing the other day, I ate a donut. This Canadian girl loves donuts – specifically Tim Hortons Sour Cream Glazed donuts. There were a couple months in my life where I bought a donut once a week (once a week was me having self-control"). This was the point in my life where I ate anything I wanted and never gained a pound. Oh to be 19 again!
As I was about halfway through my donut my hands and feet began to shake and my mind became very unfocused. Suddenly I realized that my body was digesting the sugar and I was no longer in control of my body or my mind. I used to blame this feeling on the caffeine that I was consuming. Now I can drink a cup of caffeinated coffee and it doesn’t have me bouncing off the walls.
3) I had control over my cravings.
Every single time I lose my self-control and consume sugar, I realize something new about how great life is when don’t consume it! I once again have an anecdote for you about how I ate chocolate – and it was delicious – but then I ate sugar for a full week straight. I once again – ate a donut. It was little, and I didn’t think it was a big deal. The next day I was making a dessert to bring over to a friend’s place and silly me, I used white sugar from the very back of my cupboard. And we ate it, and then we ate more the next day, and then I did another white sugar experiment the week after, and I ate sugar for a full week straight.
The point is – I ate sugar and suddenly my body was telling me that it needed more. I didn’t even realize the problem until after all the desserts were gone and I was hunting for sweets. Learning from this experience, I made a conscious effort not to use sugar, and the cravings were manageable.
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup cocoa powder or carob powder
¼ cup honey
½ cup natural peanut butter
½ tsp sea salt
Place coconut oil in a glass or metal bowl.
Stir until soft. If it is not softening, boil water and pour it into a larger bowl. Place smaller bowl of coconut oil into it to help soften. Do not let the oil melt completely, your chocolate will fail.
Slowly add about ¼ cup of cocoa powder to oil and stir well, continue adding cocoa powder in ¼ cup portions and combine well.
Add liquid honey to the mixture and completely combine.
Fill a 24 cup miniature cupcake tray with liners.
Use a teaspoon to fill the bottom of each cupcake liner with a layer of chocolate. Place the cupcake tray in the fridge on a flat surface for 30 or more minutes.
Combine peanut butter and salt. Scoop 1 tsp over the cooled chocolate in the cupcake liners.
Finally divide the remaining amount of chocolate over each layer of peanut butter. Refrigerate to set firm up the peanut butter cups.
Store in the fridge for the ideal texture. They can also be stored in the freezer if you intend to store them for more than a week.
Check out more delicious recipes from Nicole over at Little Home Cookbook!