October 30, 2014

ALL THINGS VEGAN | A Trick on a Treat to Make Your Halloween Sweet

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By AMANDA WAHLSTEDT

Happy Halloween fellow candy corn munchers! The holiday of the tiniest outfits possible is finally here. And while we aren’t busy buying last minute cat suits or French maid garters, we’re chomping on sugar-filled, teeth rotting, devilishly delicious candy. And while I may be guilty of wearing the oh-so original bunny ear get-up, I’m proud to say that I at least don’t objectify myself to the poison we carry around in our pumpkin-shaped baskets.

Whenever this time of year comes around, I find myself terrified — and while I wish my horror was of ghosts and goblins, it’s from the amount of junk that we not only eat, but that we pass around to little kids, corrupting youth with the evils of Twix bars and Tootsie Pops. Instead, opt for a healthier alternative that doesn’t sacrifice nutrition for taste. Lets take the beloved Reese’s:

Dissecting the REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup

Ingredients:

Doesn’t seem too terrible, right? Wrong. That milk chocolate that makes up most of this candy is made up of even more stuff: Sugar being the leading ingredient, followed by cocoa butter, and then nonfat milk. I bet you’re thinking, hey! Skim milk! Awesome! Wrong again. The next ingredient? Milk fat. (They thought they tricked us there.) Following this is soy lecithin, an emulsifier in chocolate made from a mixture of phospholipids and soybean oil that usually contains chemicals like hexane as well as pesticides, and then PGPR emulsifier, another emulsifier made from castor beans. Hooray, milk chocolate done.

Next we have peanuts, followed by even more sugar on top of what was in the milk chocolate. Then we have dextrose, which believe it or not, is even more sugar! Dextrose is just glucose extracted from starch (think corn), with water added to it, and almost no nutritional benefits. Then we have salt, and finally TBHQ, which is a preservative that extends the shelf life of a product. The end result: 210 empty calories worth of sugar, with a touch of chocolate and peanuts, and a dash of chemicals. That’s 21 grams of sugar to be exact, along with 4.5 grams of the not-so-healthy saturated fat.

So instead, take 10 minutes of your day to make your own simple, delicious peanut butter cup.

RECIPE | Homemade Nut Butter Cup

Ingredients:

Directions:

Benefits:

If you’re not exactly a Betty Crocker type gal, grab one of Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, sold at CTB, Wegamans or Greenstar. These treats are only 80 calories a piece, and though they still contain some sugar and oils, they’re a drastically better choice than your standard Reese’s.

Trick or treat everyone!

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