One of my earliest baby pictures showed me with eyes closed in contented bliss. I had the chocolate and peanut butter residue from a Nutty Buddy all over my rounded face and chubby hands.
Needless to say I’ve always been a fan of the classic combination. My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I love the texture of the peanut butter; kind of a creamy, but fluffy and granulated. Almost like a cookie dough, but softer; more giving.
Imagine my devastation when I saw the Candida Diet Foods No-Go Lists entail not just sugar- strike one, chocolate- strike two, but also peanut butter- strike three.
While it has its own accent, sunflower butter is the most similar to peanut butter in texture and taste. A few tricks of the trade like adding just a touch of stevia, a little coconut oil and collagen hydrolysate, and you’ve got a mixture so similar to that Reese’s concoction, it’ll fool anyone.
No kidding. My incredibly picky, super-sensitive-palate husband tried one of these candies and said, “I thought you weren’t allowed to have peanut butter?” Success!
Speaking of collagen hydrolysate, while I think you can make this filling without it, it definitely adds to that particular Reese’s texture. It also happens to boast healing properties for the joints, the improvement of degenerative musculoskeletal diseases and anti-aging properties for the skin.
It’s packed with amino acids which aid the liver in detoxification and calm an inflamed system. It’s also easy to digest and can help with healing the intestinal lining as it supports cell regeneration.
As for the chocolate element, Candida Dieters are advised to stay away from cocoa products as they contain caffeine which, as a stimulant, releases sugars into the blood stream and feeds Candida. Carob is the alternative as it has a similar color and texture as cocoa.
While carob is not a stimulant, it does have more carbohydrates and natural sugars than cocoa. So I sometimes wonder whether it really matters which you choose if you’re gonna go there. I’ve used Lilly’s stevia sweetened chocolate in the past and as long as I kept my serving sizes minimal, never had a problem.
However, I am trying to be extremely strict and not break any rules these days as I really want to snuff out the last of the stubborn Candida that still rears it’s ugly head now and again. So if the general consensus for yeasties is to avoid chocolate, then I’ll give carob a shot as my sweet something dark this Valentine’s Day. Make sure you get unsweetened carob chips
First step is to make your filling. It’ll be runny at first. Pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes or until fairly solid. This will make it a nice pliable dough. While that’s chilling, melt your carob.
Carob is slightly more delicate than chocolate, so be careful not to let it burn.
Fill a medium-sized pot about half way with water. Put a glass bowl in the water to make sure it won’t overflow. Take the bowl back out and set aside for now.
Now turn the heat to medium under the pot. Once the water’s hot, place the glass bowl into the pot. Add the unsweetened carob chips to the bowl, stirring gently and constantly. They’ll melt down and then you can spoon some into the bottoms of a cute little heart-shaped pan. A regular muffin pan works fine too.
Turn the heat off, grab your filling out of the freezer and pop your pan of freshly melted carob into the freezer.
Use a spoon to scrape up the sunbutter filling and use your hands to mold little balls. After about 3 minutes the carob should be hardened up again. Squish the sunbutter into the molds. Pop the tray back into the freezer so the filling doesn’t melt too much.
Now go back to your bowl of melty carob. Turn the heat back onto medium again and add a few more chips as needed. Stir until melty.
Grab that tray out of the freezer and drizzle melted carob on top to make a complete little candy with a faux peanut butter filling. Pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes and you’re done!
They come out of the mold if you just flip them over onto a towel on the counter and knock on the back of the pan a bit.
Here’s another option which I actually might like even more than the filling version. Instead of drizzling carob into all the molds, maybe do just half. In the other half, press the filling in. It’ll take a little longer to get these to harden up in the freezer, but once they do, just do the flipping and banging trick. Then simply drizzle the carob on top like so.
Carob, in my opinion, actually seems sweeter than chocolate. It almost has a berry or fruity taste to it. While both versions are great, the simple carob drizzled on top gives you more peanut butter flavor and just a tinge of sweetness from the carob.
I put a lot of steps into the recipe so you can make both options at once. It looks like a lot, but it’s really easy.
They’re really fun to make. And since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, it could be a fun activity for you and your sweetheart, your whole family or by yourself as a nice treat just for you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Have you tried carob? What did you think? It’s different, but good, no?
How about this sunbutter recipe? Did I nail it or what?!
- For the Filling:
- ¼ Cup unsweetened sunflower butter
- ¼ Cup almond flour
- 2 Tbs grass fed collagen hydrolysate gelatin
- 2 Tbs melted coconut oil
- 2 Tbs melted ghee
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp alcohol-free vanilla
- 1 packet of Truvia or a few drops liquid stevia to taste.
- For the Candy Shell/Drizzle
- ½ Cup of unsweetened carob chips separated
- For the Candy Coated with "Peanut Butter" Filling:
- Combine ingredients for filling and put in the freezer.
- Fill a medium sized pot halfway with water and place a tall glass bowl into the pot, making sure it wont overflow.
- Take the bowl back out and set it aside.
- Put the pot on the stove and heat the water over medium heat.
- When the water is hot, gently place the bowl into the water and add ¼ cup of the carob chips to the bowl.
- Stir constantly with a wooden spoon as the chips melt. Once melted, turn the heat down to very low.
- Drizzle the melted carob into 6 heart molds, only about a quarter of the way filled.
- Get your filling out of the freezer and scrape it up with a metal spoon.
- Squish the filling into the other 6 molds all the way to the top, reserving enough to fill the carob-lined molds soon.
- Put the tray into the freezer for 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off.
- After the 3 minutes, grab your tray out of the freezer and roll little balls with your hands out of the reserved filling.
- Squish it into the molds with the now hardened carob on the bottom.
- Pop back in the freezer while you melt the rest of the carob.
- Turn the heat back on under pot and add the other ¼ cup of carob chips to the bowl.
- Stir as before.
- Once melted, grab the pan out of the freezer and drizzle the carob onto the 6 molds with carob on the bottom and filling squished into the middle. Reserve just a few Tbs of carb to drizzle the other 6 candies.
- Pop back into the freezer for 10 mins.
- Turn the heat off under the bowl again while your candies cool completely.
- Once the carob is hardened, remove the tray from the freezer and lay a towel out on the counter.
- Flip the tray over with a bang onto the ready towel. Knock on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the candies.
- Set the six fully carob-coated candies on a plate and set aside.
- Once the sunbutter candies are fairly solid to the touch, flip and tap the tray again to release them. You might need to use a butter knife to pop these ones out. If they're not solid enough yet, just put them back in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
- Place them on a plate and put them in the freezer while you melt that last bit of carob for the drizzle.
- Once melted, drizzle over sunbutter hearts as desired.
- Store in a tupperware dish in the fridge and enjoy a couple every now and then!