Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's talk about Easter and Natural Sweeteners

Easter is coming fast.  I need to think about the meal, but foremost on my mind are the baskets and eggs.  The individual baskets are not that hard.  The bunny knows my kids like DVDs and toys.  But, we host the family for Easter and I need to fill up eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt. 

I posted a great site for ordering Easter candy.  But, if I can just go to a store and get what I need, I always prefer that.  I ran into my local health food store yesterday and found some Vitamin C Pops and Fresh Fruit Candy Drops by Yummy Earth that looked good.  All organic, gluten free, real fruit extracts and no artificial dyes or flavors.  They do contain natural sweeteners.  So with that, I wanted to share the following:

I read this recently.  The subject is natural sweeteners.  "Sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar.  There is a little benefit from raw organic honey- so if you have seasonal allergies eat ½ teaspoon a day (yep, that was ½ of a teaspoon!). So this idea of organic sugar, raw sugar, agave, etc. being healthy is ridiculous. Your body handles it all the same, it raises blood sugar, raises insulin, increases oxidative stress, inflammation and stress hormones.  It also causes AGES – that is where sugar binds to proteins without the need of enzymes and accelerates aging." 

Wow.  So there it is.  Yes, you should no doubt avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup, but really, we need to watch all sweeteners.  I won't even go into Artificial Sweeteners.  You know better than that. :) 

But, this is candy we are talking about.  This is a special treat and I try not to be the Food Police with the kids.

I will be making a trip to Party City and buying fun stickers and trinkets to add to the other eggs.  This year I am going to put money into some too.  Taking the focus away from what candy is found.

I also found this great recipe for anyone wanting to make their own chocolate.  I thought it sounded great and looks easy to do.  Find a cute bunny mold and these would be perfect for the baskets.  Wrap them up in cellophane and add a pretty bow.

Home Made Yummy Real Chocolates

4oz Coconut butter
2 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP + 2 TSP raw honey (more if you like sweeter chocolate)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 dashes cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp of ancient sea salt
2 plastic chocolate molds

In a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water) melt the coconut butter, coconut oil and almond butter.  Add the cacao powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.  Stir to combine.  Do not let mixture get too hot, just hot enough to stir.  It will be a bit thick like a batter. Spoon chocolate mixture into molds.  Flatten mixture so it is even with mold.  Place molds in freezer for 15 minutes to set.  Pop chocolates out (use a knife if necessary) and store in air-tight container in fridge.  They melt at room temp, keep them chilled until serving.
So there are a few of my ideas.  I'd love to hear yours.

Hope you all have a Blessed Easter. 

P.S. Check out The Nutrition Mom on Facebook and also my website

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