How do we decide on our level of “healthy” are we all in or part of the way in? There are so many levels but today we are going to focus on enjoyable and healthy compared to say the “traditional” version filled with sugar! A great example is buckeyes, normally with 6 cups of confectioners sugar… yikes! Here is a healthy alternative that still is sweet but in a more natural way so you and your body can enjoy it.
But first a little history: This candy has been called the most popular candy in the state of Ohio. Currently it is made at the rate of about 100,000 pounds a year by Anthony-Thomas candy company but they only started this in the year 2000. So where did it all begin, well in 1964 Sadie Tabor gave her daughter Gail her secret recipe for chocolate covered peanut butter balls for the holidays. When Gail made them, she only dipped it part way and said to her husband, “Hey, it looks like a buckeye.” She gave all her neighbors some of the morsels but when they asked for the recipe she kept it a secret. She'd make them for all the OSU fans for game night. Long story short, when she finally went to move from Ohio, Gail gave the recipe to a lady whose son went to OSU and years later found out that lady had written the Ohio State Alumni Magazine with the recipe claiming it was hers! Gail was furious. Nothing like a little Christmas drama to get your appetite going because now you can make your own, but the healthy version.
Plus if you’re looking for a festive way to take S’moo this is a great alternative to a smoothie. This small recipe should allow you to eat 3 buckeyes to have your one serving of S’moo a day. The full recipe making 9 buckeyes.
1/3 cup dark chocolate for a coating
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper *make sure this can fit in your freezer.
- Combine all ingredients for the Buckeyes in a medium bowl, mix until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. *this is when you'll decide to add S'moo for you or leave it out if these are for your guests or family.
- Take a spoon and scoop dough into your hands, then roll into a ball and place on the parchment paper.
- Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
- When the buckeye balls are about ready to come out, prepare your chocolate. Find a microwave safe bowl that will allow the balls to be dipped without you having to melt a ton of chocolate.
- Microwave your chocolate 30 second intervals, stirring and placing back in the microwave until completely melted (this shouldn’t take more than 90 seconds).
- Use a toothpick or fork to dip each buckeye ball into the melted chocolate.
- Place back on your baking sheet and into the freezer for an hour or until the chocolate has hardened.
Why these are healthy!
Taking out the 6 cups of confectioners sugar, and enjoying the natural ingredients that are already there can sometimes be the best thing. Here is why those ingredients are something you can truly enjoy.
Peanut butter - packed with protein and contains vitamin E, B3, Manganese, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. It is also a good source of copper which helps with bone health and immune function. When you’re buying peanut butter at the store, look for ones that contain no additives. Some brands today add sugar, vegetable oil and trans fats which are best avoided.
Cinnamon – packed with antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative damage. As far as antioxidants go, cinnamon is the winner when compared to 26 other spices. It even outranked superfoods like garlic and oregano. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help your body fight infections.
Coconut - The white flesh of coconuts, fresh or dry has a number of benefits including improved heart health and digestion. It is rich is fiber but also high in calories and saturated fat.
Dark Chocolate - Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals. It also has a wide variety of powerful antioxidants.
Maple Syrup - sometimes sweet things don’t seem like they could be good for us, however maple syrup has some great health benefits. It is known to help fight inflammatory diseases and it contains numerous antioxidants. It is a source of calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. It is a great natural sweeter for cooking. However it still isn’t that good for you, it’s still a sugar, so use in moderation.