Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
These clean eating candy bars will satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your New Year's resolutions.

Commit to clean eating without deprivation

Author Byline Image   With the start of the New Year comes a commitment to cleaner eating. When you start paying attention to what you eat it can be a little shocking. For instance, I keep a little bowl filled with mini candy bars for my father. He is 89 years old and enjoys them, so what the heck, I always have them for him. What I did not realize is that I had been habitually, obliviously popping 2 or 3 into my mouth every day.
    I seriously hate unconscious eating. If I am going to eat a candy bar then I want to enjoy a candy bar!
    Traditional candy bars don’t quite go with our new clean eating plan, but cravings do! I have been craving thick, fatty cuts of beef, whipped potatoes drenched in melted butter, salty sausages, sugar, and
Clean Eating Candy Bars
Makes 16 bars
1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (with or without salt)
1½ cups pitted Medjool dates, chopped
½ cup Organic Unsweetened Sunbutter
¼ cup honey (for vegan use agave or maple syrup)
2/3 cup coconut flour
½ unsweetened coconut flakes
1 ½ cups dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons organic, non-hydrogenated all vegetable shortening or coconut oil
   Line a 12- by 9-inch baking dish with a piece of parchment paper large enough to hang over the edges.
   Place the pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse in long pulses until ground. Add the dates, Sunbutter, honey, coconut flour, and coconut flakes and process until the mixture forms a dough. Press firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, 5 hours or overnight.
   Combine the chocolate and shortening in a heat proof bowl and microwave until the chocolate is almost completely melted, 2- 3 minutes. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Pour over the firmed dough and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, about 1 hour.
   Remove the mixture from the pan using the parchment to help you. Cut into 16 rectangles, 2 by 1½ inches. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
    Most of the stuff I have been craving I shouldn’t have but hey, chocolate is not too bad, right? Especially dark chocolate – in fact it is even good for you!
    So I made us some “candy bars” free of refined sugar, dairy, nuts, and of course,
gluten – clean bars if you will. They may not be the same as eating a Snickers Bar but they go a long way towards quelling that chocolate craving and keeping us on track. Conscious eating is so much more rewarding than the unconscious type, don’t you agree?