October is here, which means Halloween candy season is here! I may be a nutritionist but that does not mean I am not human. If you explore this blog more, you’ll notice that I have a huge sweet tooth. My favorite candy of all time is, Peanut M&M’s. If you put them in front of me, I will likely eat the whole bag (true story).
In celebration of trick and treating for Halloween last year, I purchased a giant bag of individual packaged Twix, Snickers, Milky Way & Peanut M&M’s. I will confess to you that I personally removed all of the Peanut M&M bags out of this giant container and kept them for myself (haha!!). Sorry kids!! I love the individual packs because of the portion control. BUT. This year I didn’t want to cave into eating multiple mini bags of Peanut M&M’s (maybe just a few ;)).
So, I recreated my favorite candy in a much-healthier way. Instead of peanuts, I choose walnuts. To say that walnuts are a nutritious food is a bit of an understatement. There are sooo many benefits but below are the top 3 most important features of walnuts.
To start, walnuts provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, below are powerful facts about this super food.
#1. Rich in Antioxidants: Antioxidants bind and eliminate any “free radicals” in your body. Also important for healthy immunity.
#2. Rich in omega-3’s: Omega-3’s are an essential fat (essential meaning your body does not produce them on its own, you must get them through diet). Omega-3’s help lower LDL levels, blood pressure, protect your body from heart disease and help fight inflammation.
#3. Promotes a healthy gut: Consuming 1/4 cup of walnuts a day can help support the good bacteria found in your gut.
#4. Great source of healthy fats: Healthy fats are not only an essential daily nutrient but they are slow digestible foods. Keeping you feeling less hungry and satisfied. Healthy fats also help control insulin production and maintain balanced blood sugar levels.
I was inspired to create this recipe based on 2 reasons:
- My love for Peanut M&M’s
- I had dark chocolate chips, raw cocoa, and a big bag of walnuts in my pantry.
If you’re like me and crave something sweet but want to stay on track with your health goals, give these a try!
INGREDIENTS: Makes 8 Servings (1/4 cup = 1 serving)
- 2 Cups Walnuts
- 1 Cup Semi-Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips (or 80% dark chocolate)
- 1/4 Cup Raw Cocoa
- Put about 1 cup of water into a small sauce pan and place a heat friendly bowl on top (that will fit on top of the pan, not sink into it.)
- Place the chocolate into the bowl and bring the water to a boil. While the water is boiling, the chocolate will begin to slowly melt. Using a spatula, frequently stir the chocolate until fully melted.
- Pour the walnuts into a large bowl. When the chocolate is melted, pour the hot melted chocolate on top of the walnuts and mix well together.
- Add the cocoa powder and mix well together.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spread the chocolate covered walnuts.
- Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden and cool.
- Dig in & enjoy!
Note: I found that consuming them 24 hours after making, made them taste wayyy better than directly after. Let the walnuts absorb the flavors of the chocolate overnight.
Happy eating!! 🙂