Healthier Version Of A Buttery Candy Favorite

This time of year tempting bags of small candy bars, such as the long-time favorite Butterfinger are easy to find in grocery, big box, and drug stores.

It’s hard not to love the chewy, buttery, chocolaty taste of a Butterfinger, so eating one small bar often leads to another—then, up goes our glucose level.

However, thanks to an inventive recipe tweaker named Katie, we can enjoy this sweet treat without sending our blood sugar into the stratosphere. Her recipe uses some interesting ingredients to give Butterfingers a healthy makeover:

  • Agave Nectar.
  • Though the sweetener agave is not calorie free, it has a low glycemic index (GI) rating of 10 to 19. Sugar, by comparison, is rated at 65 or higher, and varieties of honey have a GI score between 35 and 58.

  • Xylitol. A natural sugar substitute containing no fructose, xylitol has nearly the same taste and sweetness of regular sugar. As with agave, the body absorbs xylitol slowly—its GI rating is just seven.
  • Molasses. Molasses is a sugary sweetener that people with diabetes should use sparingly, but it’s loaded with healthy minerals such as potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
  • Stevia. This plant-based, no calorie sweetener will not budge our blood sugar level.
  • Coconut Oil. Though it contains saturated fat, coconut oil is high in medium-chain fats which our body finds easy to burn. Some research suggests a diet rich in medium-chain fats can help with weight loss, and insulin resistance—but the scientific jury is still out.
  • Bran Flakes. We all know what bran contains - lots of fiber.

Keep in mind these ingredients do not turn Healthy Butterfingers into a health food, just a healthier version of a yummy confection. Let dietary wisdom prevail.

Healthy Butterfingers

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap (or regular) molasses
  • 3 1/2 tbsp xylitol
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or an allergy-friendly alternative)
  • 1 1/2 cup bran flakes
  • 1/8 tsp salt (a little extra if peanut butter is unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • A few drops of vanilla stevia

Preparation:

  1. In a small saucepan combine agave, molasses, and xylitol; bring to a boil on medium heat, and boil one minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and salt; stir until pasty.
  2. Add bran flakes; stir well to coat, and press the mixture into an 8 x 8 pan lined with wax or parchment paper (or grease the pan well). Freeze until completely hardened (cut into bars while partially frozen, or thaw the frozen block a little before cutting).
  3. Topping: mix the coconut oil, stevia and cocoa; spread over the bars using a spatula and return to the freezer to harden. Bars are best when stored in the freezer.

The topping is optional since the bars are delicious with or without it.

The recipe makes 16 servings; each serving has: 160 calories, 11g total fat, 14.3g total carbs (6.4g sugars, 2.1g fiber), 100mg sodium, 4.6g protein.

Sources: Chocolate Covered Katie; Recipe Calculator; Live Strong; Nutrition Data; Healthline
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie

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