Lucy’s Nut Butter Cups

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If you’ve decided to live a healthy lifestyle, you may be thinking you can’t enjoy the taste of chocolate…..that is, until now!

Reese’s peanut butter cups used to be one of those dangerous desserts for me-the kind you buy on a Saturday night, plan to have one of and then…..…oooops. So I decided (as with all refined sugar desserts) to create a healthier version that I can enjoy anytime of the day.

I love knowing these are in the fridge either as a snack, dessert or healthy breakfast and I honestly find these so much more satisfying then processed chocolate now.

The top and bottom of the cups are made with ground nuts, cacao butter, powder and dates. The middle is of course made with nut butter and date syrup as a natural sweetener. Any nut butter would work as the filling and if you don’t have pecans any nuts will work to create the top and the base (just in case you want to give this recipe a go but don’t have all the ingredients).

Cacao butter is the pure, cold pressed oil of the cacao bean. Both the butter and the powder are a powerhouse FULL of anti-oxidants. The flavanols found in cacao can increase nitric oxide bioavailability, activate nitric oxide synthase and exert anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet activity-all of which may improve vascular function and reduce blood pressure. They also contain serotonin and dopamine which stimulate good mood.

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups of pecans
1 cup of cacao powder
¼ cup of cacao butter
1 cup of medjool dates

Filling:
3 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp date syrup
3 medjool dates

Method:
This recipe makes 6 cups. They are rich both in taste and nutrition so I find one is more than enough.

Blend the pecans for approximately five minutes or until the oils realise and a pecan butter starts to form. With any of the energy ball recipes I’ve done, you only need to blend for a minute to create a flour but we want to create a soft truffle like texture for these cups so blend the nuts for longer. You may even want to scrap down the side of your food processor and blend again until a paste like texture is created.  Then add the cacao powder and blend again for 20 seconds or so until all the powder has been combined.  Melt the cacao butter on a low heat and then add to the food processor and blend again for 20 seconds.  Next pit your dates and add them one at a time until combined.  Put your cupcake holders into a muffin tray and use a tbsp of the mixture to form the base. Press down on the mixture until the base is flat and put this in the fridge to set while you make the filling. You can leave the rest of the mixture in a bowl out of the fridge so it’s soft enough to mould as the top of the cup.  Add the dates, almond butter and syrup to the food processor and blend until combined. (You may want to give your blender a quick wash from the previous steps).  Take your tray out of the fridge and add a tbsp of the filling to your bases.  Put the tray back in the fridge for 30minutes to let the filling set.  Finally use the remaining mixture to form the top of the cup (it is approximately half a tbsp for each). Press the mixture down to flatten the top.  Put the cups in the freezer to set for at least an hour (you can eat them before they are set; they just may be a little oily).

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