Vegan & Gluten-Free Crumbly Caramel-y “Faux-But-Better-Than-Twix” Bars a.k.a. A Chocolate Lover’s Dream Come True!

Vegan & Gluten-Free Crumbly Caramel-y “Faux-But-Better-Than-Twix” Bars a.k.a. A Chocolate Lover’s Dream Come True!

Hi munchkins!

<3

OKAY, I’m always really damn excited. Like I just am. But… TODAY. TODAY. TODAY. TODAY, I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT!!!!! These FAUX TWIX BARS are seriously one of my fave recipes that I’ve made thus far & that is REALLY SAYING A LOT BECAUSE LORD KNOWS THERE’S A LOT MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM!

Now, first things first, whatever your dietary restriction, you can eat these babies!!!!! Having dietary restrictions by choice is one thing, but when it’s due to aversions or allergies, let’s be honest, it’s ANNOYING! But, that annoyance is SEVERELY SUBSIDED when chocolate bars like these come into your life. The best part about them is that they’ll satisfy your dietary restrictions, BUT THEY ALSO AREN’T FILLED WITH CHEMICALS, GUMS, PRESERVATIVES, ADDED SUGAR OR BAD INGREDIENTS. They’re made with REAL WHOLESOME FOODS.

It’s seriously your lucky day, guys. You’ve legit JUST COME ACROSS a freaking chocolate bar that tastes like ACTUAL TWIX BARS (this is not even an overstatement) & that has no wheat, dairy or gluten!!!!! 

Also, not only will they satisfy any dietary restriction, but they’re FREAKING DELICIOUS. Like guys, each layer will have you dying. I’m not even kidding.

  • The freaking crumble on the coconut flour crust;
  • The creaminess, lusciousness & natural sweetness (but also nuttiness) of the caramel filling;
  • The refined-sugar free smooth & thick chocolate topping with a hint of coconut

I MEAN… ARE YOU NOT FREAKING SALIVATING RIGHT NOW?

P.S. They’re made with cashew butter. If you don’t like it or have it, feel fee to use almond buter or peanut butter! BUT TBH, using almond buter will make these bars taste a little different (& NOT AS MUCH AS TWIX!). I really find that there’s something about the taste & creaminess of cashew butter that really takes these babies up a notch!

ANYWHO, before we get into all the deets about how to whip these FREAKING CHOCOLATE BARS UP, let’s just talk about the health benefits of some of the ingredients that go into making them, YA DIG?

  • COCONUT FLOUR: High in fibre, protein & healthy fats & contains no wheat or grains! It’s also very low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates & has a low score on the glycemic index (which makes it a great flour alternative to those with diabetes or who are trying to cut back on sugar!). It also adds delicious flavour & amazing crumbly texture to all baked goods!
  • MAPLE SYRUP: To read all about the benefits of this healthier sweetener alternative, CLICK HERE:  The Nitty-Gritty on Healthy Sugar Alternatives & Substitutes a.k.a. Nobody-Said-You-Couldn’t-Curb-Them-Sugar-Cravings-Just-Curb-‘Em-Wisely! 
  • COCONUT OIL: Rich in healthy fats, specifically saturated fats, which increase healthy “good” cholesterol (HDL) & help convert the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) into good cholesterol! In doing this, coconut oil helps promote heart health  & lower the risk of heart disease. It’s also great for hair (reduces protein loss), skin (prevents drying, sagging, wrinkles & flaking), strengthens the immune system, provides relief from candida overgrowth, great for nervous system function & great for digestion, promotes nutrient absorption & boosts metabolism.
  • CASHEW BUTTER: Supplies a good dose of heart-healthy fats, essential amino acids & TONS OF MAGNESIUM! It’s high in protein, low in carbs & is a great ingredient to use in baking to help ingredients bind together (instead of gums, dairy butters!).
  • CACAO POWDER (Of course, make sure it’s raw & organic!!): A SUPERFOOD!!! It contains 40x the antioxidants of blueberries, is the highest plant-based source of iron, it’s full of magnesium, which promote healthy heart & brain health, has more calcium than cow’s milk, helps boost mood & fight symptoms of depression and other mood disorders & adds a delicious hint of bitter-sweetness!!!! AND CHOCOLATE. HELLO. 

Now, how is that for a CLEAN CHOCOLATE BAR? Admit it. You never thought the words “clean” & “chocolate bar” would find their ways into the same sentence, now did you?

OKAY, ONE LAST THING, before we get into the deets, wanna know what the ingredients are in the real deal Twix bar? I know you do (This ingredients list is taken directly from the Twix website herself!).

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Skim Milk, Lactose, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Pgpr, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Corn Syrup, Skim Milk, Dextrose, Less Than 2% – Salt, Cocoa Powder, Soy Lecithin, Food Starch-modified, Baking Soda, Artificial Flavor. 

Allergy Information: Contains Milk, Soy, And Wheat. May Contain Peanuts.

I’m freaking appalled. You could have a Twix bar with just: coconut flour, sea salt, maple syrup, coconut oil, cashew butter & cacao powder, THAT TASTES JUST AS GOOD AS THE GARBAGE I LISTED ABOVE (unless you’re like TWIX-OBSESSED, then you might notice a slight difference) without all the harmful ingredients in the real deal. I know I said we would get right to it, BUT HOLD UP. I just want to talk about some of the ingredients listed on the Twix label.

  • SUGAR: Not necessary. Nowadays, there are so many healthier sugar substitues & alternatives out there, that it makes no sense to feed your body processed, refined, FAKE SUGAR that’s void of nutrients & that will do you more harm than good, such as, FEEDING candida, promoting wrinkles & aging skin, turning your blood acidic, promoting bone disease, rotting your teeth, raises blood sugar levels, gives you highs & lows & ultimately, leads to energy slumps, contributes to obesity, IS ALMOST AS ADDICTIVE AS DRUGS!!
  • SOY LECITHIN: It’s basically a fatty substance that naturally occurs in plant & animal tissues, a mixture of phospholipids & oils and is chemically extracted from soy & added to commercially made foods so the ingredients don’t separate out & also gives a creaminess to the product. Since it’s extracted from RAW material through a chemical solvent (usually, hexane), chemicals may transfer to the final product… & it can lead to diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain. 
  • PGPR: A chemical emulsifier made from glycerol & fatty acids (usually soybean oil, which is most probably made from GMOs) & is used to reduce viscosity. It’s basically a way for manufacturers to REDUCE THEIR COSTS OF RAW MATERIALS & INCREASE PROFITS. So yes, you read right, it’s a man-made chemical that has been shown to cause physiological changes in the bodies of test animals (such as: enlarged kidneys & livers in as little as 14 days to a period of 104 weeks). 
  • ARTIFICIAL FLAVOUR: FAKE FOOD. Literally. it can lead to nervous system depression, dizziness, chest pain, headaches, fatigue, allergies, brain damage, seizures, nausea & is bad for your skin!  It can even cause tumors, bladder cancer & many other types of cancer. Basically, hey provide ZERO USEFUL ENERGY, cause weight gain, increase cravings, negatively impact glucose & insulin levels, as well as adrenal function, lower immune function & may even be carcinogenic. 
  • ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR: Enriched flour is flour in which most of the natural vitamins / minerals have been extracted, to give the flour a finer texture & increase shelf life (again, a way to cut costs). When the bran & germ are removed (the parts that contain fibre & nutrients), the body absorbs wheat differently. Instead of being a slow process that gives sustained burst of energy, the body breaks down the enriched flour more quickly, which raises blood sugar more quickly. This excess blood sugar has to be metabolized by the liver & if there is an excess of sugar, the body stores some of it as fat… AND YOU AREN’T GETTING ANY NUTRIENTS!!!!!
  • PALM OIL: THREAT to heart health, more often than not, it is REFINED, which depletes many of the nutrients that occur naturally in the oil & makes it much more difficult to digest! It can also cause toxicity (in an oxidized state, the oil can threaten physiological & biochemical functions o the body). This can lead to toxicity of the art, kidney, livers & lungs, as well as reproductive toxicity.
  • CORN SYRUP: Increases the risk of Alzheimer’s & memory loss, leads to weight gain & even obesity, increases the risk of developing type-2 Diabetes, elevates bad cholesterol levels, leads to high blood pressure, makes you prone to iron deficiency, may damage the liver, can lead to coronary disease & damage the immune system, speeds up the aging process, often leads to mercury exposure, may lead to depression, become overly addictive & may even produce signs of hypertension. 
  • DEXTROSE: A freaking GMO, known to cause cancer, both defects, digestive issues & a number of other health problems, including obesity. It also spikes blood sugar due to its high glycemic index, surpasses the growth of probiotics, which may lead to an unhealthy gut, inflammation & ultimately, chronic disease. I may also cause GI symptoms, like diarrhea or gas, as well as other allergic reactions, such as skin irritation, cramping & bloating. HAS ZERO NUTRITION!!!!!
  • TABLE SALT: Usually purified, which means that a process is undergone which involves re-crystallization at over 1,200F, which strips away all the natural minerals. This refinement process also involves the use of aluminium, cyanide & bleach. This means the salt is completely depleted of its natural minerals, is packed with anti-caking compounds & is USELESS. It can destabilize your blood pressure, upset fluid balance, act as a diuretic (which expels water from your cells), is a cell toxin & may lead to dehydration, may slow down your metabolism, contains fillers, fluoride & iodine (which distrust the endocrine system) & may cause cellulite, kidney stones & rheumatism. ALWAYS LOOK FOR NATURAL REAL, SEA SALT, CELTIC SE SALT OR HIMALAYAN SALT.
  • FOOD-STARCH MODIFIED: This ingredient is treated with potentially harmful chemicals & has a high risk of contamination. It usually comes from wheat, corn, potato or tapioca. It is VERY processed & adds  no nutritional value to food. It is used VERY LIBERALLY in the food industry to enhance shelf life, improve freezing & thawing cycles, acts as a stabilizer, thickening agent & emulsifier. When the starch from these foods is chemically, physically or enzymatically teated, hence MODIFIED & PROCESSED, to allow it to have desired properties, it is likely treated with sulphuric acid, chlorine or other chemicals, which are not safe for consumption. It also usually contains up to 10% of maltodextrin (a binding agent that causes weight gain, wheat allergy-like symptoms, rashes, itching, asthma etc.). It also contains MSG, which helps boost flavour but ALSO causes nausea, headaches, heart palpitations & chest pain. In some cases, we may actually be consuming all these chemicals. 

 

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW ALL OF THAT WAS HIDING IN YOUR CHOCOLATE BAR. THINK TWICE NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN LINE AT THE PHARMACY & you’re tempted to grab a Twix bar.

Do your body a favour. Come home & make these instead!

My loves, YOU WILL NEED:

BOTTOM A.K.A. CRUST:

  • 2/3 cup of coconut flour (I use Nutiva);
  • 1/4 tsp. of sea salt;
  • 3 tbsp. of pure organic maple syrup;
  • 1/3 cup of organic cold-pressed coconut oil, SOLID (a.k.a. Don’t melt it!).

CARAMEL A.K.A. STUCK IN THE MIDDLE:

  • 1/2 cup of creamy raw organic cashew butter (I use the one by Artisana) (If you’re not down with cashew butter or have none on hand, use creamy almond butter instead!);
  • 1/4 cup of pure organic maple syrup;
  • 2 tsp. pure organic vanilla extract;
  • 1/4 tsp. of sea salt.

CHOCOLATE A.K.A. THE CHERRY ON TOP 

  • 1/4 cup of organic cold-pressed coconut oil, MELTED (a.k.a. Melt it!);
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic unsweetened cacao powder;
  • 1 tbsp of pure organic maple syrup;
    • Depending on your desired sweetness, you can use 1 tbsp. of maple syrup. If you prefer it sweeter, add the second tbsp.

NOW, FOR THAT HOW-TO?

  • Preheat your oven to 350F;

  • Mix together the solid coconut oil with the maple syrup. Add in your coconut flour & sea salt and mix until a ball formsMake sure to press out any of the coconut clumps along the way. You can use your hands, a fork or whatever is easiest for you.

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  • Line a loaf pan or 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper! (DON’T SKIMP ON THE PARCHMENT – It’s CRUCIAL for getting the final product out at the end without breaking it. The crust will be fragile-ish & crumbly!);
  • Press the dough into the bottom of the pan until it is relatively even!
  • Once your oven is preheated, bake the crust for 8-9 minutes, until golden brown around the edges! LET IT COMPLETELY COOL.

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  • In a separate bowl, mix the cashew butter with the maple syrup, vanilla & sea salt! You want to be left with a bowl of CREAMY AF FILLING that’s so good, TBH, that you won’t be able to stop tasting it… BUT I MEAN… leave some for the actual chocolate bars, why dontcha? It should be thick, BUT ALSO SPREADABLE!

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  • In another separate bowl, mix the melted coconut oil with the cacao powder & maple syrup.

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  • WHEN THE CRUST HAS COOLED (I let mine cool while I went to the gym & then made the bars when I got home!), spread the cashew buter filling on to it then top it with the chocolate topping! I used a rubber spatula & it spread both filling & topping perfectly!

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  • REFRIGERATE FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS to let the bars firm up, harden & become CUTTABLE. Is that a word? Oh well. MAKING IT ONE. Basically, refrigerate them, until they are firm enough that you can cut through them without destroying them. Okay?
  • Once the bars are firmed the off up, gently lift the parchment paper on both sides so that it slides right out with the BABE OF A MASSIVE TWIX BAR! Do it gently so that you don’t break it.

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  • Slice the chocolate bars to your desired slice size!

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  • Once sliced, store them in the refrigerator! Keep in mind that they have no preservatives or gums or any of that garbage to preserve them or keep them glued together & firm! Everything in these babies is REAL FREAKING WHOLE FOOD. So, yes, refrigerate them. (Can you tell I’m passionate?).
  • DEVOUR!!!!

 



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