In celebration of Halloween, I thought I would share this list of Homemade candy recipes using healthier ingredients. Almost all of these recipes are gluten and dairy free, so they are great for those with allergies. But they taste so good, everyone will want some.
I love that these recipes are so simple to make! Just be careful with the couple of recipes that call for making a sticky syrup out of honey or maple syrup. I use my back burner and make sure all children are out of the kitchen as it can cause serious sugar burns.
1. Mock Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: A sugar-free, protein-rich option!
2. The Easiest, Healthiest, Most Scrumptious Fudge Ever: The title says it all. This fudge is so much easier to make than traditional fudge and much healthier, too. I’ve made it with the more common sweetener, honey, with great results as well.
3. Nature’s Candy Bar (pictured at top): I called these Nature’s Candy Bar because they feature dates, which are rich in natural sugar. A chocolate coating doesn’t hurt either.
4. Candy Bar: This chocolate-covered candy bar looks amazing! I would recommend simply substituting the agave syrup in this recipe and the next with the less refined sweetener, honey.
5. Mock Mounds Bar: Mounds bars used to be my favorite candy bar. Now I can have a a healthier version guilt-free.
6. Cracker Toffee (pictured above): My daughter and I made this super easy recipe last year as part of our Christmas candy platter. They are rich, delicious and so easy.
7. Old-Fashioned Caramel Corn: I adapted my husband’s favorite caramel corn recipe from his younger years to only include unrefined sweeteners (no corn syrup here!) It is a certain favorite at parties.
8. Caramel Apples: This recipe uses cream and honey to create a rich caramel coating for apples. It’s perfect for this time of year.
9. Dairy-Free Caramel Apples: This recipe doesn’t use any dairy but a combination of honey and maple syrup. How delicious does that sound?
10. Honey-Sweetened Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nuts: These make a very special gift, and very yummy snacking.
11. Homemade Almond Roca with Maple Syrup: All you need for this recipe is maple syrup. If you’ve ever had maple syrup candy before, you know how amazing it is.
12. Decadent Chocolate “Larabar” Truffles: (pictured above): These truffles were inspired by Larabars, but morphed into truffles; perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up.
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The link for the fudge goes to the peanut butter cups! I’d LOVE the fudge recipe!
How wonderful of you to share these great ideas! Our family thanks you!
I’m going to be downer and remind everyone that sugar is still sugar, even when in less or unprocessed forms. (I’m slightly disturbed when people post up recipes that call for 3/4 c honey and then claim they are “healthy.” No, they are still dessert/treats. There. Rant done.)
Now, enjoy your chocolate, nuts, and dates.
All things in moderation. I don’t think all sugar is equal, if I did, I might as well buy Snickers. I have thought to make disclaimers like “more healthy” etc, but that often can cause more confusion. Perhaps what would help make this more clear is saying “healthier”.
As far as 3/4 cup of honey, I feel I can trust my readers to know that if they consume the whole batch of fudge made with 3/4 cup of honey, it is no longer a healthy treat for them. If you eat a small square of it, you will be consuming less sweeter than most people put in their tea.
Here is a reply to a previous comment asking why homemade candy recipes are healthier that might be helpful.
That’s a good question. There are a couple of reasons I consider these “candies” healthier, but still certainly a treat. First, they are lower in sugar (natural or otherwise). Most candies have very high sugar amounts. These, for the most part, do not. In fact, that is something to keep in mind when you make these recipes as several of them are so low in sweeteners, it might be not quite sweet enough for those used to eating regular candy bars.
Secondly, except for the sugar in the dark chocolate used in the recipes, these use unrefined sugar. While it is still certainly sugar, it still retains its natural minerals and vitamins which can make it less stressful on the body to consume. I just wouldn’t recommend them to diabetics. The sugar is also not bleached, an unnecessary refining process. Third, many conventional candies contain GMOs in the form of GM beet sugar. I personally have chosen to avoid GMOs when possible. Making candy at home with organic sweeteners allows me to do so. And finally, most candies have a lot of dyes, additives, and hydrogenated oils. By making your own, you can avoid these ingredients.
In the end, in my house, sweets are still a special treat! But I feel much better feeding my child lightly sweetened, dark chocolate covered nuts, than store bought candies. 🙂
Not to mention that anything with fructose in it that is not the fructose that is present in whole food fruits, whacks the liver directly (that is a scientific term: “whacks” :)). BIG difference in my professional opinion, from, say, a small piece of fudge or other sweet, made from raw honey.
If you are so freaked out by sugar, what the hell are you doing looking up candy recipes for? Just saying.
Read up on the health benefits of honey, maple syrup, molasses, etc… Then read about what refined processed sugars do to your health. Know the facts sugar is not equal in all forms.
Oh goodness, these all sound wonderful. I don’t even know where to begin!
Wonderful and yummy! Thanks for the roundup, Kimi!
Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots
I love so many of these recipes that you’ve come up with Kimi, thanks for sharing them again!
Yum!!! These sound delicious!! I love honey-sweetened candy! Thanks!
Sugar is not a bad thing, unless one is a diabetic, and then it should be consumed in measured moderation. Please remember that one of the most important ingredients in breat milk is sugar. It has it’s place. People have made way too much of sugar. It is all of the wax and petrochemical ingrediants added to commercial candy that is worrisome to me. Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas! A little sugar now and then helps the medicine of life go down all the more smoothly. (It also helps wash down all the fermented cod-liver oil!) Lighten up and LIVE a little!! These sweets will make it all the more worth it!!
It’s not the sugar that is bad, it’s how it is refined. Poppy seeds aren’t bad for you, but it’s refined in the same process sugar cane is refined, and it turns into heroin. The sugar cane turns into an addictive, carcinogenic, chemical-filled sugar.
mmm! what an encouragement on a day like today- not all candies are created equal. 🙂 i love these recipes! kimi, just wanted to say a huge thank you for hosting those fantastic GAPS posts. i am a brand new gaps girl (and nursing mom) as of this weekend! thanks for all the help in getting there.
You can make a slightly more healthful chocolate option by making your own chocolate as an option. I use unsweetened Dagoba baking chocolate, a little coconut oil and let that melt over warm water until blended, and then add a small bit of raw honey, mix well and
then let cool to set. I use about a tablespoon of honey max for an entire unsweetened dagoba bar, if even that much. I use this for chocolate chips, baking chocolate, Halloween candy etc.
Thanks for sharing! I’ve done that too, however every once in a while adding honey has caused my chocolate to sieze. Have you ever had that happen? My 5 year old and I even like unsweetened chocolate, though. Yum!
I haven’t had problems with siezing, but I don’t heat it much at all, just enough to melt the coconut oil and chocolate together, then stir the honey in to blend.
Thanks for the reminder Stephanie. It is easy to read “healthy” and think that we can eat all we desire which for some of us is a major “no-no”.
Thank you for all these delicious-sounding recipes! I’m supposed to be doing GAPS Intro, but ended up cheating this evening with the Halloween candy. I think next year, I’d better have a healthier, homemade option ready, so I won’t be so tempted. 🙂
Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free
They ll look amazing! I need to try my hand at making homemade healthy candy! I’ve already made a sugar-free peanut butter cup (divine!) and andes mints……now I need to try some others!
France @ Beyond The Peel
Great round up! I love the naturally sweetened candy. I’ll definitely be giving the fudge, lara bar inspired truffles and the cracker toffee. There’s some great Christmas baking in this post too!
Honey is a monosaccharide meaning bees have digested it. Sugar and other sweeteners are di/polysaccharides and they cause havoc on the digestive tract because the bad bacteria that digest them form mucous which inhibits nutrient absorption. I follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and honey and saccharine are the only sweeteners allowed because they are digested by the good bacteria. Anyone have a recipe for just honey candy they would like to share? I’m trying to find a honey breath mint I can make.
Such a great list,
FYI Caramel apples, I made just caramel chewy NON DAIRY candies with
1 cup honey
1 Cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
followed the heating instructions and stirred in
1 tsp vanilla once removed from the heat
poured into 9 inch square pan over baking paper to set, cut into squares with a greased knife and dipped in melted nondairy 72% chocolate
the third candy looked like meatballs which are so disgusting. i hate meatballs, but i loved the first one because it was chocolate. i love chocolate………………………..
The mock peanut butter cup link takes me to Why Do Dogs Love Peanut Butter? Yuck not what I wanted to know.
Thanks for letting me know. It looks like that website changed their landing page, unfortunately. It used to go to my recipe.