There is a good chance you have eaten at least one peanut butter cup in your life. Aside from being available throughout the year, they come in fun seasonal shapes—Reese’s eggs at Easter and Reese’s trees during Christmas.
If you enjoy treating yourself to these iconic peanut butter cups, you are probably wishing you had one right now. Unfortunately, a closer look at the ingredients used in these popular treats might make you think twice about indulging in them again. Although they are addictively delicious, Reese’s peanut butter cups can have a negative impact on your health.
A Background on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Mr. Reese invented Reese’s peanut butter cups in 1928. He worked as a farmer and shipping foreman at Milton S. Hershey. Once he created the delicious treat, he quit his dairy farming operation and began selling his invention from his basement. From there, the company expanded rapidly. The tasty peanut butter cups come in numerous varieties, shapes, and sizes. Although you may think the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is perfect, the other ingredients are concerning.
What is in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup?
Ingredients in a Reese’s peanut butter cup include: Milk chocolate (sugar; cocoa butter; chocolate; nonfat milk; milk fat; lactose; soy lecithin; PGPR emulsifier), peanuts; sugar; dextrose; salt; TBHQ (preservative); see Reese’s butter cups label above. Amongst these ingredients, the most questionable ones are:
1.) Soy Lecithin
Studies have shown that a massive amount – almost 100% – of soy is genetically modified. Since soy lecithin is produced from soy, it contains a variety of chemicals that can lead to issues with behavior, breast cancer, fertility troubles, and brain abnormalities.
2.) PGPR (Polyglycerol Pilyricinoleate)
PGPR is the short name for polyglycerol polyricinoleate. To decrease the cost of producing peanut butter cups, the manufacturer decided to replace cocoa butter with PGPR. PGPR is usually made from castor beans and helps reduce the thickness of chocolate. This chemical has been linked to allergic reactions and digestive troubles in children.
3.) TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone)
TBHQ is short for tertiary butylhdroquinone. It is an additive that is used to preserve process foods that can be quite harmful. Side effects of consuming TBHQ can include vomiting, nausea, ringing in the ears, confusion, and collapse. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), past studies have suggested that TBHQ can causevision disturbances, liver enlargement, effects from neurotoxins, convulsions and even paralysis in lab animals. When children are exposed to this toxic chemical, they may display signs of hyperactivity, restlessness, and anxiety.
How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Although there is no doubt that Reese’s peanut cups are delicious, you may wonder if the taste is worth the possible health consequences. If these sweet treats are one of your favorite indulgences, you will be glad to know that you can still enjoy them without negatively affecting your health. You can check health food stores or Amazon for organic peanut butter cups or make your own healthy version by following the simple recipe below.
Ingredients for Organic Peanut Butter Cups
- 12 liners for muffin tins
- 12 ounces of dark chocolate (be sure it is organic and 70% cocoa)
- 1 cup of peanut butter (again, be sure this is 100% organic)
- 1/4 cup of high-quality, raw local honey
- 1/4 teaspoon of organic salt
Peanut Butter Cup Recipe
- Trim the muffin cups to make them more shallow
- Melt your chocolate on low heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes – be careful to avoid overcooking the chocolate
- Spoon the melted chocolate into your muffin cups
- Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate
- Mix the peanut butter, raw honey, and salt in a medium sized bowl
- Heat the peanut butter over low heat in a small pan to soften it
- Place a small amount of the softened peanut butter over the hardened chocolate cups – be sure to leave enough space to add another layer of chocolate on top
- Add another layer of melted chocolate over the peanut butter
- Cool the muffin tin in the fridge again until everything hardens
- Dig in and enjoy!
DIY Healthy Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Do you love Justin’s peanut butter cups, or even the Reese’s ones, but want something a little bit healthier that you can make at home?
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are healthy, natural, organic, raw, vegan, gluten free and protein rich. They are absolutely delicious! Watch the video below to get started!
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