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Healthy Candies By Lars Jensen

Most people have a sweet tooth. Some satisfy it without reserve, others try to curb it to special occasions. Few are those who can conquer it completely.

LollipopsThere can be no doubt that the quantity of candy eaten is closely related to tooth decay. A British professor traveled all the way to Ghana to find a group of people who had a low sugar diet. This low income group who never ate sweets had only a 10% incidence of dental caries, whereas severe caries occur in 42% of those eating sweets.

The biggest enemy in the tempting little packets of taffy, fudge, chocolate and gum is, of course, white sugar. In those countries where the children chew on whole sugar cane for candy, the teeth are beautiful. Even when white sugar is replaced by the less refined raw sugar for sweetening, we have a much more wholesome product. The health way of eating includes natural sugars of all kinds--honey, pure maple sugar and syrup, mo- lasses, date sugar, dried fruits, juice concentrates, fresh fruits and juices, and sweet vegetables. These dispersed through the normal diet really supply all our bodily requirements for energy and warmth from sugar.

Fruit JelliesHowever, if you still long for a little treat, you can satisfy your craving for sweetness by making candies from natural ingredients and enjoy such delights occasionally without harm. But, be it remembered, any concentrated sweet is usually acid-forming, which overtaxes the body.

Keeping the acid-alkaline balance just right at 20%/80% is the basis of health, and that means the acid-forming foods must be kept to a minimum.

DatesVery wise are the parents who encourage their children to eat dates and figs rather than candieFigss and ice cream as unnatural sugars, especially during the growing years, bring a toll of soft,  malformed bones, decayed teeth, and general structural weaknesses. And, of course, it is much easier to form a good habit in the beginning than to break a well established craving later on.

There are ever so many delicious things you can offer too. Not even a child, free to indulge in stuffed dates and prunes, fruit bars, carob-made chocolate, orange flavored jubes, nut balls and natural marzipan should feel cheated by the inveterate candy nibbler with his gum drops, divinity; and all-day suckers.

Once you start into making natural healthy candy, you will find there is no end to the combinations you can create. Our recipe section should give you a start on the road. We make free use of such nutritious foods as sunflower seeds, rice polishings, flaxseeds, powdered whey and wheat germ. These make excellent "fillers" along with fruit and nuts, but are also good on their own. Other wonderful supplements which can be used in small quantities to vitalize your candy are brewer's yeast, rosehip powder, bone meal powder, and dulse. Though honey is the natural choice of binder, vary this sometimes by using pure maple syrup, molasses and fruit concentrates. Gelatin gives a cohesion to some candies which would otherwise be too soft and sticky. Instead of the proverbial "sugar coating", we use fresh-grated coconut, chopped or ground nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seed meal even powdered whey.

To the newcomer, many of these healthy candies will not be sweet enough. This can be remedied by using more honey, date sugar or fruit concentrates until the unnatural desire for exaggerated sweet-ness wears off. 

There is much in presentation. Make your fruit candies neatly, keep the sizes uniform and decorate enticingly. They can even be attractively wrapped and done up like the commercial candies. This is an especially good idea at festive occasions, when candies feature more prominently.

These candies are made from '"live" ingredients. Any food which is stable, which will keep indefinitely, lacks the properties the body needs for health. Commercial white sugar candies have an almost everlasting life. Health candies, on the whole, must be stored in the refrigerator and eaten quickly. Like any other genuine health product, they will not keep. For this reason, our recipes are for relatively small quantities. However, they are quick and simple. Try our recipes, then experiment with your own. You'll have lots of enjoyment, and the satisfaction of knowing your candies are not detracting from your family's good health.

Article by: . Do you know how to cook a juicy salmon? How to avoid crying when cutting onions? How to prevent avocados from turning black?  Visit The Eclectic Cooking Ezine, portal to cooking and nutrition featuring freelance writers, doctors, and authors. Free weekly newsletter subscription:


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Last Modified: 11/28/11.