We can’t turn peanut butter cups into kale chips. That said, there is room for realistic improvement to most store-bought candy. While we ascribe to the ‘all things in moderation’ philosophy, we don’t include fillers, artificial ingredients, trans fats, excess sugar, hydrogenated corn syrup or gmo’s in that equation!We’ve experienced the healthy trend in high-end sweets – gourmet chocolate bars with darker cocoa content, pre-cheese plate truffles full of super-fruits – but when it comes to the classic candy that appeals to the child in all of us, we’ve been waiting for a brand like UNREAL to come along! The UNREAL Candy Company is creating classic candies like peanut butter cups, candy bars and chocolate drops free from un-real additives and excess sugar, but with additional fiber and protein – and will still pass your 6 year old’s taste bud test!
Admittedly, candy finds it’s way into only the darkest recesses of any healthy food pyramid. But for those splurge-worthy moments and kid-friendly holidays, chocolate and candy is a must-do and we love to find brands like UNREAL who are redefining our grocery aisle options.
The Wonka-esque food magician behind their kid-approved, but nutrition-rich candy is El Bulli’s Adam Melonas. UNREAL enlisted this famed culinary vigilante, head of innovation for the world-famous envelope pushers at El Bulli, in order to recreate candy formulations just as good as the one’s we’ve been munching on for years. Before trying his hand at these classic candies, Adam was firmly planted at the opposite end of the food spectrum: thrilling adventurous diners with El Bulli’s cutting-edge culinary experiments. At one point, Adam had re-imagined seventeen unique versions of the classic caprese salad, including an ice-cream soft mozzarella scooped frozen into tiny clear-as-glass tomato cones. Impressing El Bulli’s worldly and ever-expectant diners was surely a challenge, but it’s possible Adam has met his toughest crowd yet with UNREAL: candy-craving 6 year olds and their nostalgic grown-up counterparts.
To begin their R&D journey, the UNREAL team sat Adam in a conference room piled high with mountains full of rainbow-colored American candy. Eventually they arrived at their 5 “unjunked” candy bar and candy recipes. Along the way, they learned some interesting things about the candy industry. They found that many of the conventional candy execs they spoke with don’t allow their own children to eat their products. They debunked the myth that a shorter ingredient list is not always a healthier ingredient list: many un-natural ingredients were designed to replace 3 or 4 of their natural counterparts. In order to ‘detox’ the candy, Adam had to add a few ingredients! They also found that a key to a healthier candy bar is one you’re less likely to eat so much of: bars made with real, whole food ingredients are rich and filling, and you’re likely to eat far less of them.
We’re grateful for all the healthy food experimentation happening out there. From innovations in raw food to reinventions with classic candy. Since companies like UNREAL are putting in all the hard work, we’re left with just the simple task of being a good consumer – voting with our dollars and steering the market with our wallets. We’re more than willing to support the cleaner food movement – especially if it means buying more peanut butter cups.
Watch the video above to hear more from some of UNREAL Candy Co’s sweetest fans.