I’ll be the first to admit– I am not a purist when it comes to only eating “real” food.
Yes, I’m completely devoted to raw milk, cooking from scratch, and sourcing quality ingredients. BUT, I still follow the 80/20 rule. (Eat healthy 80% of the time, and don’t worry too much about the other 20%…) I think that stressing out *too* much about what you eat is probably just as unhealthy as eating junk in the first place…
That being said, even though I’ve admitted my secret love for *those* french fries, there are still some junk foods that I avoid entirely, purely because of the way they make me feel.
Like most candies for example…
I still struggle with my sweet tooth, but I’ve found that over time I have started to subconsciously steer clear of things like candy bars, hard candy, and other “concentrated” sweet treats. They make me feel just horrible, and aren’t worth the short moment of enjoyment I might have while eating them…
So, it makes me happy when I can find candy-replacements made with whole food ingredients. Easter is rapidly approaching, and with it comes all the tempting basket-fillers at the store.
I’ve seen other tootsie roll recipes floating around, but they usually include corn syrup and nonfat dry milk powder– two processed ingredients that I don’t buy. Thankfully I stumbled across this recipe and was able to tweak it– whole food style.
These quick, no-bake tootsie rolls would make a healthy addition to any Easter basket (or any time of the year, really…). They can also be gluten and dairy-free, which is a bonus if your family suffers from food allergies.
Homemade Tootsie Rolls (without the junk!)
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil OR butter, melted
- 1/4 cup organic powdered sugar (see note below)
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 cup tapioca flour (may need slightly more or less)
- 1 drop wild orange essential oil OR 1/8 teaspoon of orange extract (optional- but it gives that “fruit-flavor” which is reminiscent of traditional Tootsie Rolls)
Combine the honey, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. When you first start mixing it, it will be a clumpy mess. But just keep mixing and it will come together after a few minutes.
Mix in the melted coconut oil (or butter) and then the powdered sugar and salt.
Stir thoroughly, then begin to slowly add the tapioca flour (1/4 cup at a time). When the dough becomes too stiff to mix with your fork, use your fingers to knead the mixture together until you have a stiff, mildly sticky dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and set aside on a piece of waxed paper for about 10 minutes. Depending on how much tapioca flour you added, the dough should relax a bit and spread out. If it doesn’t, help it out by gently pressing it into a thick circle.
Cut the circle into strips (or whatever shape you’d like), and individually wrap each chunk in a small piece of waxed paper.
If you are finding that the dough is too sticky to cut, place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
I would definitely store these in the fridge– they are just a bit too sticky at room temp.
- You can purchase organic powdered sugar, or make your own: Simply place granulated organic sugar into a high-powered blender and blend for several minutes until the granules turn into a powder. You can also do this with sucanat (aka rapadura– an unrefined cane sugar). Keep in mind that using powdered sucanat in this recipe will yield a slightly less-sweet result.
- The orange essential oil is optional, but it definitely adds a nice depth of flavor. If you are using essential oils in your cooking, please make sure that you are ONLY using oils that are labeled as safe for ingestion. I only use a high-quality, very pure, brand of essential oils in my recipes. You can read about my personal essential oil journey here.
- I originally tried coconut flour instead of tapioca flour. It was gross- NOT recommended!
- Tapioca flour is also known as tapioca starch.
- I get all my coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. They have awesome sales!
I think these taste pretty darn close to the real thing. The texture is maybe just a tad different, but my family didn’t complain one bit. 😉
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