I wish my kids would smack their lips over kale chips the same way they do the junk-filled candy they stare at in the supermarket checkout line. But while I can’t say I’ve found a line of candy made of kale (ha), I have discovered a brand that takes some of our favorite candy bars and reformulates them, without all the not-so-good stuff.
Unreal Candy may sound too good to be true: No corn syrups, no GMO’s, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or preservatives, made in the US and Canada. . .and priced the same as regular candy bars.
But, it’s real. Oh, yes, just ask my happy sweet tooth.
It’s real thanks to a scenario that is familiar in our home on November 1st: As a tween Nicky Bronner didn’t like his dad confiscating his Halloween candy. But unlike my kids who just stomp around for a few days, Nicky decided to figure out how he could make candy taste great, but without all the ingredients his dad hated. Nicky’s dad not only liked the idea, he helped get his son the funding, access, and business acumen he’d need to turn a dream into a chocolate bar.
Unreal’s first five chocolate bars are almost exact mimics of five of the most popular chocolate treats, from M&M’s to Reese’s to Snickers.
And if the ones I sampled are any indication of future products, I think we all need to start exercising tomorrow. Because, while it’s delicious, it’s still candy. Not rice cakes.
Still, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Unreal Candy has much less sugar than its traditional counterparts, as well as more fiber and protein. Just look at the comparison between Unreal Chocolate Candy Shell Peanuts and you-know-what. (Scroll down the linked page to select your comparison!) By the way, they also compare each of their products’ nutritional values to fruit like oranges and pears, which is quite clever.
One other nice surprise is the color of their candy-shell treats which come from things like tumeric root, beets, and cabbage, for a lovely hue without any weird aftertaste.
Their chocolate peanut butter cup filling doesn’t have that chalky texture I expected, but is creamier and yummier. The Unreal caramel seemed a little less chewy than what I’d grown accustomed to, but I think you’d have to be a real Snickers aficionado to notice the difference.
For my three kids, I will still say no more often than I say yes at the candy counter. But, when they get the answer they want, I’ll feel a little better about the options we have. And honestly, I’ll probably grab a bar for me too.
Unreal Candy is currently sold in CVS pharmacies, Michael’s craft stores and Walgreens. Target will carry the line in October, hopefully in “fun sizes” for all those kids who are tired of losing their Halloween candy on November 1st.