It is NO secret that I have a WICKED sweet tooth! You are looking at a blog from the girl who used to eat sugar from our sugar bowl by the SPOONFUL, went to culinary school to earn a baking & pastry arts degree, took advantage of cooking opportunities within her pre-K classroom on the regular just to bake cookies with her students….I am THAT girl.
Naturally, candy is one of the food groups I tend to be VERY partial to. With that in mind, and goals in mind, and processed-crap-food in mind, I have been on a kick of creating my own recipes lately to REALLY create something that is delicious, but also offers me healthy benefits.
These BARS are just that!
My husband and I have been on a wellness kick for the last few years, but really on point over the past couple months, and he has inspired me to truly dig into that PASTRY CHEF background and come up with some alternative recipes that can light my baking fire, ease my sweet tooth, and still keep my goals on track…so, here it is….the Almond Joy Bars you have been waiting for.
Let me just REALLY put a disclaimer here, because I want to be REAL with you–these are NOT as sweet as the commercial variety, they are very basic in ingredients, so their flavor is much more natural than what you might be used to. I will tell you that they HIT THE SPOT for my chocolate desires, and absolutely did not make me feel out of control or longing for MORE decadence. These are rich, filling, and full of wholesome ingredients that will provide extra fiber, ease the sugar spike, and feel more like a bar BAR than a candy bar. Enough stalling….let’s dive in!
Almond Joy Bars
(makes 3 individual bars)
1 medium banana, mashed
1-2 T unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 T coconut flour
1/8 tsp almond extract (coconut extract would be good here, too! I just didn’t have any)
6 whole almonds
In a small bowl, combine ingredients. The mixture will be similar to cookie dough. If it seems too soft, add more coconut/flour. This will depend entirely on the size of banana…”medium” is a relative term. Create “bars” out of mixture and top with 2 whole almonds per bar.
Place in freezer to “set” at least 10 minutes.
For chocolate coating:
2 T melted coconut oil
1 tsp melted vanilla bean ghee
5 drops liquid stevia
2 T cocao powder (more might be needed)
Melt fats in bowl, then add stevia and cocao. Stir until smooth. The dipping process is easy, but it should be done quickly. If the bars are too frozen, the chocolate will set very quickly. You want them to have a chill, but not be frozen solid. I dipped the bottom into the bowl first, then spooned chocolate over top of the bar until entirely coated. Use a fork to pick up the bar out of bowl and swipe excess chocolate from bottom of bar as you slide fork across side of bowl. Place back on plastic wrapped or parchment covered plate, and repeat process. To serve, let chocolate set up entirely, then enjoy. These are best served chilled, but not entirely frozen.
Truth of the matter here is this: these bars are completely trial and error. Upon creating this recipe last night, I would add MORE finely shredded coconut (mine is large flake variety). I would also add coconut extract to pump up the flavor of traditional Almond Joy candy bars that we are used to. In my exact recipe, I used vegan chocolate Shakeology as part of my cocao, which is absolutely delicious and offers a boost in immunity plus protein.
I am enjoying one of these bars as I write this up, and I have to say, THESE ARE GOOD. They are rich, like I mentioned, but the banana flavor is covered by the coconut essence and the dark chocolate bitterness is paired well with the almond crunch. You will not be disappointed, especially if you are a person who is more accustomed to alternative baked goods and recipes!!
Shine on crazy sugar monsters!! Thanks for hanging with me!
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