Am I the only one who loved Almond Joy bars?
Sadly I can’t eat any commercial chocolate candy now, even if I wanted to “just make one exception,” because all chocolate contains soy lecithin. Jacob is allergic to soy and even that tiny amount will bother him. It’s not worth it, so I skip it. (You better believe if I find a brand that doesn’t contain soy — there’s one type at Trader Joe’s — that I do indulge from time to time!)
The only wish I had was that they would have a type that had both almonds and dark chocolate. But Mounds had dark chocolate and no almonds, and Almond Joy had almonds and milk chocolate. Oh well.
How to get the best of both worlds and a truly healthy treat? Make them yourself!
These are so unbelievably simple, too. And if you’re in a real hurry you could just stop after the first few steps and not cover them in chocolate at all. They’d still be totally delicious with just the coconut. Actually, eating a (expensive) coconut bar from a health food store recently is what gave me the idea in the first place…. (Their chocolate-covered version contained soy, argh.)
Homemade “Almond Joy” Bars
- 1 1/4 c. coconut oil, divided
- 1/4 – 1/2 c. raw honey, divided
- 2 c. shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
Add 1 c. coconut oil to a small saucepan and turn it on low heat. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so seriously — low heat. It’ll preserve the rawness of your honey, too, if you don’t heat it too high.
Add 1/4 – 1/3 c. raw honey and stir together. This depends on how sweet you really like it. I think I added way too much to my batch. The coconut really increases the sweetness and so does the vanilla, so you don’t need much. Go for less and you can always add a little more later.
Add the vanilla and shredded coconut and stir until well combined. You could add some crispy nuts of your choice now, if you like, about 1/2 c. You’ll need a bit less coconut if you add the crispy nuts.
Pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking pan and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes, until the coconut oil is firm.
Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut it into 2 – 3″ x 1/2″ bars. You could just stop now and call it delicious. Or you could keep going….
In a small saucepan, melt the remaining coconut oil and honey (about 1/4 c. or less). Add the cocoa powder and stir together to create a chocolate sauce.
Now, get a large sheet of parchment paper ready. Dip each bar in with a spoon and coat very briefly, then remove and set on the parchment paper to dry. You can double dip them if you like if you’re really into chocolate, just make sure the chocolate is completely cool before you dip it back in.
That’s it! Store them in the fridge or in a cool place. Ideally it would be around 60 – 70 degrees so the coconut oil is hard but not rock solid. If it’s summer and your house will be hotter than 74 or so, you definitely want to store them in the fridge! Otherwise you might have a mess on hand.
This is a great way to get coconut oil into the little ones, and an excellent to-go snack, too (although kind of messy with the chocolate coating). Feel free to add chopped crispy nuts to this if you like, if you prefer them to be more “almond joy” than “mounds.” You can stick them on top or you can mix them right in when you add the coconut, your choice.
What’s your favorite way to eat coconut?
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