Am I the only one who loved Almond Joy bars before starting my natural health journey?
Sadly, I can’t eat any commercial chocolate now, even if I wanted to “just make one exception” because all chocolate contains soy lecithin. My son Jacob is allergic to soy; even that tiny amount will bother him. It’s not worth it, so I skip it. (You better believe that when I find a brand that doesn’t contain soy (there’s one type at Trader Joe’s), I indulge occasionally!)
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 hurry, you could just stop after the first few steps and not cover them in chocolate. They’d still be delicious with just the coconut. Eating an (expensive) coconut bar from a health food store recently gave me the idea in the first place… (Their chocolate-covered version contained soy, argh.)
Homemade “Almond Joy” Bars
- 1 1/4 cups coconut oil, divided
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup raw honey, divided
- 2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
Step 1: Add 1 cup coconut oil to a small saucepan and turn it on low heat. Coconut oil melts at 76ºF, so seriously — low heat. It’ll preserve the rawness of your honey, too, if you don’t heat it too high.
Step 2: Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup raw honey and stir together. This depends on how sweet you like it. I think I added way too much to my batch. The coconut 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.
Step 3: Add the vanilla and shredded coconut and stir until well combined. You could add some crispy nuts of your choice now, about 1/2 cup. You’ll need a bit less coconut if you add the crispy nuts.
Step 4: Pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking pan and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes until the coconut oil is firm.
Step 5: 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…
Step 6: In a small saucepan, melt the remaining coconut oil and honey (about 1/4 cup or less). Add the cocoa powder and stir together to create a chocolate sauce.
Step 7: 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’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 a cool place. Ideally, it would be around 60 – 70ºF, so the coconut oil is hard but not rock solid. If it’s summer and your house will be hotter than 74ºF, 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 (although somewhat 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 mix them right in when you add the coconut.