ALMOND JOY COCONUT CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BARS
Easy to make coconut chocolate granola bars taste just like Almond Joy candy bars, only healthier! You don’t have to bake the bars and they take no time at all. My favorite part: there’s no GMOs, refined sugars, or other random fillers — only good for you ingredients!
I am completely hung up on these coconut chocolate granola bars! The hubby and I may or may not have polished off 6 of these in the last 24 hours. By the time you actually read this, they may (read: will) all be gone. And for once, I don’t have to feel that guilty! I mean, what’s better than having something that’s actually healthy and that tastes like a almond joy candy bar? Not much on this planet, I can tell you that!
Question for you… Have you ever read the ingredients on a store-bought granola bar? Yeah. Okay. Don’t. Some granola bars have ingredients I won’t even bother pronouncing. And lets not even talk about an Almond Joy bar, there’s like 20 something ingredients in there. I’ll skip that. Thankyouverymuch.
What’s come over me, you ask? Well as I mentioned here, the hubby and I have had way (way, wayyyyyyyy) too much fun on our vacay and are now trying to reel it back in. A couple friend of ours is on the South Beach diet and even though we’re not, they’ve motivated us to eat healthy too.
And after reading this on Pinch of Yum, we’re motivated to significantly reduce (and one day, eliminate) as much sugar from our diets as possible. So here we are, trying our best to not use white sugar, brown sugar, fake sugar syrups, and all artificial sweeteners. Other than chocolate in small quantities, of course. Lindsay has a lot more self control than I do around chocolate. Because I am a self admitting chocoholic and cannot make it a full week without having some. Hi, nice to meet you!
Now back to granola bars. When I make granola bars at home, I like to use whole and natural ingredients. And chocolate. How can you not use chocolate?
You only need 10 ingredients to make these coconut chocolate granola bars at home.
Which is way less than any almond joy or store-bought granola bar! Start with some old fashioned rolled oats, rice crispies cereal (make sure to get a variety that doesn’t have sugar if you’re also trying watch your sugar intake), some sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and some chocolate chunks or chips. Regular roasted almonds or slivered almonds would work fine too.
I like to toast up my rolled oats, sliced almonds, and unsweetened coconut flakes. I love the flavor and super crunchy texture you get from just lightly toasting these key ingredients. This step is optional so it’s completely up to you!
The wet ingredients are what make these coconut chocolate granola bars hold their shape. A little sweet honey, some melted coconut oil, almond butter, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Just heat these ingredients in a small sauce pan until they start to bubble up.
I love these coconut chocolate granola bars because they’re good for you and you can’t even tell. There’s a certain bliss that you get from eating healthy things that don’t taste healthy. Oh, is it just me?
Ditch the store-bought granola bars and get to making these. It’s candy bar ingredients mashed into granola bar ingredients without all the added garbage!
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup rice crispies
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chunks or chips
- optional: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the rolled oats, sliced almonds, and coconut flakes on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes stopping half way in between to give the ingredients a good flip to ensure even browning. Step #1 isn't necessary but I highly recommend it for an added crunch. Let the oat mixture cool completely before proceeding, about 10 minutes.
- Line an 8x8 or loaf pan with aluminum foil, set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, rice crispies, and chocolate chunks
- Place the honey, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until the mixture is nice and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continuously stir so the mixture can cool down quickly. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir quickly to evenly coat. The chocolate chunks will get a little melty - that's fine and even desirable.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking pan, pat the mixture down using a spatula. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the mixture and using the back of a large measuring cup, press the mixture into the pan. The more tightly packed the mixture, the less the bars will crumble on you later.
- Still covered, pop them into the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove and cut into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container or bag in the fridge. It's best to not store them at room temperature. Bars can also be kept in the freezer.