They are my weakness. I like to pretend they are healthy because they are granola bars, but they SUPER aren’t. I figured if I can’t quite make myself crunchy, I can at least try to be “chewy.”
I set out to make a slightly-healthier version of my beloved fudge-dipped coconut bars. I consulted my semi-crunchy cousin Katie and my uber-crunchy vegan friend Allison in the creation of this recipe. If you want to make these bars more healthy and organic, follow their substitutions.
I have been hearing about coconut oil all over the internets lately. It has quite a few impressive health benefits, and it is supposed to taste great. Then I saw Aunt Peaches’ post outlining a bunch of great uses for coconut oil, and I was sold.
Coconut oil solidifies below 76 degrees but liquifies above 76. The opened jar made me think a little bit of Monica’s glass of fat, but it smelled delicious and coconut-y. The coconut oil replaces butter in this recipe, so that alone ups my crunchiness points, I think.
The other substitution I made was opting to use Nectresse natural sweetener instead of sugar. I will let you know more about Nectresse in a future post.
The first thing I did was melt down the coconut oil with the Nectresse and some honey. Allison tells me that agave syrup is a good vegan substitute for honey.
I mixed together oats and sweetened coconut. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use GF rolled oats. My cousin Katie says Bob’s Red Mill is a good brand to try.
Add the vanilla to the coconut oil mixture and pour it over the oats and coconut. Make sure it is all well-coated then pour into a pan.
I used a jelly roll pan for my bars, but next time I will use a 9x13, as the bigger pan made the bars pretty thin. It is VERY important to really pack down the bars to help them stick together. Use a piece of wax paper to keep the oats and chocolate chips from sticking to the spatula.
The bars are plenty sweet, so you could probably opt for unsweetened coconut if you wanted and they would still be very delicious. My batch was pretty crumbly, so you might want to eat these with a plate or napkin. Or just shove the whole thing in your mouth at once. I’m not here to judge.
“CHEWY” CHOCOLATE COCONUT BARS
Disclosure HERE and HERE.
- 1/4 c. coconut oil
- 1/4 c. honey
- 7 T. Nectresse
- 2 c. oats
- 1 c. sweetened coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla
- mini chocolate chips
- Mix together oats and sweetened coconut in a large bowl.
- Melt oil, honey, and Nectresse over medium heat, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to come to a bubble for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Pour the mixture over oats and coconut. Stir until completely coated.
- Pour mixture onto a jelly roll pan.
- Cover the mixture with wax paper and press down FIRMLY.
- Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the packed mixture.
- Place wax paper on top of chocolate chips and press down again.
- Freeze for an hour or longer.
- Cut and enjoy!
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Thanks, Jessica Hill