No-Bake Almond Joy Bars ~ low carb, vegan, AIP
These No-Bake Almond Joy Bars are a coconut and chocolate lovers dream! They're easy to make, freeze well, and are loaded with healthy ingredients, plus they work for almost any special diet--they are low-carb, paleo and vegan too.
I just love easy to make treats like these chocolate avocado truffles, these no-bake chocolate mint bars, my silky bean fudge, chocolate chia pudding, and homemade JELLO®.
But this recipe for Healthy Almond Joy Bars has got to be one of our all time favorites.
This recipe is one of the first healthy desserts that I made after starting on my sugar-free diet a few years ago and it's been one of our favorites. I've shared it with sugar-free folks (SFF) and non SFF alike and everyone has loved it.
In fact, I just dropped a batch off to my best friend in celebration of her baby's baptism.
I shared my original recipe for these right after I started blogging, and it was pretty good as it was. But thanks to some changes, it's now truly amazing.
And it's also a great healthy chocolate recipe for us chocolate and sugar-loving folks.
If you need to watch your caffeine and stimulants intake, just substitute carob for the chocolate, or use half carob and half cocoa. These taste great that way too.
These taste great freshly made, but we love to keep them in the fridge or freezer to keep their shape and they do not travel well in warm weather. You could make them with cocoa butter instead of coconut oil so they will hold up better in warmer temps.
Unlike the store-bought bar candy, these bars are made with all whole food ingredients and since they are a bar variety, they are easier to whip up than molded candies.
These Healthy Almond Joy Bars are a real plus for busy folks like me.
Stevia Usage Tips
This recipe calls for stevia (though you can use an alternative sweetener if you like).
I use these stainless steel mini measuring spoons for all my stevia extract uses. The 2nd smallest scoop is 1/32 of a teaspoon (which equals 1 scoop).
These spoons are a MUST if you bake with stevia. Very helpful.
Whether you are:
- looking for healthy chocolate candies
- wanting to make home made candy
- looking for a way to get more fat into your diet
this Healthy Almond Joy Bars recipe is for you. Let me know what you think!
Recipe Notes and Tips
1. Make sure to read my tips on Substituting Sweeteners for Cooking and Baking. You can use whatever you have on hand!
2. If using stevia, all extract powders are not created equal. I have used KAL in the past. NuNaturals is my current favorite, but I will be trying SweetLeaf soon. You can find NuNaturals at a better price on Iherb, one of my favorite places for supplements and health products. Their liquid stevia drops are wonderful and like NuNaturals, their processing technique is chemical free which I like.
3. Stevia extract is SUPER sweet. 1 scoop equals 1/32 teaspoon. The scoop comes in the package. So a little goes a loooooong way.
4. Some have asked about the multiple sweeteners in the recipe. I do this to make a more natural tasting end product plus to minimize any adverse health effects that might turn up from using any one of these alternative sweeteners. You can read more in this post on Stevia - What it Is and How to Use It.
5. For the 1 1/2 scoops stevia, you could also use vegetable glycerine, xylitol, erythritol, or any combination thereof. I really like using low-carb sweeteners due to being on a candida diet, which I started a number of years ago. Use a little more if using erythritol since it isn't as sweet. You could use my DIY Truvia as well.
6. Some AIP notes are in the recipe--use carob, coconut butter, and an approved sweetener.
Special Diet Options
- Oil Options: You can substitute palm shortening, as well as butter, for the coconut oil.
- Nut or Seed Butter: If you're allergic or needing to avoid nuts, you can substitute really any nut or seed butter, but almond is especially nice. See Homemade Nut / Seed Butter for a make-your-own option. I have used almond butter, sunflower seed butter, as well as homemade pumpkin seed butter and they all worked out great.
- Sweetener: Organic erythritol can be used instead of xylitol (just add 1/3 of the original amount). For every 2 tablespoons xylitol, 1/32 teaspoon stevia extract can be used.
- THM: For those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this recipe is an "S."
- Keto | Low-carb: This recipe as written fits this diet.
- AIP: Use coconut butter instead of the seed / nut butter for AIP. Here's how to make your own. I haven't tried this, and the bars will for sure be more firm, but I think it can work.
More Healthier No Bake Treats
If you like this recipe, you'll love....
Keto Mounds Bars - quite possibly the best Sugar-free Mounds Bar recipe out there.
Bean Fudge - yes, I said "beans." So easy and so good.
Healthy Gummies - fun to make and funner to eat
Healthy Snickers Bars - vegan, keto / low-carb, and refined sugar-free. Peanut-free option too!
No-Bake Healthy Almond Joy Bars (low carb, vegan, gluten free, AIP)
Chocolate / Carob Base
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond butter (see Recipe Notes for a link to my homemade version)
- 1/4 cup low carb sweetener (or preferred alternative sweetener)
- 6 tablespoons cocoa
- 4 tablespoons erythritol (see alternative in Recipe Notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 7 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/3 cup low carb sweetener
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon additional flavoring (optional)
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- almond halves or slices (optional)
- melted low carb chocolate chips for drizzle (optional)
- Melt oil and nut / seed butter over low heat.
- Stir in cocoa / carob (sifted if you like, but I have never bothered with this) and granulated sweetener and combine thoroughly.
- Mix in remaining ingredients except for vanilla. Continuously stir until it slightly thickens, then remove from heat.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the mixture into an 8×8 pan and place in freezer to harden while you make the topping. If you don't have room in your freezer, the fridge will get it solid enough to work with.
- Melt oil in small pan and add coconut flakes. Stir.
- Add remaining ingredients. Simmer and stir until it thickens a bit.
- Once the chocolate is hardened, gently smooth the coconut mixture on top.
- Place slivered or whole almonds on top (optional). Place bars back in the freezer until hardened. Again, the fridge will work, but it will take longer.
- Slice into squares of desired size and enjoy! They'll be too hard to cut right out of the freezer so let them thaw a bit first.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Other Healthy Sweet Treats
- Amazing Bean Fudge
- "Almost Reese's" - Nut Butter and Chocolate Candy
- Homemade Protein Bars
- Almond Truffles
- Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips
- Rich Chocolate / Carob Pudding (dairy free with sugar-free option)
This recipe has been updated with new photos. Here are two of the earlier images that were in previous versions for your reference.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on these should you try them!
Do these freeze well?
Yes, they most certainly do! Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy them!
Made these tonight and they were fantastic!! I only used 1/2 the shredded coconut because I ran out and they were still great! I will use the full amount of coconut next time for sure. So rich ! I used almond extract as the "additional flavor--yum! I also used about 1/2 t. of stevia instead of the erythritol. This is "No Sugar November" for me and my family ( our first time) and these were really a hit around here. : ) Love them--Trisha
Sooo glad to hear this! Are you only consuming low glycemic sweeteners? I think this is a great plan! I feel silly that I'm asking this but is this something a company started or it's just happening? I love it!
Haven't tried the recipe yet but I am going to! I am a bit confused as to your commenting on the amounts of sweeteners if you don't use xylitol. I probably would use either monkfruit or Swerve but I am totally confused as to how much to substitute. I haven't been this confused about sweeteners ever before! lol Thanks in advance for clearing it up for us.
Hi there - happy to help! What type of monk are you using--extract or combined w/ erythritol?
I read that you're working on posting nutritional info with recipes. I'd like to be able to keep track of carbs, but take your word that these are low carb and make them. Yum!
Thank you! We are working on it. All kinds of things that are taking up time but we will get to it!
I am still learning about sweeteners. Some are 1:1 and others are 2:1. I know serve is 1:1. Does Swerve measure like xylitol?
Xylitol is 1:1 for sugar as well, so yes.
Since xylitol kills good and bad bacteria (plus it upsets most people's stomachs) I would suggest a combo of erythritol and stevia, which I guess is Truvia. I have always been partial to Almond Joy bars but now want to stay away from the sugar. Got a recipe for Snickers?
Hi Jean - thanks for reading! I have done some research into xylitol and stevia and erythritol and it's complicated. I haven't seen anything conclusive about xylitol killing gut bacteria--have you? In fact, I know some who tolerate it better than erythritol, so I guess it's best to use what works for you. Anyhow, I hope you like these whatever you use! I don't but I can try on the Snickers. LOVE them!!!