I just love easy to make treats like my chocolate avocado truffles, these no bake chocolate mint bars, my silky bean fudge, chocolate chia pudding, and homemade JELLO®. But this recipe for 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 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.
My original post on Healthy Almond Joy Bars was just after I started blogging, and it was pretty good as it was. But thanks to a reader's alterations to my recipe and another update of my own, I think it now pretty amazing.
And 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 and half. 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.
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 healthy coconut oil into your diet
this is the recipe for you. Let me know what you think!
By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.
What You Will Need
You will need the following things to make this recipe:
- Coconut Oil (palm shortening would work well too, as well as butter)
- Almond Butter (any nut or seed butter would work, but almond is especially nice). See Homemade Nut / Seed Butter. Use coconut butter for AIP. Here's how to make your own.
- Sweetener (options include xylitol, erythritol, vegetable glycerine, stevia (I use NuNaturals), and my DIY Truvia)
- Cocoa (for more health benefits, use raw cacao, or use carob for AIP)
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Additional Flavoring (optional. Almond or coconut are good choices)
- Arrowroot Powder (non-gmo cornstarch may be substituted. Use xanthan gum or glucomannan if you need to avoid these foods)
- Almond Halves or Slices (optional)
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 tsp. 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.
- ½ cup coconut oil (palm shortening would work well too, as well as butter)
- ½ cup almond butter (any nut or seed butter would work, but almond is especially nice) See Homemade Nut / Seed Butter. Use coconut butter for AIP. Here's how to make your own.
- ¼ cup granulated sweetener or appropriate substitute (for candida diets, xylitol and erythritol work well. 4-6 scoops stevia extract is a good alternative)
- 6 Tbsp cocoa (for more health benefits, use raw cacao, or use carob for AIP)
- 3 Tbsp additional sweetener (I use vegetable glycerine, xylitol, erythritol, or any combination thereof, 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 or 1½ scoops stevia as well)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1⅔ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 7 Tbsp coconut oil (palm shortening or butter would work well too)
- ⅓ cup granulated sweetener (or 2-3 scoops stevia extract powder. I use NuNaturals.)
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp additional flavoring (optional. Almond or coconut are good choices)
- 2 tsp arrowroot powder (non-gmo cornstarch may be substituted. Use 1/16 tsp of xanthan gum or glucomannan if you need to avoid these foods.)
- Almond halves or slices (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. 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 probably be too hard to cut right out of the freezer so you may need to let them thaw a bit first.
- Store in the refrigerator.
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)
Do you have a candy or dessert recipe that needs a makeover?
I can't promise success (my recent attempt at healthy tootsie rolls was a total flop), but I have taste testers willing to try :-)!