New Year Almond Joy Bars

A new take on the almond joy bar…a little more coconutty, optionally sugar free, lightly coated in SUPER dark chocolate…a teeny bit chewy and all that bit more appealing than my straight up Bounty’s!

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I’ve never had an actual almond joy bars…they don’t exist in this part of the world. Or at least they didn’t when I was a candy bar eating kid. I reckon you might be able to find one in one of the more specialist shops and failing that you could probably ship one in from the States?!

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These bars are of course adapted from my Better Bounty’s…this is a sugar free version, if you choose to keep it that way. I’ve made them with both 99% chocolate and 90%, the latter of which only has 7g of sugar per 100g so about 2g of sugar per bar which is pretty good going don’t you think?! With the natural sweetness of the coconut filling and the fact that it’s only a light chocolate coating even with the 90% chocolate my “can’t do any darker than 70%” when it comes to chocolate eating mum was quite the fan!

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I’m calling them NEW YEAR Almond Joy Bars just taking advantage of the fact that it’s on the horizon. Much like Christmas I’m not much of a fan, I don’t do the whole big party palaver and I’d be quite happy to go to bed at 10pm but tend to make the effort to stay up with my family to wish them all a Happy New Year.

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This is the first year I’ve truly had no crutch to lean on, nothing to abuse to distract from the stress/tension and potential depression that can descend on any one of us around the holidays. No over or under eating, extreme restriction, over exercising or just general obsessive behaviours. It’s been refreshing! Not 100% easy admittedly, I’ve felt a little anxious, lightly on edge and just not fully myself but I’ve just sat with and accepted the feelings. I’ve gone easy on myself and sure now we’re almost through the other side and I’m determined to keep on moving onwards and upwards! Who’s with me?!

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And what better way to celebrate than with a healthy take on one of my dream bars…like I said I’ve never actually had the real deal but as a Bounty lover the addition of almond butter and a roasted almond can only make them even more appealing!

With so many people jumping on the detox and juicing bandwagons I prefer to support and promote a more balanced approach. Not all or nothing but a clean eating cleansing and rebalancing, eating what you know will make you feel could without restricting to the point of falling off the wagon before you’ve even got in to a natural rhythm!

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I like a treat, I don’t need it…if you need it than you may need to reset before having these on hand. Totally nourishing, my favourite version is less any sweetener in the almond butter and coconut filling, coated in 90% chocolate for balance sake…a just a little hit of sweetness.

Any special traditions food or otherwise when it comes to the New Year you’d like to share?

Sugar Free Almond Joy Bars

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 15 minutes + 1 hour to set

Keywords: raw snack dessert gluten-free grain free low-carb paleo soy-free sugar-free almond butter coconut butter coconut coconut cream

Ingredients (8 large mound bars)

    Filling

    • 160g (2 cups) desiccated coconut
    • 55g (1/4 cup) coconut oil melted
    • 55g (1/4 cup) coconut butter melted
    • 2 tbsp (30ml) coconut cream (from the top of a can of full fat refrigerated coconut milk!)
    • Seeds from one vanilla bean , or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, or 1 tsp vanilla powder
    • 2 tbsp powdered stevia (optional) or 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup; or no sweetener!!!

    Almond butter topping

    • 1/3 cup (80g) smooth all natural almond butter
    • 2 tbsp powdered stevia; you can add no sweetener and replace with 1 tbsp (7g) coconut flour
    • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut butter melted
    • 8 roast almonds (or more if you’re going to make smaller bars…up to 12!)

    Chocolate coating

    • 220g (2 cups) 90% – 99% dark chocolate; you can use 85% if you don’t mind a little extra sugar or add 1-2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup to the mix!
    • 1 tbsp (14g) coconut oil
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract (optional but it will make it naturally a little sweeter)

    Instructions

    Blitz all ingredients together in your food processor to break up the coconut a bit.

    Set aside for 5 minutes.

    Divide mixture in to 8 mounds on a lined baking tray that you can fit in to your freezer with ease.

    Using your fingers shaped in bars, similar to a funszie almond joy bar! Alternatively you can place in to a silicon ice cube tray and make mini almond joy bars or use round molds to make the in to cup shapes!

    If using your hands wash them after each bar and leave them a little damp. It’s slightly tricky but well worth the effort to make them look pretty!

    Place in the freezer for at least an hour or overnight until completely frozen.

    Meanwhile you can make the almond butter topping. Place in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes, then roll little thick strips of the mixture and place on top of each of the coconut mounds. Stick a raw almond on top and return to the freezer for another 30 minutes or overnight. I nearly always leave them overnight just to be sure to be sure!

    Chocolate Coating

    Melt chocolate and coconut oil; add sweetener if using and vanilla. Remove bars from the freezer, one at a time dunk them in to the chocolate mixture, CAREFULLY! I use a fork and a spoon.

    The spoon drops them in carefully the fork then the lifting tool to gently tap off excess chocolate. Repeat with all bars. With the first couple of bars I tend to re-coat them as the melted chocolate thickens a little bit and the latter bars usually end up with a thicker chocolate layer.

    Place bars on a baking paper lined tray as you finish coating them. As the chocolate firms up drizzle with any remaining chocolate and place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes before serving.

    These will keep in a seal tight container in the fridge for up to one week or freezer for up to one month. They only take about 20 minutes to thaw out at room temperature!

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