I’ve recently made the switch from peanut to almond butter. I’m not exactly sure why…I briefly thought about giving the Paleo diet a shot for a few days and read that almond butter is in and peanut butter is out. Why? I don’t know, but now I really like almond butter, so that’s that.
I’ve also been wanting to make some kind of granola bar for awhile now, but more the consistency of a Clif bar; AKA chewy and not dry. I also wanted to utilize the almond butter that I’ve become addicted to, so voila! These honey coconut almond bars use only a handful of ingredients and are packed with healthy fats and vitamins for when you need a little boost of energy or just a tasty, healthy bite.
Being nearly 25 weeks pregnant and with warm weather quickly approaching, I’m a little bit sad knowing this summer won’t be filled with one of my favorite activities: backpacking. By this time last year I’d already been on twice as many hikes and had at least two backpacking trips on the calendar. However, as my belly gets bigger and doing anything, especially hiking with 50 pounds on your back, gets harder I don’t see much sweaty, outdoor adventure in my near future. YOU on the other hand, assuming you aren’t pregnant or otherwise unable to hike with 50 pounds on your back, should have at least one outdoor adventure on your summer calendar. And if you do, then you will need a good energy bar to get you over those mountains and through those beautiful meadows.
If I were going, I’d bring lots and lots of these honey coconut almond bars.
I like recipes that are simple; meaning few ingredients and not labor intensive. I also love recipes that utilize the bulk section and reduce packaging. This recipe nails all of these recipe pre-requisites AND tastes good.
Simple ingredients: Almonds, cashews, shredded coconut, honey, water, almond butter.
Simple process: Blend it all and flatten it into a pan. Refrigerate. (NO BAKING!)
Bulk: Nuts, honey, almond butter and even coconut can be found in bulk at an all-natural grocery store. That’s all the ingredients, friend.
I learned something new while making these honey coconut almond bars. My Vitamix has limits. Since the ingredients in this recipe are pretty hearty and the end result is a very thick, chewy texture, the blending process can be quite hard on your blender or food processor. I used my Vitamix and as I was mashing the ingredients down into the blade with the big plunger thing, I started to smell something burning and then the Vitamix stopped. WHAT? I thought the Vitamix could handle anything! I panicked thinking I’d just ruined a $500 blender, but after resetting my outlet, she started back up again. PHEW! But, lesson learned. The Vitamix has limits too.
All of this is to say be careful not to over exert your machine! Add more water to loosen the mixture and stop the machine often to scrape and stir everything up again before continuing to blend. The end product should be very thick, so don’t add too much water so that it doesn’t hold together. If you have some large almond or cashews chunks leftover, no problem, you’ll just have more texture!
My husband took one bite of these and said, “Yum. You know what would make these even better? Chocolate chips.” So with that in mind, here are a few things you could add to these bars:
- Chocolate Chips
- Chopped Dates
- Dried Cherries or Cranberries
- Chopped Apricots
- Chia Seeds
If you add any of these, I would recommend adding them after you have blended everything else. Mold them into the mixture before flattening into your pan to cool.
What to Bring to the Store
This is a bulk heavy recipe, meaning you won’t need to buy any pre-packaged products. Be sure to bring the following reusables with you to the store:
- 3 reusable bulk bags (almonds, cashews, coconut)
- 2 reusable containers (honey and almond butter)
Don’t forget your reusable grocery bag!
Waste Meter- 5!
You shouldn’t have to throw out anything for this honey coconut almond bars recipe, so it gets a 5 out of 5 on the waste meter! Here’s the breakdown:
Recycle: Almond butter and/or honey jar (if couldn’t find in bulk)
- 1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2-3 tbsp water
- Line a small rimmed baking dish or pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients, except the water, into a food processor or strong blender (Vitamix). Add in the water one tablespoon at a time until all ingredients bind together. Use less or more water until everything is bound together.
- Scrape out the mixture into the baking dish with a spatula. Flatten and even out.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours then cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.