These bars pack a powerful coconut punch. The healthy oils protect your heart and boost your metabolism, but it's the rich, sweet flavor (think cookie dough!) that will win you over. You can whip them up in just a few minutes time, and keep in the fridge for a post-workout treat.
Toasted Coconut Bars
Yield: 10 bars
Active Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
2 cups, packed, unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1 cup, packed, medjool dates, pitted (around 12 dates)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon Maldon salt
1/4 cup coconut butter or coconut manna
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Coconut chips, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fully line 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
On baking sheet, toast the coconut and cashews in oven for 5 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Let cool.
Place toasted coconut, cashews, dates, spices, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse until crumb-sized. Add coconut butter and 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and process until mixture begins to clump. If too dry, add the additional 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil.
Press the mixture into the pan, compress, and flatten evenly. Press the coconut chips onto the batter. Place in freezer for 15 to 20 minutes and then slice into 10 bars, each 4 x 1 1/4-inch. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Hint: Spraying the tin with a little cooking spray helps the paper adhere to the pan.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont