You know how sometimes you want something that tastes really unhealthy but isn’t unhealthy for you? Let me rephrase that. . .you know how a lot of times you want something really unhealthy but you know you shouldn’t? Well, I really like dark chocolate and coconut and recently I couldn’t get the Almond Joy combination out of my head, but I didn’t want the candy bar. Even if I did, we don’t keep candy in the house very often and I rarely buy it except around the holidays.
My solution? Well, make something healthy that tastes like an Almond Joy, of course! These granola bars are just that. All of the rich flavor of dark chocolate, coconut, and almonds without all of the added sugars, fats, and preservatives that are found in the candy bar. Plus, there’s a little added oat bran and flaxssed thrown in for good measure.
So the next time you want a candy bar, try these granola bars instead! They are well worth the little extra prep work of toasting the almonds and coconut. If you really can’t wait, I suppose you could skip that step, but you’d be missing out!
Yield: 12 granola bars
- 2 C rolled/regular oats
- 1/4 C oat bran
- 1/4 C ground flaxseed
- 1 C almonds, chopped
- 1 1/2 C shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
- 1/2 C honey
- 1/4 C non-fat milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate unsweetened baking cocoa
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 C brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
- Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Spread out almonds and coconut on a baking sheet. Toast at 300 for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove baking sheet from oven and leave oven at 300.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, and flaxseed. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together honey, milk, salt, baking cocoa, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Heat over medium-low heat just until mixture starts to boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
- Stir coconut mixture into oat mixture until combined.
- Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and press into bottom of dish.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove dish to a wire rack.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container.