Sometimes I get into a snack time rut. Has that ever happened to you? I will ravenously swing open the cabinets one day and peer at all of the bags and jars on the shelves, only to realize I am completely bored with my choices. Sprouted nuts seem a bit too bland, I'm out of fresh fruit and I've already had coconut flakes for the past 7 days in a row. In these moments, rather than give in to eating one of these same old options, I challenge myself to muster up as much kitchen-creativity as I can. This recipe for Nutty Chocolate Coconut Bars was created in exactly this way. Using ingredients I found hanging around my kitchen, these unique and delightful bars combine my favorite nutrient dense foods into something new and inspiring.
The thing I love most about these bars is that they are substantial and hearty without being overwhelming. Don't get me wrong-- I love coconut oil and can be caught flinging scoopfuls into most of the recipes I whip up; yet it can easily become overpowering in raw desserts like this one. I have tried many no-bake bars and fudge recipes that taste more like eating coconut oil straight from the jar than an actual dessert.
That's why I was so pleased to find that these Nutty Chocolate Bars have just the right ratio of each ingredient group. The coconut oil adds a pleasant tropical flavor and aroma, while a smattering of nut pieces gives a satisfying crunch, tart dried fruit adds some spunk and the smooth dark chocolate ties everything together.
My second-favorite quality about this recipe is that it is SO easy to make! Chop up some nuts and toss them with melted chocolate, honey and coconut oil and Voila! you've got a fancy looking snack to have or to share. No oven required.
And the third thing (because all good things come in threes right?) is that you can customize these bars to be exactly what you want. If you prefer carob instead of chocolate-- go for it! Say you have some dried apricots hanging around-- just toss them into the mix! Maybe you love pumpkin seeds but aren't a fan of sunflower--whatever it is that makes you happy.
Consider this recipe more of a template for exploration rather than a set of strict rules. And if you come up with something totally scrumptious when rummaging through your pantry, share it with us below! I love hearing about your adventures in the kitchen.
Nutty Chocolate Coconut Bars
By Kayla- Radiant Life
1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds*
1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds*
1/2 cup mixed sprouted nuts* (I used a combo of cashews, almonds, macadamia, hazelnuts)
1/4 cup raw honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tbsp goji berries or dried cherries
2 tbsp sprouted sunflower seeds*
2 tbsp sprouted pumpkin seeds*
*If you want to learn more about how to soak or sprout your own nuts and seeds, visit this article.
Start by lining a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
Add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and mixed nuts into a food processor. Blend briefly until coarsely chopped, making sure to keep some pieces on the larger side.
In a saucepan, combine honey, raw oil, chocolate chips and cinnamon. Melt on low heat, stirring until smooth.
Add chopped nuts directly to chocolate mixture and stir.
Pour mixture into lined pan and spread it out evenly using a spoon or spatula.
Sprinkle dried fruit and extra sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top for garnish.
Place in refrigerator until hardened. Break into chunks or pieces of desired sizes. Make sure to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator when done. Enjoy!