I promise that my next recipe will have some avocado or mango in it. But in the meantime I´ll stick to nutritious and still tropical healthy coconut chocolate bars recipe.Chez nous: Cocochocs.
At home we are always trying to ban sugar, but being realistic, going completely sugarfree is a noble utopic goal that we are not yet prepared for. Me being an ex sugar addict who behaves considerably well nowadays and two kiddoes with a sweet tooth that I´m constantly trying to keep under control. An unbreakable rule at home is that we do not buy sweets. With the exception of ice-cream in summer, of which the major bulk we prepare at home. Shshsh … our latest addition is mascarpone, which gives those frozen bananas or whatever frozen fruit such a heavenly creamy feel that we really managed to forget it´s homemade. That being said, we still prepare traditional cookies, crepes, bundt cakes. Not very often but we do.
I follow a lot of wonderful blogs with healthy recipes for kids, where the litte ones seem to happily eat a broccoli if you but a couple of goggly eyes on it, or roasted zucchini with a spinkle of parmiggiano. In our kitchen it´s not that easy. Maybe I´m a worse cook, or maybe my kids are fussier. But I think that our experience is closer to what an average want-my-kids-to-eat-healthy family would be. They do eat rocket salads and drink gazpacho with pleasure though, so I´m constantly looking for the next thing that would gobble without me having to read three stories and spoon feed them to get through the meal. Maybe these healthy Coconut chocolate bars are not very challenging, I might think of adding some spinach to make it more interesting. haaahaaa
less sugar or no sugar. What we do at home.
- Almost always dessert is fruit, cookies and other bakes goodies are not an everyday staple. Processed and packaged version of these is never in the pantry. Easier not to have them if they are not there. exceptions are home made sweets, and if they are in teh form of healthy coconut chocolate bars then better.
- When we prepare classic sweet recipes, we reduce the omount of sugar the recipe asks for by 25% at the first trial, then, if possible reduce to half. It might surprise you how well some of the recipes turn out having lost 50% of their sweetness. Sometimes they are even better than the original. I guess palate training, gradually adjusts the too-sweet threshold. Eventually what seemed not sweet enough is just about right.
- Merging the first two points, we get to reduce even more the refined sugar replacing part of it with dried fruits like cranberries, raisins and dates, or even fresh bananas and apples. That way we never ever add sugar to our milkshakes and smoothies.
- Bye-bye merengues. We do not buy breakfast cereals since most of them is 28% sugar or more. So 28% is like our reference in new recipes to try out.
- A lot of paleo or raw vegan blogs share recipes with honey ad agave nectar instead of sugar. I´m sorry, but if half the recipe is honey than maybe it´s not the best option, unless it´s a spread which you will have on chia seeds crackers with some yoghurt. Now my eyes glimpse towards our healthy coconut chocolate bars. When measuring the ingredients by weight, the amount of honey seems disproportionate, but taking into account that they are actually three tablespoons of honey for two ful cups of shredded coconut, it just all seems more balanced. -¿Do I get a pass?
- I was never a bungee jump kinda girl. And artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners extracted by artificial processes are not my favourite. I´d rather wait a few years so that they really get to study the relatively new Swerve and Stevia. before thowing them happily in all my sweet recipes. I´d rather worrk on that sweet tooth. And instead of offering my tastebuds more sweet from a sifferent source, I´m full of optimism trying to get them used to greens as a source of pleasure.
OOOH I got completely lost in my quest for less sugar in the kitchen. But I hope that our experience helps other families who do not have perfect happy-to-devour-green-beans-chickpea-salads in a blink.
The recipe of healthy coconut chocolate bars
Long long time ago, Paleo grubs shared this recipe on their facebook page, I noted it down, and just a few days back, recovered it from the messy notes in my green kitchen-adventures notebook. It seemed very easy, simple, with few ingredients so I decided to prepare it with the kids, except chocolaty coating bit. You might guess why. And the only modification on the original coconut chocolate bars recipe was omitting coconut oil from the chocolate coating. I felt no need to add the exotic exotic ingredient, and I´m actually trying out variations to prepare a similar recipe without coconut oil at all, so stay tuned. A Healthy after eight might be next. After the avocado one of course.
Not all chocolates are made equal.
If you want to control sugar content in your recipes, do read your ingredients when you buy your chocolate. Even if it is not milk chocolate, dark chocolate is mainly cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar, less chocolate percentage more sugar. At home we use 80% Amazonas chocolate. The least amount of sugar guaranteed.
Enough beating around the bush and let´s get started with the coconut chocolate bars recipe for real.
Mix the filling
First you need to mix your shredded coconut with coconut oil and honey. The result is a bit coarse, so maybe next time I´d try to use the blender and get a smoother consistency. Which would help shaping our healthy coconut chocolate bars and having a smooth clean coating. The decision should be made depending n weather you prefer the coconut texture as is or smoother. For me, these healthy coconut chocolate bars or bites are not meant to be swallowed in a moment. I so enjoy chewing the coconut shreds and feel how they magically turn into tiny coconut oil moist explosions. That´s just me, adoring shredded coconut mixture. And maybe I get too carried away. But do pause, don´t rush through your bites, and enjoy the food you are having.
Spread the coconut mixture evenly to the desired thickness on a nonstick parchment paper. I did a 0,5cm layer. Stick it into the freezer for 10-30 minutes. In the meantime melt your chocolate. We don´t have a microwave, so either on Bain Marie. I use a good quality heavy pot directly in the lowest setting on glass-ceramic hob and it works fine, chocolate melts perfectly without getting burnt.
Now it´s time to take out your coconut slab. Cut it into fingers, bars, square bites o whatever your preference. Dip them one by one in the melted chocolate. Leave the coated ones in the parchments paper and stick back to the freezer for another 30 minutes. When fully settled you can store in the fridge in an airtight container.
I have no idea how long they last in the fridge since they never survived for more than 3 days.
With or without chocolate.
Although I love chocolate my body does not react well to it. Next day I´m guaranteed to watch a new pimple on my face. So I kept some of these bars without coating, and although they are ok if you love coconut. The chocolate nicely contrasts in flavor and texture with the coconut and elevates the bars to a completely new dimension. I still haven’t figured a satisfactory carob chocolate version. So till then, my choice.
Recipe comming soon
Coconut is just like other nuts, you can have it whole, flaked, shredded, or even turn it to coconut butter. I´m trying out some versions with coconut butter, trying to keep it as simple as possible, with one objective in mind: simple healthy AfterEight bites. Just prepared the coconut butter. Hopefully nex week we will see those after eights at Tropicultura.
Paleo, raw vegan, vegan, vegetarian, gluten and diary free.