Healthy “Candy” Bars

Inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good, I wanted to create a sweet treat that tasted good, but wasn’t incredibly bad for you. She created a candy bar recipe that looked amazing – except it was based with cashews and coconut. Annnnnd I don’t like cashews or coconut. The texture of coconut really freaks me out and I don’t like the flavor. I made a couple of versions and this was my favorite! Her’s was vegan, which also wasn’t super important to me, so I used melted Nesle chocolate chips instead of vegan chocolate chips.

Amen for healthy sweet treats 🙂

DSC_0578_small

 

Makes about a dozen bars, depending on how you cut them

1.5 cups raw, unsalted almonds

1.5 cups prunes, chopped

1/2 cup peanut butter (you can use almond butter, I was just out when I made this)

1/2 cup high quality maple syrup (do not use processed maple syrup!)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup – 1.5 cup chocolate chips (depending on how much of a chocolate layer you want – I used 3/4 cup for the photo above)

Coconut oil / butter / vegetable oil (optional)

 

I usually half this recipe because most of it is done in a food processor and my food processor is mini-sized.

In a food processor, grind the almonds until they resemble a fine consistency. Once fine, add the prunes, peanut butter and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Add the flour and the vanilla extract until you have a sticky dough like consistency.

Line a pan of your choosing (depending on how thick you want the bars to be) with parchment paper and press the almond dough into the bottom. Cover and let refrigerate for an hour (or so).

While the dough is refrigerating, melt the chocolate chips. I melted them on a stove over very low heat with no additional oil, but you can melt them any way you wish! Gwyneth’s book recommends 1.5 tablespoons of oil or butter per 1.5 cups of chocolate chips. This makes the chocolate smoother and prettier, but I chose to omit it to make it a little healthier. If you choose to do it with no oil, closely watch the chocolate as it can burn easily. Pour the chocolate over the almond mixture immediately and then return to the refrigerator until the chocolate is firm.

Keep in the fridge until ready to eat! Let the bars sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting them into your desired shape. I ran my knife under warm water for a few seconds to help with a cleaner cut.

Amen for guilt free chocolate. Ennnnnjoy.

 

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