Vanilla & Toasted Coconut Bars (and food for traveling)
I am so excited to share my latest recipe with you: Vanilla & Toasted Coconut Bars!
They are really simple to make, and so satisfying. They’re also very nutrient dense, which makes me feel good.
I used lightly toasted coconut in the ones above, but you could add other ingredients to the base, or even change the base. For instance, we also made a mock-peanut variation by substituting SunButter for the almond butter. I’ll include both variations we’ve made so far in the recipe (below).
These packaged snacks are the kind of food we take in our travel-on bag on the airplane. In fact, this food was literally in the air last week with my husband, who went to Chicago for a book publishing conference.
When our family is traveling we like to maintain the kind of diet we eat at home. We don’t want to be eating lots of high carb, high sugar, highly processed gluten-free foods. We like to snack on mostly fruit, nuts and seeds like we do at home.
Do you like these bars and trail mix? We love them. The coconut is our favorite flavor of Larabar (made in Boulder), but I recently discovered the Nude Food brand, and I adore them. They aren’t as sweet as Larabars, which I appreciate. Dates are more like the third ingredient in Nude Food bars (and in the bar recipe I’m sharing) as opposed to the first ingredient in Larabars.
Woodstock trail mix is also really good. I don’t know if you’re allowed to bring homemade bars and trail mix on the airplane—I’ve never tried. Getting ready to fly is hard work, so I prefer just picking these up at my local health food store.
Vanilla & Toasted Coconut Bars
(plus a mock-peanut variation)
Toast 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut at 350 degrees, stirring every few minutes until golden colored. Set aside.
To make the base:
Add to the food processor:
1/2 cup melted coconut cream concentrate (from Tropical Traditions)
NOTE: I think this coconut butter would also work, but I haven’t tested it yet.
1/2 cup soft pitted medjool dates
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon vanilla stevia (to your taste)
Puree. You may need a couple more tablespoons of water, depending on how dry your nut butter is. Add extra water slowly so your base doesn’t become thin. You want it to look like thick nut butter, as seen above.
Combine the shredded coconut and the base.
Using a flexible spatula (or your hands), press the mixture into a square dish lined with unbleached parchment paper.
Freeze for half an hour then cut into bars and store in the fridge.
Makes about 8 bars.
Mock-Peanut and Chocolate Chip variation:
Omit 1.5 cups of the shredded coconut and all of the sea salt.
Substitute SunButter for the almond butter.
Add 1 cup of salted roasted sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips.
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