This month for my ongoing series with the Free People Blog, BLDG 25, in celebration of Halloween I am sharing a series of healthy sweet treats. I always feel like the sugary stuff haunts me this month with Halloween looming on the calendar, it seems everywhere I turn there is some sweet treat lurking in the darkness.
I really don’t find myself actually craving sweets very often, but boy, this month I do. There are halloween inspired sugary treats everywhere you turn and most all of them are terrible for you, loaded with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and other processed junk and fillers.
So, why not have your cake and eat it, too? Or candy, or fudge, or whatever! First up in the series, I reimagined a classic candy bar that I have always loved. The combination of coconut, chocolate and almonds is a favorite of mind. It’s a joy to eat, if you catch my drift.
These treats bear a spooky resemblance to the original, but without all the yuckiness that will haunt you later. See, all treats, no tricks! What more can you ask for to kick off Halloween month?
[print_this]Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites – Vegan + Gluten-free
makes 12 treats
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened organic coconut, finely shredded
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (you could also use coconut nectar, agave or any other liquid sweetener or honey if you aren’t vegan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate Coating*:
- 10 ounces of high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet vegan chocolate chips (if you are gluten-free also make sure they are gluten-free). You can also opt for a super dark chocolate, like 75-80% dark.
Plus: approximately 1/3 cup toasted almond slices
*NOTE: if you are looking to make these refined sugar-free which is what I prefer, in place of chocolate chips you can instead melt 10 ounces of a good quality 100% unsweetened organic dark chocolate (aka bakers chocolate in bar form) with 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a double broiler and whisking in 1/3 cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener) after it is removed from the heat. You can then add more or less sweetener to your liking.
Lightly grease a nonstick mini-muffin tin with a little coconut oil and set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the coconut filling ingredients and mix together until very well combined. Evenly divide up the filling between the 12 mini-muffin cups, pressing it in very tightly, making sure it is somewhat even. Don’t worry they won’t stick. Place the muffin pan in the freezer make sure it is sitting flat, and freeze until the filling is solid, about 30-45 minutes.
Take the muffin tin with the frozen coconut mixture out of the freezer, carefully remove each coconut treat out of the pan, running a thin knife around the edge to loosen and pop them out. Place them on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet, if you want to place the pan back in the fridge to keep them cool while you melt the chocolate, you can do that.
Once you are ready to coat the treats with the chocolate you can carefully melt the chocolate using a double boiler setup on the stove top or you can carefully melt it in small increments in the microwave, stirring often. (Definitely use the double boiler if you are making the refined sugar-free version with the bakers chocolate). Turn off the heat on the stove and keep the bowl of chocolate over the pan, remove the coconut treats from the fridge. Place one coconut treat on a fork and slowly lower it into the chocolate, spoon additional chocolate over it to fully coat it. Lift the fork out and gently shake to release any of the excess chocolate. Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle a few toasted almond slices on top into the chocolate. Repeat until all of the treats are coated in chocolate and have almonds on top. If the chocolate gets too thick, you just turn on the flame and heat slightly to melt it again. Put the tray back in the fridge and let them harden for about 45 minutes.
After these are set, you could store them in the freezer to keep them really cold and totally solid or of course, you can just store them in the fridge or even at room temperature if it isn’t too hot out. [/print_this]
This recipe was originally shared on the Free People Blog.