These are not your typical granola bars. What’s so special about ‘em? Look closely…
I realize I’ve done a few pies in the past few posts, and I’m letting you know there are definitely other treats on the agenda coming up. I’m just really loving cold and creamy low carb pies for this warm weather we’re having here in NC!
There is another coconut cream pie recipe posted here, which I made back in December. This one is a little different since it is free of any starch thickeners. It’s better tasting and lower in carbohydrates, which is good news for diabetic and primal readers. Now, I realize dairy is in no way primal, but it is a food group that I consume quite frequently since my Northern European ancestors conferred upon me the ability to handle it pretty well! You might try making this pie with coconut cream, but whipping it to a fluffy and light consistency has proven difficult since it is more stiff than regular cream.
The multiple steps make this recipe sound complicated, but it’s really just a bit of a drawn out process. I recommend doing little tasks (blog surfing, laundry folding, etc.) during the intervals between the steps. I promise you that the labor will be well worth it.
I’m not ashamed to admit this slice was gone within minutes of the photo being taken!
This pie is one of my top three favorite desserts of all time. It was gobbled up within a couple of days by my family when I made it as a Christmas treat! It’s got just the right balance of sweetness and richness, with a delicate, light filling and a hint of coconut flavor to tantalize your tastebuds.
Hello, friends! Happy holidays!
To ring in the new year on a healthy note, let’s make some pie. I asked y’all to request your favorite desserts to give me some inspiration for creating new recipes, and the response was overwhelming. It was foolhardy to think I could answer each of your emails during the school semester, so I’m giving you a heads up that your messages will be read during the couple of weeks before my last semester of undergraduate education.
Thank you for keeping up with this blog, even through the dry spell of no recipes which has lasted for the greater part of this year. I have learned a lot and have experienced much personal growth in my nonfoodie life this year. Admittedly, my passion had waned for cooking and healthy eating during that time period. Seeing your comments come in day after day in spite of my absence has reminded me how wonderful you guys are. Seriously. Thank you for making these recipes, and for sharing your experiences with us all. I cannot keep up with the comments at this time (need to finish my college undergraduate career first), but I do read them all! I am so impressed with your alterations and suggestions for these recipes. It’s an honor that you take time to make my concoctions in this world of conveniently packaged insulin-spiking goodies. Honestly, I relied heavily on prepackaged junk food snacks during this past year. Am getting back to eating whole foods over this winter break, and am having so much more energy!
Per your requests, here is a delicious Healthy Coconut Cream Pie to celebrate the New Year!
There are certain flavors that you miss when you strip your diet of most processed foods and sugar. Most cravings can be satisfied with natural foods, but particular taste memories require you to get creative. One of my absolute favorite candy bars was the Almond Joy bar, a chocolate coated candy bar with a sticky sweet coconut filling (known as a Mounds bar minus the almonds). My roommate, Bethany, reminded me of this old obsession a couple of nights ago when we were having a quiet night in, doing homework and socializing in the dorm kitchen.
Real Almond Joy bars contain two types of sugar (corn syrup and white sugar) and two different transfats (partially hydrogenated soybean oil and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil)! Just one candy bar has a whopping 25 grams net carbs. These homemade gluten-free, low carb candy bars will boost your immune system and fuel your cells as opposed to breaking them down. Since they contain no dairy products, these treats are incidentally vegan. As one helpful reader pointed out, these candy bars are nearly sugar-free because the Lindt chocolate bars do contain 19g net carbs (for the whole 85% bar) and 35g net carbs (for the whole 70% bar). The amount of sugar per serving is low enough to incorporate into my healthy eating plan, but if it is important for you to go totally sugar-free, try experimenting with unsweetened chocolate. I’ve never had much luck with countering its bitterness, though.
Use extra virgin coconut oil for the most health benefits. Unlike its highly processed counterpart, this candy bar is the ideal preworkout food because the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are immediately burned for energy. Put down those complex carbs and indulge in a low carbohydrate snack that won’t send the fat storage hormone pumping through your body right before all of your hard work on the elliptical!
You can coat these bars in a snap with 70% cacao content chocolate, or make up a chocolate ganache to lower the carb content. The only problem with the ganache is that it is thicker and must be stored in the freezer to remain firm. Both coatings taste equally delicious, though!
Healthy Almond Joy Bars
Makes 20 bars
1 1/2 cups fine unsweetened shredded coconut
5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup xylitol
Pure stevia extract, to taste (start with 1/16 of a teaspoon)
2 batches dark chocolate ganache or 2-3.5 oz Lindt 70% chocolate bars
Pinch of unrefined sea salt
Melt erythritol over medium heat in a saucepan until liquefied. Stir together coconut oil, coconut milk, unsweetened coconut, salt, and stevia. Pour in hot erythritol and mix together thoroughly until coconut oil is melted, forming a smooth paste. Drop dollops of the coconut mixture on to aluminum foil or waxed paper, and shape into flat logs with your fingertips. Top with almonds, pressing the nuts down gently into the filling. Freeze for 5 minutes, or until filling is firm and cold. Microwave chopped chocolate for 30 seconds on HIGH, and stir until smooth. Add 1/16 teaspoon of stevia and taste. Adjust sweetness level if necessary. Stick toothpicks into cold filling (thanks to Didirina for sharing that tip!). Dip filling into chocolate, return to wax paper, and remove toothpick. Wait a minute or two for chocolate coating to harden, and enjoy!
~0.57g net carbs per candy bar without the chocolate coating
~35g net carbs per 1-3.5 oz 70% Lindt bar
~4g net carbs per bar made with 70% Lindt chocolate bar coating
Dark Chocolate Ganache
1-3.5 oz 85% cacao content chocolate bar (I used Lindt)
5 tablespoons organic heavy cream
1/3 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup xylitol, powdered
1/16 teaspoon pure stevia extract
Grind erythritol to the consistency of powdered sugar (see this post) in coffee grinder or Magic Bullet. Chop chocolate and combine with erythritol and cream. Microwave for 30 seconds on HIGH and stir until smooth. Add a couple more tablespoons of heavy cream if coating is too thick. Stir in stevia, and taste. Adjust sweetness level if necessary. Use for nut clusters, Almond Joy bars, topping cupcakes… whatever you like! Store candies made with ganache in the freezer.
~22g of carbs for the whole batch