I am totally one of those people that absolutely has to have some sort of chocolate after dinner. Or after lunch. Or just randomly when the feeling hits me. Since I do a pretty low sugar diet, I've developed a few sweet treats over the years to satisfy that chocolate craving without having to dump a dose of refined sugar into my body as well. The base of cocoa powder and virgin coconut oil is great because the cocoa has the benefits of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc, and the oil is an antioxidant that contains lots of benefits for your skin and hair. It's actually way easier to make a coconut oil chocolate bar than you would think, and you can customize it a million ways too! Here are three of my favorites right now…
Lately I like to use as the sweetener in my bars, but you can use whatever you like! Sometimes I will sprinkle it into the mold before I pour in the chocolate to add a little crunch to the bar, and other times I make a Xylitol simple syrup and pour that in to taste to keep the bar smoother (just warm equal parts water and Xylitol over medium heat until it dissolves to create the syrup). You can use refined or unrefined coconut oil for this recipe, but the unrefined has a bit more of the coconut taste, which you may or may not want depending on your flavor combo. I like to use this since it creates dividing lines. That way I can snap off a square at a time, but you can also line the bottom of a loaf pan with wax paper and pour it into that.
Tropical Coconut Bar
4 tablespoons dash of salt
2 tablespoons of dried bananas, chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut flakes, chopped
2 tablespoons of dried mango, chopped
sweetener of choice to taste
(or you can use a baking pan lined with wax paper)
Mix together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Add your sweetener of choice to taste. Pour the chocolate mixture into your mold, and then sprinkle the banana, coconut, and mango on top. Place in the refrigerator until set, and store set bars in the fridge as well.
Mix together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Add your sweetener of choice to taste. Pour the chocolate mixture into your mold and then sprinkle the cherries and cacao nibs on top. Place in the refrigerator until set, and store in the fridge as well.
Mix together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Add your sweetener of choice to taste. Mix your almond butter in a cup with a bit of coconut oil until it's a consistency that you can drizzle. Drizzle the almond butter into the bottom of your mold and put in the refrigerator until partially set. Pour the chocolate mixture into your mold, and then sprinkle the chopped almonds on top. Place in the refrigerator until set, and store in the fridge as well.
The only downside to this type of bar is that since coconut oil has a low melting point, you have to keep it in the fridge or it will start to melt pretty quickly (even as it warms up in your fingers!). I usually just break off a few squares at a time and pop them in my mouth as I walk away from the fridge. So good!! I love things that I can customize based on what I have on hand, and since I always have coconut oil and cocoa powder around the house, I know I'll never be more than a few minutes away from a square of chocolate ever again! Isn't that a great feeling? What flavor combos would you be excited to try? xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman