I wasn’t always the healthiest eater. In junior high, I ate an ice cream bar everyday with my lunch. After school, the snack I devoured, every single day, before my sports practices, was a Snickers bar. I certainly didn’t grow up eating Larabars.
I distinctly remember my first Almond Joy. My parents own a campground, and in its store are two aisles of heaven for a kid and they were named Candyland. I was allowed free reign on Candyland and was not shy about picking out my favorites treats.
One day I absentmindedly chose an Almond Joy bar. I sat on the steps and opened the wrapper, excited to experience my prize. A hot day, the sun had rendered the bar a bit melty. This, of course, made my first Almond Joy that much better. I know that Almond Joy bars are not especially popular among the under-12 crowd, but I loved it. It was pure joy.
Since then, Almond Joy bars (and Mounds) have been up there with my favorite candy bars. The chocolate and coconut combination is incredible. The only problem is I try not to eat candy bars anymore.
Whenever I have a craving for something from my unhealthy past, I immediately think of ways I can create a healthier version. In comes the Pure Joy bar. While these don’t taste exactly like an Almond Joy, they satisfy my coconut chocolate craving without being nutritionally void. With only dates, almonds, coconut, and cocoa powder as ingredients, each one brings something nutritious to the bar. (You know cocoa powder has antioxidants, right?!)
Please forget that these bars look like something you wouldn’t normally eat and trust me that they are Pure Joy.Print
Pure Joy Bars
A bar to satisfy my coconut chocolate craving without being nutritionally void.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup almonds+12 more for individual bars
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- In a blender or food processor, process the dates, almonds, and cocoa powder until they form a ball. It’s okay if there are some specks of almonds that aren’t totally incorporated. Transfer to a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of the coconut. Use your hands to mix it in.
- You’ll need to knead it and fold it until it blends in. Add the rest of the coconut and do the same thing until it is totally mixed in.
- On a piece of wax paper, use your hands to flatten the mixture into a rectangle.
- Next, use a knife to cut it into four equal pieces.
- Add three almonds to the top of each individual rectangle.
- Fold the mixture on top of the almonds and press it so it is closed. Use a knife to cut into 12 individual bars, pressing the seams closed with your fingers if necessary.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 97
- Sugar: 9.75g
- Sodium: 7.1g
- Fat: 4.6g
- Carbohydrates: 13.5g
- Protein: 2.6g
Keywords: healthy snack
Edited to Add: I made these exclusively with my blender before seeing your comments about the mixture being dry. I tried them in the food processor and noticed that the mixture was drier than normal and didn’t form a ball like in the blender. Once I took it out of the food processor, however, I was able to form it into a ball in my hands and it stuck together well. If you think the mixture is still too dry, add more dates. Even if it seems crumbly, however, it will most likely stick together once you knead it in your hands a bit. My bars were just as delicious when made in the food processor!