Almondjoy_hero

Healthy Almond Joy Candies

As a child I thought: when I grow up I will only eat candy. My mother (wisely!) regulated my sugar intake, which seemed unreasonable. Now, 20 years later, you can't pay me to eat processed sugar. Will my candy dreams ever come true?! With some healthy ingredient swaps, maybe!

I brought these nutritious candies to the ALOHA HQ and my teammates went crazy for them—they thought they tasted even better than the originals! This recipe works without protein, but everyone here, including myself, preferred them with the protein. My mother would be so proud!

Makes 12 to 16

Ingredients

2 cups shredded coconut

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons agave

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 serving ALOHA Vanilla Protein

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 bar ALOHA Chocolate or 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

12 to 16 roasted almonds (I chose salted for that sweet and salty balance, but that is up to you!)

Preparation

In a blender or food processor add the coconut oil, vanilla, dry ingredients, and then the shredded coconut. Blend until it forms a thick paste, about three minutes. The mixture should hold together when you squeeze a small amount in your palm. If it does not, or if there are still large coconut pieces, continue to process for a couple more minutes.

Take tablespoon-sized portions of the coconut mixture and roll them into oval shapes—I used the palm of my hands. Place your coconut mounds onto a plate or dish that will fit in your freezer. If you want to line your dish with parchment paper, by all means! But I didn't need to.

Place an almond on top of each mound. You do not need to press the almond into the mound—laying it on top will make that pretty almond shape when you coat it with chocolate.

Place the coconut mounds in your freezer for about 15 minutes, or until you are ready. Once the mounds have firmed, you can melt the chocolate. I used a microwave for one minute, but the stove works as well. It is helpful to undercook the chocolate—thicker is easier to manage and it doesn't need to be torched to move around.

When the chocolate is melted, take out the frozen coconut clusters. If you are fancy, you can use a toothpick. If you are a "messy kid" looking for an excuse to lick all the chocolate off of your finger, ditch the pick. Either way, you need to coat these little guys in chocolate.

Carefully insert a toothpick into a bar (or pick it up with your fingers). I used a spoon to pour a little chocolate on the top make sure the almonds are sealed on there. Because the mounds are frozen, the chocolate will set pretty fast. Dip the rest of the mounds in the melted chocolate making sure it all gets covered. Lift the candy out and let any excess chocolate drip off.

Place the chocolate-covered candies back onto your plate. Remove the toothpick if applicable—using another toothpick to hold down the coconut almond candies while removing the toothpick might be helpful. Repeat the process with the remaining candies.

Place the candies in the freezer for a few minutes to fully set. If you are not eating them immediately, you can store them in your freezer or refrigerator for a couple weeks—just be sure to use an well-sealed container.

These are best eaten at room temperature—let them thaw off before consuming. Enjoy the joys!

Photo Credit: Erin McCulloch