Homemade Healthy Almond Joys (Vegan, Paleo)
I am jumping for JOY over these. If you know me, you know I love a good remake recipe. I’ve been playing around with several copycat recipes lately, it’s just so much fun to create favorites that are a healthier version! So, here are some HEALTHY vegan and paleo NO BAKE ALMOND JOYS. They have a creamy center made with coconut butter and shredded coconut flakes and sweetened lightly with maple syrup or honey.
I actually didn't like Almond Joy and Mound bars as a kid. Anyone else? I think of coconut as an ‘adult’ flavor. My mom used to eat them all out of my halloween candy bag for me. Now I love them, and coconut seems to be ‘safe’ on every restrictive diet, so I wanted to try to create a healthy version. These are easy to make, you just need a food processor or high speed blender with a tamper, and few pantry ingredients!
These Almond Joys are no bake, paleo, vegan and low fodmap!
These almond joys are just 7 total ingredients, and don't require any baking. I put the coconut in a food processor for a nice blended filling, but you can also just mix it together for a more textured filling. This recipe uses coconut butter which is also called coconut manna, and it is actually a puree of the coconut meat. It is not coconut oil! You can also use coconut oil as a substitute if you don't have coconut butter on stand by, but see notes below. These are fodmap friendly, vegan and paleo... and contain no weird ingredients.
Do these taste like the real Almond Joys?
These are one of the first recipes I created when I had to switch my diet, they are a healthier version of the original Almond Joy. They have that same texture and coconut flavor as the real Almond Joy. I've had great reviews from those who have made them! Adults and kids love them.
What do I need to make these no bake Almond Joys?
A recommended food processor for a finer filling, but it is not necessary
A baking sheet for laying/dipping/freezing
If you are looking for a quick healthy snack, a paleo dessert or a vegan treat, these little bars are full of healthy fats and a great afternoon pick me up.
Why are these Almond Joys better for us than the original?
As much as we love store bought candy, it's so much healthier to make your own homemade version with simple, clean ingredients! The ingredients found in traditional Almond Joy can destroy our guts and weaken the immune system!
Here are the ingredients found in a traditional Almond Joy:
CORN SYRUP; MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR; COCOA BUTTER; CHOCOLATE; MILK; LACTOSE; MILK FAT; NONFAT MILK; SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER) ; COCONUT; SUGAR; ALMONDS (ROASTED IN COCOA BUTTER AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL) ; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL); WHEY (MILK); COCOA; SALT; NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR ; CHOCOLATE; SOY LECITHIN; HYDROLYZED MILK PROTEIN; SODIUM METABISULFITE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; SULFUR DIOXIDE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; CARAMEL COLOR.
Yuck. I'll pass on all that sugar, soy, lactose and other nasty ingredients.
Ok so let's make our own.
What is in these no bake almond joy bars:
Shredded coconut: I used unsweetened but if you want sweeter bars you can use sweetened coconut. Shredded is preferred but flaked can be used too!
Coconut Butter: Coconut butter is sometimes also called coconut manna. It's creamy and in a jar, it's not coconut oil! It gives the bars a creamy texture inside and even more of a coconut flavor.
Pure Vanilla Extract: For a nice vanilla touch
Sea salt: Balances out some sweetness
Agave or Maple Syrup: Adding a little sweetness! You can substitute for any sticky sweetener
Sea salt: Offsets the sweetness a bit for a nice flavor
Roasted Almonds: The best part of the ALMOND joy! I find they are best roasted. Raw gave little flavor.
Dark Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Bar: You can use any chocolate here but I like to use paleo chocolate... Hu Kitchen and Lily's Sweets are my weapon of choice. And Evolved!
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil keeps the chocolate nice and soft, and thins it out for easy dipping
How to store these paleo vegan Almond Joys:
Store in an airtight container — best enjoyed at room temp but store in the fridge to prevent melting at warmer room temperatures. These can be frozen up to 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container.
1 cup of shredded coconut (or coconut flakes shredded to equal 1 cup)
1/2 cup of coconut butter, melted* see notes below
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp maple syrup, agave or honey
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips/chocolate bar, I use Hu Kitchen
1 tsp coconut oil
Extra coconut flakes or sea salt for sprinkling on top
Make the Almond Joys:
(see my video below for assembly!)
1. Add all coconut layer ingredients except the roasted almonds to a food processor until combined. This can also be done by hand mixing with a spoon/whisk, the filling will just be more textured and less smooth.
2. Line a baking tray with wax/parchment paper. Remove the coconut mixture from food processor and shape little rectangles or ovals about 2" long with your hands, roughly 1 1/2 tablespoon per bar, and gently push 2 almonds on top. Repeat until all coconut mixture is used. Freeze the tray for 10 minutes to set and harden.
3. Once the coconut bars are frozen solid, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a small shallow bowl in the microwave until just melted. It's better to underheat and stir chocolate chips until they dissolve. This can also be done on the stovetop.
4. One by one, place a coconut bar into the chocolate and roll over with a fork until fully covered in chocolate. Or use a spoon to cover in chocolate. Lay the bar onto the top of the fork, tap the extra chocolate off while on fork and place back on the baking tray. Repeat until all bars are dipped. Place in fridge to set, 10-15 mins. And enjoy!
*If the chocolate starts to harden when dipping, place back in the microwave for 20+ seconds to remelt!
* Coconut butter is also called coconut manna, it is not coconut oil! You can also replace the coconut butter in the recipe with coconut oil, but reduce the amount to 2 tbsp. It will not be as creamy but will still have a great coconut taste!
If you en-JOY these, let me know in the comments below! And tag me on Instagram @gutsy_baker, I love to see your creations.