The Cocoa and Coconut that make up this incredibly satisfying and ridiculously tasty treat are among the list of superfoods: foods that contain numerous health benefits and medicinal properties. You’ll never know you’re doing something good for yourself when you eat these Coconut Chocolate Bars, because they are oh, so good.
This recipe is adapted from a Trim Healthy Mama recipe, called Skinny Chocolate. I made it my own by using xylitol in place of the stevia blend, and adding flaked, unsweetened coconut.
About the Ingredients:
The coconut is probably one of the most amazing living things on this planet. All of its parts are usable and delicious; think coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flesh, coconut bras (haha). What makes it even more wondrous is how good it is for you. Coconut oil, in particular with its numerous uses, including homemade coconut oil lotion, is one of the healthiest fats around. Here’s why:
Why Coconut Oil is a Superfood
- Coconut oil is a medium-chain-triglyceride (MCT). This kind of fat digests and absorbs more quickly than other vegetable fats (long-chain-triglycerides). This means it is used for energy rather than being stored as fat.
- MCTs actually help with weight control. They satiate more quickly and help you burn more calories.
- Organic, extra virgin coconut oil has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
Cocoa is GOOD For You!
- Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, which benefit cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure and improved cholesterol ratios. WOW! Glorious cocoa.
- Cocoa enhances the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain resulting in an anti-depressant, mood elevating effect. Double WOW! Lovely, beautiful cocoa.
- Flavonoids, another antioxidant in cocoa, are linked to reduction in the risk factors for diabetes and improved cholesterol ratios as well.
Xylitol: What is It?
Before getting into the technical stuff, I personally like to use xylitol in place of sugar because first of all, it just tastes better than other sugar substitutes. It looks like sugar and feels like sugar. I prefer it to stevia because it doesn’t have that aftertaste. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that is derived from any woody, fibrous plant material.
- Xylitol, unlike sugar, is actually good for your teeth. It doesn’t break down the same as sugar, so it helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
- Xylitol is just as sweet as regular sugar, but with 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbs.
- It is slowly absorbed and metabolized, so it has a very minimal impact to insulin.
- It also has numerous medicinal properties including: nasal and ear health, dental health and wound care.
Here’s the recipe for the Superfood Coconut Chocolate Bars
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil (the solid stuff)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons xylitol (found in health food stores)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
Step 1: In a small sauce pan, melt the coconut oil and xylitol over low to medium-low heat. Xylitol takes longer to melt than sugar and becomes gummy if the heat is too high. Whisk for about 5 or 6 minutes over the heat, until the xylitol is fully melted. This is important. If it’s not fully melted and incorporated into the coconut oil, your bars will have some super sweet bites and some very bitter bites.
Step 2: Remove from heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla. Something happens when you add the vanilla. It’s fine. You didn’t do anything wrong. Just keep whisking.
Step 3: Stir in the flaked coconut.
Step 4: Pour the mixture into a small freezer-safe container lined with wax paper. Spread to evenly distribute the flaked coconut. Freeze.
The coconut oil solidifies quickly, so these treats will be ready to eat in no time. Once they meet your standards for solidness, remove the wax paper and break into pieces.
Store these Superfood Coconut Chocolate Bars in the freezer, if there are any left, that is.