These six ingredient No Bake Coconut Granola Bars are super simple to make! These gluten free, paleo friendly snacks will be your new favorite!
Mr. Maebell and I are big travelers. One of our favorite things is to get on a plane and be whisked off into a new place! While we were preparing for one of our latest adventures, I completely forgot to pack snacks.
Big mistake. Usually I bring a bag of Peanut Butter Chocolate Fat Bombs or Coconut Mocha Almond Butter Espresso Balls for the energy boost we need to make it through the airport! When I looked in my bag and saw that it was empty, I knew we were in trouble.
For those of you who don’t know us, Mr. Maebell is a large man with an even larger appetite! Finding creative ways to keep him full while remaining gluten free is actually one of the reasons I was inspired to start this website! Anyway, we’re pulling into the airport and he asks what we have to eat and I felt a wave of realization wash over me.
The answer? Not a thing. Now, being gluten free is not a choice for us. Mr. Maebell has Celiac, so it’s very important that we stick to our gluten free ways in the States and abroad.
The problem is, finding gluten free, healthy snacks is not as simple as it sounds. Of course, it is much easier now than it was a decade ago (thank goodness!), but it can still be a challenge. So here we are, in the airport, rushing around trying to find some sort of sustenance before getting on a very long flight.
Needless to say, it was not the best way to start out our trip. Thankfully, we found something at the last minute and our trip went off without a hitch! But while we had the down time on the plane, my brain was rolling around with an idea for a quick grab-and-go snack that would be satisfying and filling while still being gluten free and healthy!
And voila! These No Bake Coconut Granola Bars came into being. Did I end up writing the beginnings of this recipe on the back of a cocktail napkin? Perhaps, but genius strikes us all at odd times!
One of the difficult things about a gluten free diet is how hard it can be to come by healthy, portable snacks. So many options have wheat or oats, or are loaded with empty calories. No one wants (or needs!) that when they’re reaching for something quick.
These bars are the exact opposite. They are packed with fruit and nuts for a healthy, wholesome snack! You won’t feel any guilt grabbing one of these in the morning.
They also have dark chocolate for good measure. This is the perfect breakfast, snack or that little something to satisfy your sweet tooth! Whether you are savoring one of these bars while sitting on the couch or driving to work, you’ll be so happy you have these in your pantry.
Unlike traditional granola bars, these No Bake Coconut Granola Bars are not filled with corn, oil or preservatives. In contrast, they are sweetened with honey and dates and have a light coating of dark chocolate. This keeps the bars sweet, but not overly so.
Importantly, these bars are made with almonds and almond butter, which means they are packed with protein to keep you full. These bars are the perfect power snack to get you through your work out, morning routine or your afternoon slump!
Ingredients for No Bake Coconut Granola Bars
- Whole Almonds: toasted and salted or untoasted work, it is your preference.
- Shredded coconut: sweetened and unsweetened work, use your preference.
- Medjool dates: pitted
- Almond butter: a flavored or regular variety
- Sweetener of your choice, such as honey or maple syrup
- Dark chocolate chips: dark is my preference, but choose whichever kind of chocolate you prefer
How do you make No Bake Bars?
First, combine the almonds, dates and coconut into a food processor. Blend until the mix looks like bread crumbs and place into a mixing bowl. Set to the side.
Next, add the almond butter and honey to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted and smooth. Following this, add your almond butter and honey mixture to the bowl containing the almond coconut mixture. Mix until combined.
Place wax paper inside an 8×8 pan and fill with your granola bar base. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, place your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and warm in 30 second increments until melted and smooth.
Next, evenly spread the chocolate over your bars. Last but not least, allow your bars to chill a second time. Keep them in the fridge for at least an hour to ensure that the chocolate is completely set.
Storage of Coconut Granola Bars
These granola bars will need to be stored in the fridge. They will stay fresh for up to one week, if kept in a container with an airtight lid. To help make transport easier, I personally cut up my bars and wrapped them individually in wax paper. This made the grab-and-go process a breeze.
Tips and Substitutions for No Bake Chocolate Bars
This recipe has a lot of ways it can be customized to fit your personal preferences. Let’s explore some possibilities:
- Nuts- I chose to use almonds, but you could also use cashews, peanuts, pistachios or walnuts. You could also use a combination of two or more nuts. You could also try gluten free oats. If you’re looking for an extra dose of fiber, throw some chia seeds in your mix!
- Dates- I LOVE dates- they are nature’s super sweetener. But if you are not a fan, you could try prunes, cranberries or raisins.
- Sweetener- if you aren’t a huge fan of either honey or maple syrup, you could make these bars a little sweeter by adding in brown sugar, vanilla extract or chocolate chips. I would recommend retaining some of the honey or maple syrup, because it does help to bind the bars together.
- Butter- I used almond butter in my recipe, but you can certainly use any kind you like. Peanut butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter…all would be great in this recipe.
- Toppings- If you aren’t interested in adding more coconut on top of your bars, get creative! Sea salt, whole almonds or nut of your choice, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds or even banana chips would be a tasty addition to this recipe.
Now, for the tips, the number one tip I can give you is patience. You definitely want to give these bars enough time to cool and set in the fridge so they are easy for you to cut and transport later.
Next hot tip- press the base of your bars into the wax paper of your pan. This simple act really helps to bind your bars together.
Lastly, don’t overmix your ingredients. You want everything to just come together. Also, don’t skimp on your honey- it will help hold your bars together.
Other Healthy Snacks
- 2 cups Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds (2 containers)
- 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened and unsweetened work, use your preference)
- 3 pitted medjool dates
- 1 cup almond butter, melted
- 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Combine the almonds, coconut and dates in a food processor and blend until it resembles bread crumbs and set aside.
- Add the almond butter and honey in a mixing bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted and smooth.
- Add the almond coconut mixture to the almond butter and mix until well combined.
- Press mixture into an 8x8 pan lined with wax paper.
- Place the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, place the chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl and heat 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Evenly spread the chocolate over the bars and refrigerate at least one hour until firm.
- Store in fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 33.5gCholesterol: 1.1mgSodium: 24.3mgCarbohydrates: 28.9gNet Carbohydrates: 21.5gFiber: 7.4gSugar: 17.8gProtein: 10.9g