Shared by

Karly Blair
Holistic Nutrition Specialist
"Eat Whole, Live Whole"

Chocolate Chip Coconut Butter Bars

Chocolate Coconut Butter Bars

If you have ever tasted Coconut Butter you know it is an amazing taste sensation. Having said that, I also expect that not everyone is open nor agreeable to new taste sensations. I wouldn’t make this recipe for just anyone but for those already high up on the whole food living system, this recipe is truly loved and appreciated.

You can make your own Coconut Butter but I prefer to buy it because even with my high powered Vita Mix blender it seems to be a little bit smoother from the store.

Anyway, I love these bars because they are full of healthy MCT oils while just slightly sweet.

It’s hard to overeat these because they are so satisfying which is why I didn’t put it on the YIELD list. Your body will give you a natural signal letting you quickly know you are ever so happy and satisfied. They are full of fiber and oil from the coconut meat and not real sweet unless you add more than the recipe calls for. You can always add less or zero sweetener if you are way above everyone else on the Wholetarian chain. Reducing the honey and chocolate chips would make these into Keto-Wholetarian bars if you wanted.

This recipe can be made two different ways with the same ingredients. One way is to add the chocolate chips when the mixture is still slightly warm and spreading the top with the back of a spoon melting the chocolate into the top half of the bars. This is my favorite way and is shown in the photo above. The second is to add the chocolate chips after the mixture is completely cool as in the photo below.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Butter bars

Coconut Butter Bar Blondies

Healthy coconut butter bars

Using a zip lock baggie to line uncooked bars creates less waste as the baggie is completely reusable. Just wipe off any remaining oil.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Butter Bars
 
Author:
Yield: 12
Prep time:
Total time:
 
I usually double this recipe because it stores so well in the freezer. Then I use a 9"x13" glass dish instead of the 8"x8".
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey (add more or less as desired)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3-4 drops of liquid stevia (optional for added sweetness)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • ⅛ cup mini dark chocolate chips (gluten-free and Vegan if needed)
  • ⅛ cup mini dark chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (gluten-free and Vegan if needed)
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅛ cup slivered almonds to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. If you are making this in the winter time and your coconut butter is too stiff to scoop out of the jar, place the jar in a pan of hot water on low heat on the stove. The water should be below the lid enough that you can remove the jar with oven mitts.
  2. When it becomes liquid enough, stir and measure the1 cup coconut butter.
  3. I like to use a double boiler pan for recipes like this. It will keep you from accidently getting the mixture too hot. But you can use a heavy small pot to do this step if you prefer.
  4. When using the double boiler: Put 2-3 inches of water in the bottom pan and heat to med-high, where it is just a med-low boil.
  5. Place the 1 cup coconut butter in the top pan.
  6. This step is necessary to liquefy the ingredients together.
  7. Add the 2 Tbsp raw honey, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, optional 3-4 drops of stevia, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 pinch of sea salt.
  8. Mix all ingredients together with a spoon or fork. The mixture might curdle a bit but its okay. You’re not cooking this, just warming it up enough to mix everything together well. Remove from the heat as soon as it is mixed together.
  9. If you want it chocolate flavored, add the ¼ cup dark chocolate chips while it is slightly warm so the chips will melt. Otherwise wait to add the chocolate chips in at the end when it is completely cool.
  10. Line an 8”x8” pan with a gallon size plastic zip-lock baggie because it is re-usable. Otherwise use parchment paper..
  11. Pour the mixture into the lined pan. And spread evenly around.
  12. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and or chocolate chips on top and lightly pat down so that they will stick to the bars.
  13. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to solidify the bars.
  14. Remove from the freezer and remove the bars by grabbing on to the baggie or parchment paper and lifting the slab out.
  15. Place on a cutting board and break them into pieces or let it rest a bit until it is soft enough to cut into squares.. Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight container.

Photos by: Karly Blair

Types of Coconut Oil

Any product claiming “extra virgin coconut oil” is misleading, as there is no difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil like there is with olive oil.

Virgin vs Refined Coconut oil

Any product claiming “extra virgin coconut oil” is misleading, as there is no difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil like there is with olive oil. Here we will review the traditional way coconut oil was made and the different ways it is currently made for mass production.

Refined Coconut Oil

Most coconut oil produced today is made from copra (dried coconut meat) because it is the most economical process. The problem with this process is that the least expensive methods of drying in the sun, by smoke and kiln drying are not sanitary and therefore not suitable for consumption until it is purified and refined. The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. RBD oil is also sometimes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated but this is not common anymore. Most animal studies that showed negative results for coconut oil used hydrogenated coconut oil, inducing EFA deficiency. See Coconut oil report by the Functional Medicine Research Center p. 5 & 7

Hydrogenated oils are oils with trans-fatty acids that have been shown to raise cholesterol levels. One should always avoid hydrogenated oils from any and all sources.

All refined coconut oil eliminates the taste and smell of coconut which is preferred in some recipes but not all refined coconut oil is RBD or hydrogenated.

Tropical Traditions has a refined coconut oil that is processed the “old” way by what is called “physical refining.” This is a steam deodorizing process. They have two types of high quality refined coconut oils. Certified Organic and Non-certified refined Expeller-Pressed Coconut oil. Both are not hydrogenated, have no trans fatty acids, do not use solvent extracts and are good quality food-grade coconut oils. So apparently you have to research the companies you are buying from to find out just how they are refined.

Whole Foods Market carries organic expeller-pressed refined Coconut Oil (see the photo above) and organic expeller-pressed unrefined virgin coconut oil. Note that the refined coconut oil is labeled for higher temperatures up to 360 degrees (average baking temp is 350) and the unrefined virgin oil is to be used only up to 280 degrees.

Virgin Coconut Oil

The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, an intergovernmental organization comprised of 17 different countries who supply 90% of coconut product has provided APCC Standards for Virgin Coconut Oil which states: Virgin coconut oil is obtained from the fresh and mature kernel of coconut by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat, which does not lead to alteration of the oil.
Tropical Traditions was the first company to publish standards for the use of “Virgin Coconut Oil”. What they published provides even more details.

Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years. There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:

1 – Quick Drying

Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. Using this method, the coconut meat is quick dried, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means. This is the most common type of “Virgin” or “Extra Virgin” coconut oil sold in the market today that you will find in stores. It is mass-produced. Tropical Traditions sell this method as their Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil.
If you would like to make this version yourself at home, see recipe for Homemade Coconut Oil made with a high end kitchen appliance.

2 – Wet Milling

With this method the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. “Coconut milk” is expressed first by pressing. The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge. Tropical Traditions sell this method as their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

Traditionally-made Virgin Coconut Oils

Brian W. Shilhavy, BA, MA, of Tropical Traditions, tells us: “Traditionally-made coconut oils actually test the highest in antioxidants and all use the wet-milling method (described above), which would include boiling and fermentation. Enzyme extraction and mechanical centrifuge are modern methods requiring a more sophisticated technology, and not traditional.”

Shilhavy says, “Fermentation” here is defined as the natural separation of the coconut oil from water using gravity. No machine or other substances are used in the extraction. First, coconut milk is expressed from the freshly harvested coconuts by using the pure water that is present inside the coconuts. The coconut milk is then allowed to sit for approximately half a day. During this time, the heavier water separates from the oil by sinking to the bottom, while the lighter coconut solids float to the top (curds). In between the coconut solids and the water is a crystal clear coconut oil that is completely unrefined. The oil is then slightly heated (less than boiling temperatures) for a short time (5 -15 minutes depending on air temperatures) to remove any remaining moisture and increase antioxidant levels, and then filtered.

The result is a clear coconut oil that retains the distinct scent and taste of coconuts. This is a traditional method of coconut oil extraction that has been used in the Philippines for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Shilhavy concludes, “It is a much more labor-intensive method of producing coconut oil, and cannot be replicated by machine through mass-production. Family producers for Mt. Banahaw make the Gold Label standard traditionally in small batches and are sold exclusively through Tropical Traditions.”

If you would like to make this traditional highest anti-oxidant version yourself at home, see recipe for Homemade Traditional Coconut Oil.

Coconut Oil Uses

It’s not just for stir-frying and baking. See this article: 15 ways I use Coconut Oil Every Day for more ways to benefit from coconut oil.

Additional References:

Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity
The Weston A. Price Foundation: A New Look at Coconut Oil
University of Queensland: New Ways to Make Coconut Oil
Molecular Expressions: Lauric Acid
Enzymatic Aqueous Processing of Coconuts
CoconutResearchCenter.org
Coconut Development Board: Virgin Coconut Oil
WholeHealthSource.blogspot.com