Don’t be confused by the title of this recipe. Unlike most granola or energy bars out there, this version certainly isn’t a candy bar parading as health food. I’ve been so frustrated with the sugary, preservative-loaded bars at my local “health” food stores. Even with all that sugar, most of them still taste flavorless! Not to mention how expensive they are. That’s why I decided I had to make my own. I knew I wanted my energy bars to be loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and protein, but I also wanted them to taste delicious. For these bars, I went through my pantry and threw in all my favorite nutrient-packed ingredients. I’ll give you a full run-down of each ingredient below. In the end, these bars ended up tasting a lot like those delicious Almond Joy bars— coconut, almond, and a touch of chocolate! Alright, the chocolate may not have been chosen entirely for health purposes, but hey, there are some antioxidants in there!

Here’s the rundown of each and every wholesome ingredient I used: 

Coconut Oil: Learn more about its incredible health benefits here!

Coconut Flour: Packed with fiber!

Almond Butter: Healthy fats and protein! Plus, yum!

Chia Seeds: Protein, fiber, and Omega-3 powerhouse

Dates: Natural sweetener and fiber source

Dark Chocolate: Antioxidants, duh!

Egg White: Binds dough and adds protein

Nuts (I used Walnuts): Healthy fat and protein!

Vanilla Extract: Just for flavor

Shredded Unsweetened Coconut: Mostly for texture

Coconut Nectar: A low-glycemic sweetener



Now let me show you how it all comes together!


All my delicious ingredients!


It’s not the prettiest picture, but first, throw all ingredients (besides the chopped nuts and chocolate) into a food processor.


After everything gets pulsed together into a paste, I stir in my chopped chocolate and nuts for texture.You can really see all the crunchy little chia seeds in the dough— I love them!


Once the nuts and chocolate are mixed in, just press the dough into a parchment lined 8″x8″ baking pan. The parchment will make getting the bars out of the pan much easier, promise!


After about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, the chocolate melts and the bars start to set. Your house will smell like cookies! To fully set the bars, they’ll need to completely cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably more.

IMG_0277After they’re chilled, just slice them up into 12 bars. They should be a breeze to slice and remove from the pan. Go ahead and wrap them any way you like for a snack on the go— in parchment, ziplock bags, or aluminum foil.  Each bar has only 210 calories, and boasts 6g fiber, 5 g protein, and just 10g of sugar. Plus, they are gluten-free and paleo-friendly! Fantastically crunchy and chewy, these will keep you full for hours. I can go all afternoon without a single hunger pang before dinner with one of these. It also doesn’t hurt that they taste like my favorite candy bar, without the guilt!

Save yourself from those expensive (and often less-than-healthy) nutrition bars at the store– one batch of these and you’ll have healthy snacks ready for weeks! Enjoy!

Chia Almond Joy Energy Bars

Makes 12

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 T coconut nectar

10 dates, pitted

1 t vanilla extract

2 oz chopped dark chocolate (paleo-approved brand if you’re paleo)

1/4 cup nuts of choice, chopped (I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all but the last two ingredients. Pulse mixture until a thick pasty dough forms. Stir in chopped nuts and chocolate.

Press dough into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until chocolate melts and edges just begin to brown. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set, preferably longer. Slice into 12 bars and enjoy!