I’ve recently started a love affair with coconut oil. I went on a shopping spree at vitacost.com and purchased a TON of super healthy seeds, teas, powders, etc. Coconut oil was one of the many items that ended up in my shopping cart. I had never tried it before, but had often seen it used in recipes on health blog sites and on pinterest for its’ great nutrient profile. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but is actually considered to be a heart healthy fat. It can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. And, direct from Dr. Oz, “Coconut oil has a saturated fat called lauric acid, a type of MCT. It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels. Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need. Coconut can help restore normal thyroid function. When the thyroid does not function optimally, it can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol.” It is also well-known that coconut oil is GREAT for your hair and skin. Another fact: it helps with fight against aging!
So, once I got my coconut oil in the mail I had to figure out what to do with it. I started by simply spreading it on toast and sprinkling it with cinnamon (which is also great for your health!). What I immediately loved about it was that it is a solid at room temperature and when you heat it up it melts, just like butter. It kind of tricks your mind hehe. The coconut taste was pretty mild though- there, but not overwhelming.
I knew I wanted to introduce coconut oil into something sweet, making for a healthier but still delicious dessert so I went to work, scouring the internet for recipes. My first choice was this one here- Healthy Mounds Bars. I am a big Mounds bar fan. Plus this recipe is so simple- no bake and only 5 real ingredients. You can’t get much easier than that. So I whipped some up- and the result? Yummy! Not overly dry and flavorless, which is often what you get from health food. The coconut oil and agave syrup lent moisture, sweetness, and delicious flavor. Using unsweetened shredded coconut caused them to be a bit crunchier than what you get from the texture of Mounds bars, but no complaints on my end with that. I really enjoyed this recipe. It’s a perfect way to kick your sweet craving while staying healthy : )
- 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened) (80g)
- ¼ cup agave syrup (48g)
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (20g)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Process all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor.
- Tightly press the filling into the bottoms of mini muffin cups or squeeze into rounded tablespoonfuls. Freeze at least 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate coating by melting chocolate in heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Line a tray with wax or parchment paper, then pop out the now-hardened coconut treats and coat in chocolate. Immediately put them in the fridge or freezer. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.
adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie