Your favorite candy bar flavors, wrapped up in a bar that’s full of nutrients. Now that’s a win! These Healthy Almond Joy Protein Bars are absolutely out of this world and don’t taste healthy at all!
As I was struggling to edit these pictures last night, a little voice in my head was reminding me that I do not have to perfect. This is, by far, not a very good set of photos. It’s been overcast most days this week. I was trying to play with the manual settings on my camera instead of letting it do all the work. And let’s just say the results were far from optimal. I almost didn’t post because of that. But then I had another taste of these healthy almond joy-esque bars, and there’s no way I could deprive you of these treats! It would be rude of me. So you’ll just have to deal with my crappy photos and take my word for it.
Last fall when I announced my miscarriage, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to produce quality work for the blog. The drive wasn’t there. I was too consumed in my grief. I was reminded by all you lovely people to just do what I can do. That’s something that I have to keep in my mind always. This week, I have been absolutely drained. I haven’t been getting enough sleep. I have been trying to keep up with my workouts. Just all of it. So last night when this post still wasn’t ready to publish before I went to sleep, I was pretty frustrated with myself. I feel like I should be able to do it all. I should be able to stay up into the wee hours of the night to get a post finished just so it shows up in your inbox bright and early just waiting for you when you wake up.
But I’m not super woman. As much as I want to be. I have to be satisfied with that fact that I have a lot on my plate and I truly can’t do it all. I can only do what I can do.
So I went to sleep instead of finishing the post. Was anything bad going to happen if these delicious bars weren’t in your inbox this morning? Although it’s unfortunate, it’s not the end of the world. I appreciate you all for reminding me that I am enough as I am and to strive for perfection is just unrealistic.
Well, unless we’re talking Almond Joy Protein Bars that are healthy! Now that’s perfection! Almond Joys are my favorite candy bar, and all the flavors are packed right into these nutrient-filled bars. The nutrients we’re talking about here – quinoa… seriously? Protein-PACKED! The oats. The flax. The almond butter. Dark chocolate. These are nothing short of amazing and totally make up for the fact that I chose sleep over finishing this post last night. I hope you forgive me and go make a batch for yourself!
- 1 3/4 cups whole oats
- 2 cups quinoa, , cooked
- 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, , divided
- 1/8 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- Cut parchment paper to fit a 9×13 pan. This will make it easier to remove the granola bars.
- Combine oats, cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup coconut, flaxseed, almonds, and dark chocolate chips in a bowl and mix together.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, mix honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir until it comes to a slight boil.
- Remove from heat, stir in the almond butter, coconut extract and vanilla until incorporated. Let cool slightly, but still keep warm enough to be pourable.
- Pour the warm mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. The chocolate will begin to melt. Work as quickly as possible so as not to work the chocolate too much.
- Add mixture to the prepared pan and with a piece of parchment paper press down to even out the surface. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut on top of the bars, and press down with the back of a spoon.
- Let cool down completely, then cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour before eating. Cut into bars, and store in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator. Will stay good for about a week.