Is there anything more magical than the chocolate, coconut, walnut, shortbread combination? What if it was also gluten-free and contained no refined sugar? (I know, I know... my jaw also hit the floor when I found out, too.)
What makes this shortbread base so damn tasty (but also quite healthy for you!) is the combination of almond flour, coconut flour, vanilla extract, maple syrup, sea salt, and my all-time favourite… Garden of Life raw plant-based protein powder. It’s got the perfect combination of healthy fats, natural sweeteners and protein to keep your body happy, but it’s also so similar in taste, flavour and consistency to shortbread to keep your tastebuds happy too.
It’s safe to say these magic bars are a total hit - whether it’s with friends, family, or all by yourself, cozied up to your fave Netflix movie and sipping a cup of warm tea.
The real magic lies in being able to stop at just one. (Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!)
Recipe + directions available below!
1.5 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 scoops Garden of Life Vanilla raw protein powder
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
HOMEMADE SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
1 can lite coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan, melt down coconut oil & maple syrup for the shortbread base.
Next, mix in almond flour, coconut flour, Garden of Life protein powder, vanilla and salt until a thick dough forms. Press into the bottom of the baking dish. Use a fork to poke the entire surface of the dough. (Helps to ensure even cooking!)
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
While the crust bakes, make the sweetened “condensed milk”. In a saucepan, combine the lite coconut milk, maple syrup, and salt. Turn to medium heat and whisk until boiling. Reduce to low and simmer until thickened (about 25-45 minutes, depending on how low your setting goes). Note: You want the thickened mixture to measure at about 1 - 1 1/4 cups when done.
Meanwhile, mix together the coconut, chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but pecans are amazing too!) and chocolate chips in a bowl.
Remove the crust from the oven and top with the toppings from the bowl. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top slowly, making sure all the toppings are covered and that the condensed milk seeps into the poked holes.
Bake for 25 minutes and then let cool completely before cutting.
Makes 16 squares