This is an update and repost of one of my favourite recipes from this website. In fact, it’s the recipe that led me to London Paleo Kitchen in the first place. I can’t remember what I was looking for but obviously I was having a ‘I want sweet food’ moment and somehow found this wonderful recipe for, essentially, coconut bark with fruit and nuts. I’ve since made this many times using a variety of fruit and nut combinations. I’ve given them away as gifts and made them to take when visiting people for tea to stop me being tempted to reach for the biscuits. I’ve even made them halfway through a Whole30 when I had guests visiting and had no idea what to serve for a teatime snack that wouldn’t make them think I was crazy. Everyone loves them – Paleo or non-Paleo followers alike. They’re always so surprised by how tasty they are! So I decided that it’s time to re-post the recipe to celebrate a year of looking after this blog.
I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit as my first few always came out a bit too crumbly so I’ve reduced the amount of fruit and nuts. A note about the ingredients:
- You need to use creamed coconut, which comes in a block. Be careful not to get coconut cream, which comes in a can – it’s not the same! Creamed coconut is basically the coconut meat whizzed up to become coconut butter and then solidified. You’ll find that the blocks will have separated out with the coconut oil at one end and the dense stuff at the bottom; that’s fine, it all gets mixed up in the end anyway.
- The original version suggests adding honey but I never bother as it’s more than sweet enough as it is and I prefer to avoid adding sugars in any form if it’s not necessary. If you really feel the need to add more sweetness (or aren’t adding dried fruit), then you can add 1 tbsp honey to the mix.
- Measuring out the dried coconut, fruit, nuts and seeds by volume may seem odd but it’s an excellent way to avoid faffing around with scales and keep washing up to a minimum.
- Check your dried fruits to make sure there is no added sugar or preservatives. Dried apricots should be brown, not bright orange. Ideally, soak your nuts and seeds beforehand and dry them out in a low oven; use this guide for soaking times.
A word of caution: these are really energy dense because they’re very high in fat from the coconuts. That’s fine, and should be self-regulating anyway as you’ll feel so full after one or two pieces. But just bear in mind that scoffing more than a couple at a time will likely tip you way over on the high fats stakes!
- 200g creamed coconut (one block)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 800ml dried coconut, fruit, nuts and seeds (see Note below for suggested combinations). At least half of this should be a mix of desiccated coconut and ground almonds to help the texture (so measure out 400ml of desiccated coconut and ground almonds and then top it up with your favourite combination of fruit and nut). Cut up anything that’s bigger than half a hazelnut or it’ll fall apart. Toast the nuts if you want a more roasted flavour.
- Grate or chop the creamed coconut and melt gently in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Add in the oil and turn off the heat. Be careful not to let this mixture burn! It catches easily so keep an eye on it and stir frequently.
- Once the coconut oil is melted, mix in the dry ingredients – it’ll turn into a breadcrumb-type texture. Pour into a sturdy freezer bag or a baking dish. Squish down with your hands until its a firm block, then place in the fridge to solidify with something heavy on it.
- When it’s solid either cut or break into chunks. It keeps for ages in the fridge.
Use your imagination for combining the fruit, nuts and seeds but I would recommend going for just one or two each of seeds/nuts and fruit so as not to lose the different flavours. More often than not I’m just using odds and ends from my jars though, so sometimes they can get a bit whacky! You can drizzle or coat the bars with melted chocolate for a very special occasion. Here are some suggested combinations:
- Hazelnuts and raisins
- Almonds and sultanas
- Pumpkin seeds and sultanas
- Almonds and dried apricots
You could theme them:
- Power it up – Replace some of the desiccated coconut with protein powder
- Thanksgiving – Pecans, cinnamon, ground ginger and apricots
- Superfood it – Goji berries, maca, cacao powder and Brazil nuts
- Middle Eastern – Sesame seeds, pistachios and dates
- Indian – Cashews, cardamom and raisins
- Tropical – Dried banana chips, dried mango and cashews
- Christmas – Cranberry and hazelnuts
- Easter – Cacao nibs, walnuts and a drizzle of the darkest chocolate