Now that school’s started, let me tell you, it’s going to be really hard for me to stay healthy.
Yesterday’s back-to-school big sis little sis picnic serves as a prime example. I may have started my day off right with this delicious, Pink Protein Breakfast Smoothie, but after waiting the whole school day (at least, until 1:30!) for lunch, I quickly caved and gobbled up a Jimmy John’s sub, some grapes, and two huge cookies. And then proceeded to go home and consume 3 1/2 pieces of pizza and an ice cream cone.
So yeah, it looks like this year is going to be a challenge.
I don’t like missing out. Especially not when I’m trying to be healthy and the Freshman bake sale or morning Muffin Cart are staring me in the face. But I’ve found that my perfect solution to dessert-envy during the school year is just making healthier versions of my favorite desserts. And today’s recipe is a prime example of that!
If you’ve ever had a Chocolate Chip Coconut Pecan Bar you probably know that there’s practically no better combination. Flakey coconut, sweet chocolate, and crunchy pecans all combined to make one, delicious dessert bar. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
What makes this recipe so great for school is that it’s really quick & easy to make. In fact, I whipped up both a batch of these bars and Chocolate Chip “Chewy” Bars in a single afternoon, while completing a Chemistry summer assignment and starting on a History outline.
Plus, each bar is the perfect size to fit in a small tupperware and shove in a lunchbox. And since they don’t have to be refrigerated, they can last all day! If you can make it that long without caving and sneaking a bite or two…
In fact, you’ll be so in love with this recipe that you won’t even give unhealthy desserts a second glance! Well, at least until you finish the batch! 😉
Chocolate Chip Coconut Pecan Bars
- 1 c old fashioned oats
- 1/2 c whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 c stevia
- 1 tbs molasses
- 1/4 c chopped pecans
- 1/4 c chocolate chips
- 1/2 c unsweetened reduced fat shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F. Process oats in a food processor until they’ve reached the consistency of oat flour. Combine with baking powder and whole wheat flour in a small bowl. In a large bowl, stir together vanilla extract, egg, coconut milk, stevia, and molasses. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in chopped pecans, chocolate chips, and half the coconut. Grease an 8″x8″ pan and pour in batter. Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Nutrition Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 16 brownies)
Nutrition information calculated using Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Reduced Fat Finely Shredded Organic Coconut. Full fat unsweetened coconut can be used, but the nutritional information will vary accordingly. Sweetened coconut can also be used, but you may want to scale back the stevia to 1/2 c instead 3/4 c, or to your own liking.