Monday, April 7, 2014

Chocolate Coconut Candy Balls

When I was a child, one of the favorite treats I might find in my Easter basket was a Russell Stover Chocolate Coconut Nest!  I loved the combination of creamy chocolate and the chewy texture of the coconut.  The company has changed their recipe over the years and, to me, it no longer satisfies my memories from childhood -- not to mention that as a diabetic I really shouldn't be eating candy bars anymore!  This recipe has all the flavor of the original candy, but its so much better!  It's reduced in sugar and uses coconut oil as a base, which has many healthful benefits.  If you're looking for a fun and easy holiday treat, give these a try!

Chocolate Coconut Candy Balls
Makes about 8-10 candies

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon 100% stevia powder (or stevia drops to taste)
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, stir the dry ingredients until well combined.  Add the coconut oil, honey and extract and mix thoroughly, until all dry ingredients have been moistened.  Using a tablespoon (or very small cookie scoop), spoon a tablespoon of coconut mixture into your hand and gently roll and press until it forms into a ball.  Place on a cookie sheet and press down slightly to flatten the bottom of the candy.  Repeat with the remaining coconut mixture.  Bake in a preheated 190-degree oven for 50-60 minutes.  (The point is to slowly dehydrate the candies, not actually bake them.)  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing to an airtight container.

Nutritional Information per candy: 79 calories, 5.3 g carbohydrate (1.2 g dietary fiber, 3.2 g sugar), 6.9 g total fat (5.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 26 mg sodium, 6.2 mg calcium, 14 mg potassium, 1 g protein.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2014

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