Operation Health Up Coconut Bars

First off, as you read this, I'm sitting waiting to be called in for jury duty... that's right... after 28 years on this earth they finally realized I've never been called to jury duty *sigh* As you may be able to tell from this blog, I'm pretty feisty... and I get more feisty when I'm hungry... these poor civil servants have no idea the handful they are about to get today :) Anyone want to bet how long I last before they kick me out!? My guess is I don't even make it into the court room :D

OK back to operation health up! My awesome friend Val who I met through playing ultimate frisbee (this girl is fiercely good!) emailed me the other day asking if I was up for a challenge. Challenge you say? What kind of challenge!?! A health it up challenge!! She had a recipe she loves, but she knows it's totally bad for her, she wanted to know if I good make it any better for her... or at least not as bad :)


I started looking over her original recipe... It was a shortbread base, baked, then you add a sugary coconut topping and bake it again... 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup flour... ummm wow there isn't anything redeeming in there LOL. Then the topping: more sugar, coconut, eggs, almonds... Hmmm ok getting some ideas...

I needed to get rid of that cup of fat in the base... and who needs a 1/2 cup of sugar? I decided to take the almonds out of the topping and add them into the base to replace some of the fat with healthy fats. Then I subbed in some agave to get some moisture back, plus a little unsweetened apple sauce. The cookie base was dense for sure, but had a nice nutty flavor to it. I may try adding an egg white next time so they aren't so dense. (will let you know how it goes)

As for the topping, I was amazed there was so much sugar! Really do we need a cup of brown sugar?? I think not. Out went 3/4 of the sugar, and the two eggs were replaced with egg whites. The results a totally delicious gooey topping!


The verdict:
I loved them, totally sweet and gooey.

My roommate wasn't a fan of the cookie base but said "I could eat this topping for days!"

My coworkers all agreed they loved them. One said the base wasn't flaky like a shortbread would be... but she still liked how it tasted and the more dense texture.

Want to make them for yourself?

Coconut Almond Bars
recipe redo by steph chows

cookie base:
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs whole wheat flour
2 Tbs organic zero (or splenda or white sugar)
2 Tbs agave nectar
2 Tbs unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup almonds (toss them in a food processor and get them to a flour like texture)
1 egg white (didn't try this out, will next time, I think it will lighten the dough a bit)

Mix it all together in a bowl and then press into the bottom of a greased pie pan. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until golden.

Now make the coconut topping:

Mix together:
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs whole wheat flour
dash of salt
2 egg whites (beaten until slightly foamy)

Remove the golden crust from the oven and spread topping over the top. Place back in oven and reduce temperature to 325. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top (and center doesn't jiggle when you shake the pan.


OK who's next!! What recipe can I health up for you!!! Don't worry I'll keep it tasty! Email it to me at stephchows at gmail.com :)

20 chews:

this sounds very tasty for me! :)

I've never had jury duty either! These look sooo good!

Shannon said...

i bet throwing in some nice medjool dates would help with the crust... might have to give it a shot :) did you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut??

Sunshine said...

Sounds good to me. Good luck with the jury duty.

tam said...

Yummy they look fab! I have deleted your email by mistake so could you mail mew again so I can send cookie photos to you!? The swap was a great success thanks lovely lady x x

Mags said...

I love your "healthed up" recipes. You're so creative!

These sound scrumptious and I love this lighter version!

Gina said...

This sounds so good!

I would love it if you "healthed up" a recipe for banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. just a suggestion!

Love a health-up challenge! And you've done a great job with it, Step. I really like the almonds in the crust and would probably prefer that to the shortbread. They look delicious!

Ugh, jury duty! I've been a juror 8 times!! Can you believe that?! I'm wishing you luck and hoping you won't have to spend the whole week there.

Lori said...

Oooo - these look good! Funny you should mention jury duty - my husband just got called and he is there right now waiting to see if he gets selected!

I did my duty a few months ago.

Juliana said...

Wow, these bars sure look very yummie :-) Somehow I get called for jury duty every other year...

stephchows said...

So I didn't last in the jury box! Many questions later I was dismissed LOL. :)

Shannon- I used sweetened since the original called for it... but I'd try unsweetened next time for sure! The dates sound like a great idea too!

Gina- I am on it!! Banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting healthy style coming your way!

Diva on a Diet- 8 times???? WOW!! They must really like you haha

Lori- hopefully he gets out early too!

Juliana- seriously??? The told me I wont get called for another 8 years now!

Natalie said...

Allright Steph... I have about 100 recipes I need you to health up, so I can health up!

(These bars look killer though!)

I also haven't had jury duty. They sent me that form you fill out back when I was in college. Though, I was still a PA resident. Anyway, ugh. Good luck with that. These look delish!

Your so good at making over recipes! These look scrumptious!

So cool--I love healthifying things--good job!

I also haven't had jury duty. They sent me that form you fill out back when I was in college. Though, I was still a PA resident. Anyway, ugh. Good luck with that. These look delish!

Lori said...

Oooo - these look good! Funny you should mention jury duty - my husband just got called and he is there right now waiting to see if he gets selected!

I did my duty a few months ago.

Juliana said...

Wow, these bars sure look very yummie :-) Somehow I get called for jury duty every other year...

I've never had jury duty either! These look sooo good!

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