Do you struggle to find a filling snack that hits the spot when 11am or 3pm roll around? I know I do! We all try to pack fruit and some vegetables into our lunches but sometimes you just want something starchy and sweet. To fill this need, we typically pick up a box of granola bars and drop one in the lunch box every day. Unfortunately, most of the standard granola bars on the shelves are not vegan and the ones that are vegan are usually pretty expensive (and small). You can pay close to $5,00 and only get 5 bars!! It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. After wasting more than my share of money on granola bars, or rock hard wafers disguised as granola bars, it was time to create a homemade version of the chewy granola bar….
The days are long, the sun is hot, and we’re definitely in the middle of summer!! One of the best parts of summer is the produce that’s in season!! Last week at the farmer’s market the aisles were packed with cherries and the stores have had berries and melons galore! The watermelon this year has been amazing!!! I feel like I’ve bought one a week or every other week for the last 2 months. Most weeks I had no problem demolishing the entire watermelon. Then other weeks, between having a lot of other fruit or traveling, I needed a way to use up the leftover watermelon. There are plenty of ways to use watermelon but in the heat of summer this watermelon lime cooler is perfect!
A few weeks back, I bought a menagerie of single serve nut butter packets to take out on various hiking, climbing, and camping trips this summer. Last weekend I was packing a day bag for climbing and I thoughtlessly grabbed whatever packet was on top and a banana. When we were in between routes I tore open a pooch and squeezed some onto my banana and handed the nut butter pooch over to my husband. Before I’d even started eating my banana my husband was like “holy cow this is delicious!!”. I thought I’d just picked a plain-Jane almond butter but turns out the pooch I grabbed was basically Almond Joy nut butter. Coconut + Chocolate + Almonds = Holy Cow – SO GOOD!! I flipped over the package and thought to myself – I can totally make this myself and not pay the $6+ for a jar. Nut butters are seriously so so easy to make if you have the right tools* (If you are looking for more homemade nut butters check out my Chai Almond Butter).
You could totally put all of the ingredients into a Blendtec Twister Jar* or Mini food processor at once, but I would highly recommend blending the almonds into a butter first. This allows for a smoother consistency. The almonds will almost be a butter, but will likely be getting a little stuck inside of your jar. At this point add in half of the coconut oil to help get things moving. Once the almond butter mass is moving fluidly then you’ll add in the rest of the coconut oil* and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and blend until super smooth and warm, then hello almond joy nut butter!! Can you believe a jar of this costs like $6.50 at the store. $6.50!?!? If you’ve got a decent blender or food processor and access to a Costco or Whole Foods for bulk nuts you should really start making your own nut butter (fancy ones like this and just plain almond butter/peanut butter)! Once you start you might scratch your head wondering why you’d ever paid for natural peanut butter or almond butter and never look back!
I also made a wonderful discovery by mistake with this almond butter. I took the jar into work to have with fruit (and no the plan wasn’t to eat the whole jar :p). At lunch time I took my lunch out of the fridge only to find the almond joy nut butter had solidified into a decadent fudge!! OH MAN, work-self was super pumped to have dessert after lunch 😀 Store this in the fridge if you’d rather have Almond Joy Fudge instead of Almond Joy nut butter. Enjoy!
- 2 cups almonds
- 3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- Blend Almonds in a Blendtec Twister Jar or in a mini food processor until thick.
- Add in 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil and blend more to get a smooth flowing consistency.
- Add in remaining 1 Tbsp Coconut oil and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and blend until the mixture flows smoothly and is warm.
- Store in an air tight jar in your pantry.
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