Looking for something to curb your sweet tooth while everyone else noshes on Halloween candy? Look no further! These healthy mounds bars are a cinch to prepare and they make for a perfect, health-boosting alternative to the sugary packaged stuff. Enjoy!
You guys, Halloween is upon us! I don’t know about you, but October always fills me with a fresh sense of newness and excitement. The weather is
finally starting to dip below 100 still warm where we are… and yet, I can’t help but crave a good bowl of chili, a pumpkin-spice muffin (like these ones), and maybe a piece of my favorite Halloween candy, Mounds bars.
Ah, Mounds bars. You either love ’em or you hate ’em. And ever since I was a kid, I’ve been head over heels. There’s something about the chewy, creamy coconut center, offset by that subtly crisp bite of dark chocolate.
Of course, the last time I tried an actual Mounds bar, it was way too sweet. I’ve told you before about how my taste buds have changed a bit over the past couple years. And, while I’m not complaining about craving less sugar, I do still miss the nostalgia of opening up a Mounds bar from the depths of my trick-or-treating pillowcase on Halloween night. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who used a pillowcase.)
Anyway. I’ve found a homemade version of my favorite Halloween candy and, you guys, I’m never going back.
These healthy mounds bars were inspired by a recipe from the Trim Healthy Table cookbook, which I wholeheartedly recommend (especially that buttery, cinnamon bundt cake). I removed some of the ingredients, adjusted the sweetener according to my own preferences (I don’t love using erythritol if I don’t have to), and lumped some of the steps together (#becausekids).
Another reason I love this cookbook is that it provides a succinct overview of the THM eating plan so you can get started without having to buy both a cookbook and the actual plan book. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks and I use it all the time.
How to Make the Best Healthy Mounds Bars
A few tips before you start making your healthy mounds bars.
- Use full-fat coconut milk — from a can. I buy a big pack from Costco and keep it on hand. This stuff is delicious in smoothies, oatmeal (definite XO if you’re following THM), soups, or even for cooking coconut rice (also a XO).
- Sweeten to your preference. Like I’ve said, I avoid erythritol when there’s another option. I love the combination of stevia with a little bit of “real”, on-plan sugar (in the healthier form of maple syrup, raw honey, or coconut sugar). But, if you prefer to use an erythritol-based sweetener, go for it! It will be delicious and have even less of an impact on your waistline.
- Note on maple syrup: I used 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup in this recipe, which yields a total of 26.5 grams of sugar for the whole batch. I cut them into small bars, so each bar had slightly more than 1 gram of sugar.
- For the shredded coconut, make sure to get unsweetened and finely shredded coconut (as opposed to coconut flakes). The finely shredded texture will yield chewier and creamier healthy mounds bars. If you only have coconut flakes on hand, you can pulse them in a food processor before you add them.
Tips to Make Them Specialer
Yes, specialer. Haven’t you heard that’s a word now?
Let’s be honest. There are unicorn days when we mamas have the energy to create beautiful Pinterest masterpieces in the kitchen. And then there are those days we can barely boil water. If you’re feeling low-key, you might just dump the coconut ingredients together and not even bother with the chocolate. Maybe you simply spread the coconut mixture into a pan and cut it into easy bars after it has hardened. My friends, this is still noble and good.
But, if you have a little more time, you can make these healthy mounds bars pretty cute. You could spoon them out into little “truffles” with a small cookie dough scoop. You could also flatten them out into muffin liners to make cute little coconut disks. Top them with melted chocolate and then sprinkle some sea salt flakes or slivered almonds for an added touch of crispy, chewy, creamy elegance.
You won’t even be tempted to dig into your kids’ Halloween stash this year.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp gelatin
- 3 doonks pure stevia (about 1/10 tsp)
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (yields 26.5 grams of sugar for the whole batch)
- 3 pinches mineral salt
- 1/4 cup collagen
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 1/4-1/2 cup on-plan chocolate (either Lily's sugar-free or 85% dark)
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or set out a muffin tin with silicone muffin liners.
Dump the first seven ingredients (everything except shredded coconut and chocolate) into a pot and whisk together.
Bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Take mixture off the heat and add the shredded coconut.
Dump the coconut mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet or muffin liners. Refrigerate or freeze.
Melt sugar-free or 85% dark chocolate and pour it over the cooled coconut mixture. Place it back in the fridge or freezer to harden.
If you're making bars, wait until the mixture has hardened before cutting them.