I’m so excited to share this recipe with you all! I made these successfully for the first time last Friday and have made them three times since then! They only received rave reviews and never last long when up for grabs. These Homemade Almond Joys only require four ingredients and they’re dairy-free too!
Did you have a favorite type of candy growing up? I always loved Almond Joys and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. When I went Trick-or-Treating as a little kid I would always try to get the chocolate based candies. And if you looked in my pillow case a week after Halloween, all the candy that I you would find would be the fruity, sugary kinds like smarties, laffy taffy, and tootsie rolls (which is not fruity, but also not my favorite). I don’t remember many of my friends liking Almond Joys, but I couldn’t get enough of them. And that’s still the case to this day.
Slowly, however, over the course of my learning to eat a plant-based diet, I have stopped eating a lot of sugary sweets, Almond Joys included. When I first stopped eating dairy and eggs, giving up dessert was the hardest thing for me. I would give in every once in a while, but was always left with a stomach ache and feeling sluggish. But the less I ate dessert, the less I began to crave it and could easily pass up the dessert table at parties.
Don’t get me wrong, I still loooove desserts and I’m so glad they’re a part of life. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate? Okay, okay, my brother, but that’s besides the point. Desserts are a way to celebrate and savor life and friends. A birthday party or wedding wouldn’t be the same without cake. Thanksgiving and Christmas wouldn’t be the same without pie. So even though I don’t eat desserts as much as I used to, I still love to have them occasionally…especially when I get to make them from scratch at home! I love being able to control the amount of refined sugars and flours I use. Even better, I love when I can make them fairly nutritious.
I will say, my idea of a nutritious dessert has changed so much since I took on a plant based diet! I don’t even think I could have said desserts could be nutritious a year ago. They were always considered “bad” foods in my mind and I usually felt guilty after eating them. I always thought a “healthier” dessert would be one that is either low-calorie, sugar-free, or low-fat. Man, have I changed! Nowadays, I don’t care if my dessert is high in calories, fat or sugar…as long as those things are coming from whole foods. I love savoring one of my Raw Chocolate Chili Brownies made with almonds, dates and cocoa powder. I love making Chocolate Chia Pudding using avocado, bananas, cacao powder and maple syrup (recipe coming soon!). I love introducing my friends to fruit pizza by serving my Raw Fruit Pizza! All of these desserts are in no way low-calorie, sugar-free or low-fat, but I now consider them healthy because they are not made with processed ingredients and chemicals, but instead with whole foods that have amazing health benefits.
Wow, didn’t mean to go on such a rant! I hope you’re still excited about these Homemade Almond Joys! I did use chocolate chips as the outer coating, but if you wanted to make them fully homemade you could easily use the chocolate recipe I used when making my Homemade Peanut Butter Cups. Enjoy!
- 2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil + 1 teaspoon, divided
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 20 almonds
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, process the shredded coconut, 6 tablespoons of coconut oil and maple syrup until combined. You want the shredded coconut to be broken down into little bits. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your food processor when necessary.
- Form the coconut mixture into 20 almond joy shaped rectangles and place them on the wax paper lined baking sheet. Press an almond into the center of each rectangle, reforming the shape if necessary, and then place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes for the coconut mixture to harden.
- Melt the chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl or with a double boiler. After 15 minutes, coat each almond joy in the melted chocolate. Do this by useing a fork OR by poking your almond joys with a toothpick to use as a handle, Shake or scrape of excess chocolate before returning the chocolate coated almond joys to the wax paper. If possible, try to keep the uncoated almond joys in the freezer as you work. Once you have coated all the almond joys in chocolate, let the chocolate harden in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Store in the fridge or freezer. If storing in the freezer, remove the almond joys from the freezer about 1/2 hour before serving.
- This recipe can be easily halved if you only want 10 almond joys.