Toasted Coconut Chia Bars
Published Aug 01, 2023, Updated Sep 15, 2023
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These toasted coconut chia bars are made with just six simple ingredients and come together quickly. They’re the perfect pre-workout snack or on-the-go breakfast. Dairy-free + gluten-free.
Take your snack game to the next level with these toasted coconut chia bars. They’re the perfect grab-and-go option for those busy mornings or a pre-workout snack.
Full of wholesome ingredients like shredded coconut, honey, almond butter, medjool dates and chia seeds, these homemade energy bars have an awesome mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat so they keep me satisfied. And want to know the best part? They come together in minutes and require no baking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple ingredients: These bars are made with just 6 simple ingredients!
- Easy to make: This recipe is super quick and easy to make. No baking required! Just mix, press, chill and enjoy.
- Versatile: Whether you need a quick on-the-go breakfast, a pre-workout snack or a healthy dessert after dinner these bars have you covered.
- Healthy: Between the coconut, chia seeds, medjool dates and almond butter, these bars are loaded with a variety of nutrients including healthy fats, protein and fiber. They’re also gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and can easily be made vegan.
- Family-friendly: These bars are kid-friendly and adult-approved. It’s a recipe the whole family will love.
- unsweetened shredded coconut – make sure you’re using unsweetened shredded coconut and not sweetened. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill shredded coconut.
- medjool dates – naturally sweet and slightly chewy, medjool dates bind the ingredients together and add a delicious hint of caramel.
- honey – this also helps to bind all the ingredients together and adds more natural sweetness.
- chia seeds – a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. Check out the full health benefits of chia seeds.
- almond butter – this not only adds a creaminess to the bars but also provides a good dose of healthy fats. Look for a brand with just one or two ingredients (almonds and salt). Also, try to use almond butter that’s creamy and drippy. Some of my favorite brands are Wild Friends creamy almond butter and 365 organic creamy almond butter.
- mini chocolate chips – I recommend Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips which are allergen-friendly or Lily’s dark chocolate chips because they are low in sugar and calories.
- water – this is used if needed to help the mixture come together. Its usage will depend on the stickiness of your dates and almond butter.
How to Make
Toast coconut: Place your shredded coconut in a sauté pan over medium heat. Toss it consistently until the shreds turn golden, which should take about five minutes. Be careful to avoid burning the coconut, so keep a close eye on it! Once toasted, remove from heat and let it cool for around ten minutes. You can also toast your coconut in the oven. If you’re interested, you can check out my full guide on how to toast coconut.
Combine ingredients: Once your coconut has cooled, add it to the bowl of your food processor along with the dates, honey, chia seeds, almond butter and mini chocolate chips. Process until a dough-like ball starts to form. If the mixture seems a little dry and doesn’t stick together well, add up to 1 1/2 tablespoons of water, then process again. The added moisture should help form the perfect dough ball.
Press and chill: Remove the dough from your processor and press it into an 8-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. To let the bars firm up, place the pan in the fridge or freezer for 30-60 minutes.
Enjoy: After chilling the bars, cut your dough into 6 bars. Store these in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy them.
Substitutions & Notes
- Honey: To make these bars vegan you could use brown rice syrup instead of honey. I haven’t tried using agave nectar or maple syrup and I’m not sure how they would work as both are thinner options.
- Almond butter: You can swap the almond butter with any other nut butter you prefer or have on hand. Cashew butter or peanut butter would be my next choice.
- Nut-free: To make this recipe nut-free, swap the almond butter with sunflower seed butter, coconut butter or tahini.
- Mix-ins: Feel free to customize this recipe with different mix-ins. You can easily swap the chocolate chips for something else like dried fruit, nuts or seeds. Some ideas: dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, raisins, cacao nibs, flax seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
How to Store
One of the best things about these toasted coconut chia bars is that they store really well and are perfect for meal prep! Here’s how to store them:
In the freezer: For longer storage, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to store them after being cut so they’re ready to grab and go! To thaw, place them in the fridge overnight or at room temperature before enjoying.
More Bar Recipes to Try
- Chocolate Chip Almond Granola Bars
- Apple Granola Bars
- Tahini Fig Bars
- Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars
- Cereal Bars
- Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- Fruit and Nut Bars
- Nut Free Granola Bars
- Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Easy Protein Bars
- Banana Oatmeal Bars
- No Bake Chocolate Energy Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
Toasted Coconut Chia Bars
- Add shredded coconut into a sauté pan over medium heat to toast. Toss consistently until the coconut shreds are golden in color. This should take about 5 minutes or so. Just be sure to watch carefully because you don’t want the coconut to burn. Remove from heat and allow coconut to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add cooled toasted coconut, dates, honey, chia seeds, almond butter and chocolate chips into the base of a food processor and process until fully combined and a ball of dough stars to form. If the mixture seems a little dry and isn’t really sticking together or forming the ball, add water (up to 1 1/2 Tablespoons). Process again and the ball should form.
- Remove dough from the processor and press into an 8-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Place loaf pan in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to let the bars set up. Cut into 6 bars and store in the fridge until ready to enjoy. They should last up to one week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.