Coconut Gogi Bars

Oh how I love chewy coconut bars….such a satisfying treat that’s not too sweet. These bars are quick to make and store well in the fridge or freezer. Just a few simple ingredients which are nourishing and tasty. I have always loved fat. I briefly dipped my toe into the “no fat” lifestyle and quickly bailed as I came to the conclusion that if a low or no-fat diet prolonged my life (and as it turns out, it won’t), it would surely make me miserable and, by extension, all those near and dear to me as well. There is an entertaining story about raccoons (not known for their discerning culinary tastes) rejecting my no-fat Pritiken muffins in my formative years….sheesh…you know you’ve hit rock bottom when your cooking is rejected by raccoons!

I love making bars with coconut oil; however, at room temperature, coconut oil can soften, leaving your bars a mushy mess. I decided to divide the coconut oil with cacao butter, which is firmer at room temperature. Now these bars will soften if left out, but won’t completely collapse like they would if only coconut oil was used.

Coconut Goji Bars

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut flakes (or you could just use 2 cups shredded…I like the variety of texture)
1/2 cup coconut oil – warmed to liquid *
1/2 cup cacao butter – warmed to liquid *
1/4 cup rice syrup – this makes the bars chewy
1 tablespoon maple syrup – get the dark amber from McCutcheon’s
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup goji berries

*measurements are based on liquid form

Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Combine coconut, goji berries and salt – set aside. Combine melted coconut oil and cacao butter with vanilla, rice syrup and maple syrup. Add liquid ingredients to coconut mixture and blend well. Pour into baking dish. Place in freezer until firm. Cut into desired size bars. Store in fridge or freezer.