I have a thing for coconut.
Fresh coconut water, The Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter, mint coconut ice cream… I still remember my first taste of tom kha gai and hunting down a Thai cookbook the very next day.
And here’s a little secret: Although coconut pies are sinfully delicious, the heaps of sugar and condensed milk drown out the light, fresh-cracked taste that draws me to coconut in the first place.
Unsweetened coconut is perfect just as it is, so when I make a healthy dessert like these coconut almond butter brownies, I pack it in, and I don’t even miss the sugar.
The original recipe comes from the book Primal Body, Primal Mind, and it’s more of a list of ingredients and optional ingredients than an exact recipe. So from the list, I add all things coconut: shredded coconut, coconut flour, and coconut butter. And coconut goes so well with chocolate that unsweetened cocoa powder and cacao nibs are only logical.
Add butter, almond butter, and toasted nuts, and the fact that this is a low-carb dessert is totally beside the point.
If these aren’t enticing enough already, here’s one more reason to make them: you don’t have to turn on your oven. No baking. One hour in the fridge, and they’re ready to eat.
As a native Texan, I’ve come to appreciate recipes that don’t require an oven, especially in the summer…which lasts until October.
Recipe after the jump!
Coconut Almond Butter Brownies
Adapted from Primal Body, Primal Mind. The more expensive or hard-to-find ingredients are listed as optional.
Makes about 16 brownies.
- 16 oz. almond butter
- 8 oz. KerryGold butter, organic butter, or ghee, room temperature
- 5-10 oz. chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened, finely-shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
These ingredients are optional, but highly recommended!
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons organic coconut butter (not coconut oil—read the labels carefully!), melted
- 15 drops NuNaturals stevia extract
- 2 tablespoons organic cacao nibs
- Organic, unsweetened, flaked coconut (for the topping)
How to make them:
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and toast the nuts until fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of nuts for the topping, along with a handful of cacao nibs and the flaked coconut, if using.
- Put the rest of the nuts in a large bowl. Add all of the other ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into an 8″x8″ pan.
- Top with reserved nuts, cacao nibs, and flaked coconut, if using.
- Chill for at least one hour, or until firm.
- Cut into squares and serve!
Note that these do not travel well. If you’re packing them to go, wrap each brownie in wax paper and place them in a small cooler, otherwise your brownies will melt, and you will be sad. Ask me how I know.