Raw Bounty Bars

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Oh how times change.
If you were to hand me a Bounty Bar 20 years ago, I would have looked at you like you had gone coconuts (ahem, sorry). I thought Bounty Bars were totally sick-a-tating because coconut was a vegetable in my mind, and therefore decidedly not edible even when smothered in chocolate.

I don’t know when I came to my senses, discovered that coconut was in fact a not vegetable, and also totally delicious. These days, I’ll go so far to say that I don’t know what my life would be like without dear coconut around, as I likely employ one or more of its products on a daily basis. You can imagine then, that being in Bali was quite a gas for me, as it’s dripping with coconuts, quite literally. I loved being able to get fresh coconut water every morning; mammoth orbs heavy with well over a liter of liquid gold, for under a dollar. Freshly shredded coconut at the market, coconut palm sugar by the bagful, young coconut flesh blended in smoothies… it was the business!

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Big Tree Farms -  a place where they make incredible coconut  products among other things, such as raw cacao and sea salt. As I’ve been using their delicious coconut palm sugar for a while now, it was pretty amazing to see where the magic happens and meet the sweet people behind the sweetness. I was also introduced to a new product: coconut nectar! A gorgeous, full-flavoured syrup that looks a lot like honey, but with a citric, smoky flavour that surprised and delighted me.

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Coconut Nectar of the Gods
Coconut nectar, and the coconut palm sugar that is made from it, have been produced and enjoyed for over 6,000 years. In fact, the first documented sweeteners ever used are that from coconut palms (Coco Nucifera).

Coconut nectar is made by harvesting the sap from the coconut palm blossom, which is collected twice daily by the farmers at Big Tree. They climb up each trunk in the morning, remove the vessel full of sap, slice the very tip off of each flower bundle and place an empty vessel underneath it to collect sap until the evening when they will repeat the process. The sap is then boiled down to remove all the water it naturally contains, leaving a thick, caramel-like syrup, which can then be cooled and bottled.  To make coconut sugar, that same syrup is cooled and then rubbed, creating granules of the delectable coconut sugar that I love so much. You can watch a very cool video about the whole tree to table process, here.

Coconut nectar is high in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It is happily low glycemic, ranking 35 on the GI scale, compared to agave at 42, honey at 55, cane sugar at 68. This is due to coconut sugar’s composition of long-chain saccharides, which are absorbed by the body at a slower rate than something like refined white sugar. Coconut sugar also contains amino acids, which are thought to slow down the rate at which the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, acting as a “buffer” of sorts. You can read more about Big Tree Farms Coconut Nectar and Palm Sugar nutrition here.

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After visiting Big Tree, I was feeling creative and hungry for chocolate. I decided to get my Willy Wonka on and recreate a favourite treat to pay homage to my coconut adventures, and also because, let’s face it, Bounty Bars are delicious. This is my (nearly) raw version of the classic candy, a very easy and scrumptious translation using simple ingredients. They are totally rich and coconut-y, just like the “real” thing, but way better because they taste real – not like science. The chocolate is smooth, rich and decadent, and the filling is extra coconut-y due to the virgin coconut oil I use. If you have a good-quality virgin coconut oil, I suggest employing it here, as you want to emphasize the coconut flavour. This is one of the few times I use virgin coconut oil, as I usually don’t want everything tasting of the tropics, but in this case I definitely do. If you don’t have any, regular coconut oil is fine.

And if you don’t have any coconut nectar not to worry – substitute it with honey or maple syrup and the results should be almost the same. These should be stored in the freezer, especially in the height of summer when the chocolate can melt in the heat. Plus, biting into one of these is quite refreshing when the 4 o’clock summer sun hits and you need something sweet to rouse you from your nap.

These are also really fun to make – who doesn’t love a good candy project? Get your kids involved, get your friends into it, and create some candy bars that you actually won’t want to share with anyone who has helped you. You’ve been warned.

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Show me your bars on Instagram: #rawbountybars 

76 comments

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  3. Molly

    Hey sweetie! I made these tonight and they’re so delicious, but they really are super crumbly! I followed the recipe exactly but only managed to get 8 bars because the other 4 crumbed into pieces. Thank you for the other very inspiring recipes though! X

  4. Nikki

    Hi, I’ve tried this three times now and my coconut will not stick together! I’ve tried adding more coconut oil..
    Thanks

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  7. Madeleine

    I have to agree with Pumpkin!

    I just compared the two recipes and both have different purposes and ingredients.
    Sarah’s is a nourishing sweet treat- all ingredient are whole foods (i.e. her recipe does not contain artificial sweetener, but it does include real vanilla bean and RAW cacao) and she is not concerned with calories (i.e she uses coconut oil instead of Vivica’s coconut oil/ cream).

    Vivica’s on the other hand is a low carb snack made for those following (what looks to be?) the paleo diet or a low carb plan. Thus, it employs normal cocoa powder and stevia.

    Ok enough for discussion, back to my thesis I go!!!

    ps: Sarah I’m glad you got to go to Big Tree Farms. I wrote a comment recommending it, but for some reason it never showed up (maybe my work is weird about blogs?)

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  10. Anneke

    Sarah you are a genious! These are delicious!! I just made them and they are now in the freezer for the last hour (last step in the recipe), it’s really proving to be a challenge to leave them in there that long :). Nibbled on the remains here and there, and can’t wait to try them in their finished form yum yum!

  11. Jill

    Hi Sarah, I’ve been following your blog for a few years now, and your recipes are far and beyond my go-to favorites! Thank you so much for what you do.
    I do have a question about coconut sugar & nectar, though. I read that tapping the flowers for the sap that makes the sugar and nectar means that the flower can’t fruit. Therefore, no coconuts, no coconut oil, etc. I also read that this was affecting people’s livelihood in countries like Thailand. Now of course you can read just about anything on the webs, but it is basic botany that no flowers = no fruit. But would you be able to confirm whether tapping the flowers does in fact make them “sterile,” so to speak, and unable to fruit? And whether this creates negative consequences that outweigh the benefits of using coconut sugar/nectar? Sorry to be so heavy, this has been bothering me for a while, and I have faith that you would be in-the-know on these things! I’d welcome factual info from any other readers who are educated in this area, too.

  12. Kathleen

    Love these! I am a huge coconut fan as well. I think coconut oil is great for the skin, and also many surfers I know use it as a supplement for energy. It has sooo many uses. This sounds great!

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  16. Katie @ Whole Nourishment

    These look delectable! I am just returning from Bali and also felt I was in coconut heaven there. Sad to leave that little tropical paradise behind but these bars are certainly a welcome site for me. What do you think about subbing a little coconut flour for some of the shredded coconut, if I wanted more of a cookie “chew” feel?

    • Pumpkin

      Hi. I just reviewed your recipe, as quite a few people are getting testy about the similarities between Sarah’s recipe and your recipe. As far as I can tell, the only similarity is that both of you are covering coconut with chocolate–i.e. a Bounty Bar or a Mounds Bar. Sarah clearly stated that the Bounty bar was her inspiration, and her ingredients are significantly different from yours. When a recipe is as broad as this is (coconut covered with chocolate–good grief, there are recipes for this literally everywhere), it is to be expected that there will be many iterations of it on the internet.

    • Sarah G

      Not my place here at all – but that is a bit of an assumption, no? I’ve been reading this blog for a while and the ingredients used in this recipe are used here often. I’m pretty sure the chocolate part is very similiar if not the same to some of her other recipes. A quick google search with some of the keywords will show you that there are other similiar recipes out there so it’s presumptuous to assume she “took inspiration” from your blog. Just trying to point this out respectfully :-)

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  18. Kathryn

    I used to think, like you, that I didn’t like coconut – I’m so glad that I’ve seen the error of my ways! I love how versatile it is and I love how you’ve shown it off to its best in these sweet treats.

  19. Lauren

    Wow these look fantastic. I never used to like coconut as a kid – my Mum loves bountys and I always used to wonder how she could eat them. Now, like you, cannot imagine my life without coconut!! I am yet to try Coconut nectar but I want some now with that impressive mineral content!

  20. Rike

    These look absolutely amazing!!
    My mom is a big fan of Bounty Bars, will definitely have to make these for her.
    I’m a little confused, though. You said to use virgin coconut oil, but that “regular” coconut oil would also be fine. I have extra virgin at home, does that work? Is there a taste difference between virgin and extra virgin?

    • Sarah

      Hi, not Sarah B here but I think I can answer your question :)
      Extra virgin coconut oil is the same as virgin, as ‘extra virgin’ doesn’t mean anything except when talking about olive oil.
      So using the ‘extra virgin’ coconut oil you have should be perfect!

  21. Five O'clock Shallots

    Bali sounds like coconut heaven indeed. Bounty was always my favorite treat. This post is beautiful and I’ve never heard of Coconut nectar before. Thank you! I will have to try to make these soon. Problem is I’ll eat them all on my own….

  22. Vicki

    Hi Sarah–Love your recipes!! I just made these tonight and the coconut is not sticking together after being chilled in the freezer. Should I try more water? Or more coconut oil? Also, my chocolate seized up. I used coconut nectar instead of honey. Do you think that could be the problem?
    Thanks, I am sure this is going to be a fantastic bar when I finally get it right!! :)

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Vicki!
      So cool you got to this recipe so fast! Love it.
      Now, on to your issues…the coconut should definitely stick together once frozen, so I would add more coconut oil. Maybe do a test with a small amount first just to be sure?
      As for the chocolate, if you got ANY water in the bowl that was your problem, but I haven’t tried making the raw chocolate with coconut nectar before and that could also be the issue. Try using honey or maple syrup, which always works for me. Let me know how it goes! Good luck :)

  23. Loretta

    Can’t wait to get home & try these delicious bars !!!!! They look wicked in all sorts of good ways – thank you Sarah xx

  24. Erin (For the Love of Bookshops)

    Oh, Sarah, you’ve done it again; put another go-to recipe on my rotation. You can never go wrong with chocolate and coconut in my book. I’ve been making your Buckwheat Chocolate Granola consistently since you published the recipe months ago. I suspect these Bounty Bars are going to follow a similar fate. Plus, now you’ve convinced me to finally try coconut sugar. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Dafne Schvetz

    This is my all time favorite chocolate! I can´t believe it! I could cry for such happiness! Thank you for solving one of my biggest chalenges (not eating the ones full of sugar) <3 All the best! xx

  26. Elizabeth

    I am studying holistic nutrition and have been following your blog for some time could you please recommend some reads for me
    Thanks so much
    Lizzy

  27. Michelle

    These look amazing. I can’t get my hands on cacao butter, do you have any replacement suggestions?
    Thanks!!

  28. Maike

    These look incredible – you had me ogling them at instagram already! I love coconut, I love raw chocolate – these are a match made in heaven. Can’t wait to try these!! Thanks for the lovely recipe :D

  29. Annalize

    Oooh you’ve done it again! Even my VERY picky eater daughter is going to love these as coconut and dark chocolate are two of her favourite things! It is just the right thing to warm up in cold Cape Town! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas! Have all the ingredients needed packed out on my countertop so I can make the Life-changing loaf of bread tomorrow morning! Your Blog has been an encouragement and introduction to healthy eating for our family and it is so simple and easy! Thank You!!!!

  30. Nathalie @ Vanille Verte

    These look so incredibly delicious! I will try them as soon as I am hungry for a sweet treat. I love coconut sugar, and that video on Big Tree Farms is very informative and beautifully filmed. Thank you for the amazing work that you do!

  31. Geneve

    haha–I think we crashed firefox when all of us tried to look at this recipe at the same time. I am already making my shopping list. Happy almost Summer Sarah and my new roots fans!!

  32. Abby

    Hi Sarah, do you have any suggestions for ordering cacao butter? I have not been able to find any in my local stores. Thanks!

  33. Caitlyn

    I love coconut nectar! It is in rotation in my cupboard routinely :). It is amazing, isn’t it? And I love your take on bounty bars.

    Your trip sounds amazing!

  34. Loriel Adams

    These look ridiculously AMAZING. I’m a sucker for coconut and chocolate so these are on my TRY NOW list aka I’ll be trying them this weekend. Thanks for the great recipe. A little envious of your adventure in Bali — it must have been amazing!

  35. Pang

    I was growing with all kind of coconut dessert, but not at all with chocolate. (hint: Thailand). Not until I came to the U.S. that I encountered this combination, so far I am loving this bars the most. Healthy & delicious looking :)

    I am so late for discovering your blog, but I am so glad I did and I am staying. :)

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