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No-Bake Keto Coconut Almond Squares

—  found in  Food  —

Over the past few years, the ketogenic diet has become extremely popular. Natural health experts such as Dr. Axe and Mercola have been singing its praises, and even Harvard Medical School has jumped on the keto bandwagon. Unlike most health trends and diets this one is popular with good reason because there's substantial research that supports the ketogenic diet for specific conditions. (Now if you're here just for these scrumptious keto squares, just scroll down to the bottom)

Keto Coconut Almond Squares

Let's get something out of the way first. I'm NOT going keto.

As you know, I hate labels and diets, but, and this is a big but, there are instances where the ketogenic diet would truly help someone who has a specific health condition whether that be type 2 diabetes or a brain tumour. 

What is the keto diet?

Keto is a high fat (but the emphasis is on good fats ) and low carb way of eating. A traditional keto diet is 20 g of net carbs, whereas a more modest approach is anywhere from 30-50 g net carbs. ("Net" simply refers to the grams of fibre subtracted from the grams of carbs. So a medium mango might be 25 g of carbs but it's 21 g net carbs because there are 4 g of fibre. Make sense?) Doing that math is waaaay too much work for me personally, which is another reason I don't do keto. I love food too much, but, for many, keto has transformed their body, so I totally get why you would be committed to it. 

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When you eat this way, your body starts using body fat and dietary fat for energy as opposed to glucose from carbohydrates.

Keto Almond Squares

Essentially, you turn your body into a fat-burning machine.

It's not without side effects though. If you do get into a state of ketosis, for instance, you may have bad breath and smelly pee. You may also have the "keto flu" or just feel like garbage for a few days, especially if you've been eating the Standard American Diet for many years. 

So why is it great?

The ketogenic diet is best known for its ability to help you lose weight and there is both animal and human research to support this claim. The research on balancing blood sugar and keeping insulin in check to manage or prevent Type 2 diabetes is also impressive. What excites me the most is that it has neuroprotective effects in both adults and children. In fact, this diet has been used since the 1920s to prevent seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Additionally, a keto diet is showing promising results for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.

Should you go keto?

My short answer is no (unless it's warranted for any of the above conditions), but my good friend Meghan Telpner goes into it in more detail about her views and it's worth a read. I completely agree with her when she states that it's a "therapeutic diet," meaning, it can be extremely beneficial if you have a condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, metabolic syndrome or if you're obese. For the average person, it's a "diet" after all, and may not be necessary for you. So, my long answer to that question can be a yes but it's important to work with a natural health-care practitioner who can guide you towards a healthy keto diet. 

I've been eating a diet rich in good fats for years now, it's not keto mind you!

Ever since I started ignoring what other people told me was best and started listening to my own body, I found that I felt best eating plenty of good fats.

But things change, too. When I became pregnant it didn't feel as good to eat as much fat. In fact, avocados kinda grossed me out – it was a texture thing. And salmon was completely off the table! I couldn't stomach the smell and the thought of eating even a bite of fish, no way! So, I listened to my body and adjusted the fats I was eating because fat is extremely important to the growth and development of a baby's brain and nervous system. Curious what my life was like when I didn't listen to my body? READ: these perceived health habits made me unhealthy. 

Now that I'm no longer pregnant or breastfeeding, I'm back to eating tons of avocados and lots of fish. For example, for lunch today, I had a filet of salmon and sprinkled walnuts on my salad with a side of avocado and a fat-based salad dressing with extra-virgin olive oil.

Keto Coconut Almond Squares

For dessert I had these No-Bake Keto Coconut Almond Squares, which are likely the reason you're here today – to get the recipe no doubt! Vienna is a huge fan of them too! They are amazing. Like just as good as my Collagen Chocolate Chip Snowballs. 

What makes these keto-friendly is that they are low carb, high fat and most importantly, they are absolutely delicious!! Plus, they are also gluten-free, paleo friendly, dairy free and vegan, meaning pretty much anyone can enjoy them. Eating one or two squares will have you completely satisfied. That's what good fat does - it turns OFF your hunger hormones. 

Keto Coconut Almond Squares

Now if you don't want to use stevia or go to the trouble of trying to find monk fruit to sweeten these, you can use maple syrup, but they won't be keto then.

But honestly, if you're not on a keto diet, who cares! They are still rich in healthy fats and incredibly satiating! They also won't be keto if you drizzle them with just any old melted chocolate. You'll see my note in the recipe with some ideas. 

Keto Coconut Almond Squares

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Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almond flour (almond meal)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20-25 drops of liquid stevia* (see notes for other sweetener options)
  • Optional: 4 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil for chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine shredded coconut, almond flour, coconut oil, vanilla and stevia or maple syrup. Note: maple syrup is not "keto" but that's what I prefer over stevia.
  3. Pour mixture into square pan and press down firmly with hands or a spatula. Place in freezer to set for 2 hours.
  4. Cut into cubes or squares.
  5. These stay freshest in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  6. To make the chocolate drizzle: Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil on low in a small pot. When melted, drizzle over squares. I spread them out on a cookie sheet to make it easier for drizzling.

Notes

*If you don't care to make these keto (I'm not keto) then make these with maple syrup instead. I use 2-3 tbsp of dark maple syrup.

Also for the chocolate drizzle, unless you're using chocolate chips sweetened with stevia or erythritol then they won't be keto.

These should be kept in the freezer for optimal freshness. They melt pretty quickly so serve them cold, directly from the freezer.

Keto Coconut Almond Squares

Are you interested in more keto recipes? Let me know because I've got more up my sleeve :) Some of my recipes are keto by default and I do have a "keto" category. I will continue to add to them for you. 

Joy xo

37 Comments
Antonietta   •   March 15, 2019

Hi Joy Thank you for the recipe. I have the powdered stevia and powdered monk fruit how much of either would I need to put in to equal the drops . Thanks again

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 16, 2019

Lisa   •   March 15, 2019

Hi Joy, I will try this recipe. A few people I know are doing the keto diet, I am not a big fan of diets just like you, I love food too much as well! A friend of mine who happens to be a doctor told me it's not the best to do unless you have been diagnosed with certain conditions as you mentioned. Would love to see other keto-inspired recipes, thanks, Lisa☺

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 16, 2019

LeeAnne Gelfand   •   March 15, 2019

Hi Joy. I just purchased Lakanto sweetener with monk fruit, golden. Can I use that in this recipe and what measurement would I use. Thank you. For being. :o). LeeAnne G.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 16, 2019

Janet   •   March 15, 2019

These look amazing. Do you have the nutritional breakdown for them?

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 16, 2019

SB   •   March 15, 2019

I'm wondering if the use of coconut milk in this recipe can be used for flavour or to reduce the amount of coconut oil being used? Can't wait to try them ...for the goodness and gluten-free option!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 16, 2019

Saghi   •   March 16, 2019

Hi Joy! I see that you mentioned you’re back to incorporating fat now that you’re not pregnant and not breastfeeding. Is it not good to incorporate fat to every meal when breastfeeding? I can’t wait to try these squares!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 17, 2019

Morgan   •   March 18, 2019

Joy, these are so good! They feel like a guilty pleasure (especially with the chocolate). Will make again in the summer, when a cold treat is needed. Thank you so much!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 18, 2019

Kaitlin J.   •   March 18, 2019

Another great article and recipe Joy! :) I very strongly agree that the keto diet has been shown to be extremely beneficial for specific conditions (like you mentioned), and that a diet rich in healthy fats is part of a balanced diet. I can't help but wonder if my friends who don't eat keto for the specific health conditions but instead for things like weight loss/ better focus/ better skin might find similar health benefits by just incorporating more healthy fat into their diet without going to the extremes of ketosis/ 60-70% fat (especially if they were eating the Standard American Diet before).

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 19, 2019

Fran   •   March 19, 2019

Hi Joy Is there a substitution for almond meal? My daughter has a tree nut allergy. I’m not on a Keto diet so it doesn’t matter if it has carbs. Thanks! (I’m going to PVR your segment tomorrow! Good luck!)

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 19, 2019

Chrystal   •   March 19, 2019

I am allergic to almonds (love them but they hate me). Do you know of a good substitute? I can eat cashews, pistachios and pecans but not almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in anything other than tiny amounts. I am not familiar with “meal” but can figure it out or make it. Also, I am a Cardiology nurse and almost a NP—I agree that Keto should be reserved for medically necessary nutrition needs. Better is to eat a mostly plant-based diet with limited simple carbs, processed foods and added sugars. Most people eating Keto do it incorrectly and run the risk of kidney and cardiovascular harm.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 19, 2019

Robyn H.   •   May 31, 2019

These look delicious! Can’t wait to make a batch. Cheers!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   May 31, 2019

Lynda   •   May 31, 2019

I am Keto and will try these. My only change will be to use coconut butrer for sweetener. No sugar or sweetener alternative for me. Lynda

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   May 31, 2019

Judith Malmgren   •   May 31, 2019

Would love to have more keto/low carb recipes as I'm trying to stave off Type 2 diabetes with diet and excercise rather than going on medication. Thanks so much for all the advice and healthy tips you give.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   May 31, 2019

Geeta   •   June 2, 2019

More keto recipes please

Reply

Jaclyn   •   June 3, 2019

Absolutely delicious and fool-proof! My toddler loved them and so did I. I did the maple syrup (2 tbsp) and it was perfect.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   June 4, 2019

RJ   •   June 18, 2019

Made with maple syrup and chocolate drizzle-like a wholesome version of an almond joy candy bar. Easy and tasty.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   June 19, 2019

Misty   •   August 9, 2019

Hiya. I want to make these for my mom she is a huge coconut fan (me not so much). I don't have almond flour can I substitute that for coconut flour? Doesn't need to be keto it's just a coconut treat for her. If so how much

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   August 12, 2019

Misty kaake   •   August 10, 2019

Made these tonight for tomorrow hope they turn out ok....not sure if I used coconut flour or almond flour (I didn't mark them opps) we will see

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   August 12, 2019
Misty Kaake   •   August 14, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   August 17, 2019

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