Coconut Cacao Nib Breakfast Bars (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


When I think back on my start in low carb baking, I realize just how far I have come. I used to search endlessly for low carb recipes and meal ideas, and when I found one I liked, I’d follow it almost to the letter. I might make small changes, but I was too afraid of failure to do much more than that. Now I think of an idea, or see something that I’d like to make over into a low carb dish, and I strike out on my own. I might consult another recipe or two for a bit of guidance, but that’s all I really need. I’ve come to have a feel for how low carb ingredients behave, and I adjust as I go, adding a touch more nut flour here, or a little extra liquid there. More often than not, I am successful, and with increased success comes increased confidence. It’s a good feeling.

But I know I didn’t get here entirely on my own, and if it hadn’t been for all of the great recipes I found early on, I wouldn’t be this confident of my own abilities. Standing on the shoulders of giants, as they say. One source I returned to time and time again was, the recipe website of Tropical Traditions. The recipes on this site aren’t necessarily low carb, but many are gluten free, which I’ve often found as a great starting point for converting a recipe into low carb. I first came across the site when searching for recipes using coconut flour, which is an incredibly useful low carb ingredient but one that behaves so differently from wheat flour, it takes a lot of getting used to. The recipes on the site are provided both by the Tropical Traditions team and by readers, and many of them were immeasurably helpful to me as I learned the ropes of low carb baking.

Loving their site as I do, you can imagine how thrilled I was to be asked to try out their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, and to be able to give away a jar to one of my readers. You want me to try your delicious, healthy, smells-so-amazing-I-want-to-slather-it-all-over-me-and-spoon-it-out-of-the-jar product for free? Yes, please! I’ve been using virgin coconut oil in some of my baking for a while now, and it really is a wonderful alternative to butter. It was fantastic in my Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies and my Cinnamon Roll Scones. I’m not quitting butter any time soon, but coconut oil definitely has its place in my baking arsenal and I’ve found that it produces very tender, melt-in-your-mouth results. Although it smells intensely of coconut, you don’t get an overwhelming coconut flavour in the final product, unless you choose to play it up with other coconut products. It’s also wonderful in savoury foods, and my favourite way to serve zucchini these days is to simply saute it in coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

When my jar came, I immediately opened it up and inhaled deeply. There is nothing on earth quite like it! You will think you are somewhere in the tropics, and you literally want to crawl inside the jar. I set about making some breakfast bars, since I was out of morning baked goods, and this time I wanted them to really be coconut-flavoured. I toasted up some unsweetened, shredded coconut and tossed it in with the almond flour and sweetener. At first, I intended these to be made with a chopped-up Lindt bar, but I spied a bag of cacao nibs that I hadn’t yet opened and thought they might make a good addition. Then I mixed in some eggs, almond milk and the coconut oil, and popped it in the oven.

The Results: I had intended these to be more dense and bar-like, but they ended up more like cake. That’s certainly not a bad thing, since who doesn’t like to eat cake for breakfast?!??! It was really good that way, light and airy and slightly crumbly. The cacao nibs offered a chocolate flavour without adding any sweetness, which was perfect for a breakfast cake/bar. And have I mentioned how wonderfully tender coconut oil makes baked goods? These bars were no exception! My kids loved them, and loved being allowed to eat cake for breakfast.

If you haven’t yet tried coconut oil in your baking, you must enter this giveaway! And if you have tried it, and love it like I do, you must also enter this giveaway!

And for even more chances to win, check out Cara’s Cravings, as she too is giving away Tropical Traditions!

Giveaway Closed



Coconut Cacao Nib Breakfast Bars

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, lightly toasted

1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 cup granulated erythritol

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup almond milk

12 drops stevia extract

1/2 cup cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 325F and lightly grease an 8×8 inch square pan.

In a mediuam bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut, protein powder, erythritol, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs and stir to combine. Then add coconut oil, almond milk and stevia extract and stir vigorously until thoroughly combined. Stir in cacao nibs.

Spread in prepared pan and bake 20- to 25 minutes, or until edges are golden and top springs back when touched.

Let cool in pan and cut into bars.

Serves 12. Each serving has 6.6g of carbs and 3.4 g of fiber. Totat NET CARBS = 3.2 g.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots says

    And I like Tropical Traditions on facebook! Thank you for the giveaway! I love baking with coconut oil. So good. And those breakfast bars look amazing! :-)

  2. Val says

    That looks like one perfect breakfast cake. I particularly like the fact that they aren't intended to be too sweet.

  3. Pretend Chef says

    Cake for breakfast is always a win in our household as well. These sound so delicious and perfect for a morning escape to the tropics. I signed up for their newsletter.

  4. Parsley Sage says

    Great looking breakfast bars/cakes :) Its so cool that you're a low carb master. I would just be totally clueless. Lovely giveaway too! Buzzed!

  5. RavieNomNoms says

    Well this just looks fantastic! I always love coming here because I know I will see a recipe that is so unique and delicious at the same time. These are something that I am going to have to try. They look absolutely amazing!

  6. Lizzy says

    Cake or bar doesn't matter, this looks delicious! I have some coconut oil in my panty and it smells SO good. I need to take a break and inhale a whiff :)

  7. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says

    I always appreciate low-carb recipes like this one! These look really good. I tried to find some almond flour at my store here last week in their health food section and was not successful. Gonna try some of the health food stores next!

  8. Evan @swEEts says

    How funny! I made something with coconut oil for my post today too! It definitely lends a nice flavor to baked goods :) Your breakfast bars sound delicious.

  9. Lisa says

    I subscribed to their newsletter!
    AND I liked them on Facebook.

    I had no idea they had so many great recipes. Thank you!

  10. BakingWithoutABox says

    Mmmm cake for breakfast. Love happy coincidences like that. Not exactly what you planned, but perfect in its own way. Kudos on the confidence to play! (I'll get there someday)

  11. Claudia says

    I'm going to try this – I have been wondering and experimenting with gluten-free and low-carb baking. Love the alternative to butter (I use soy butter a lot). And cake for breakfast is never a bad thing!

  12. Feast on the Cheap says

    No need to enter me since I have a jar o' Tropical Traditions that'll last me a lifetime, but just wanted to add my two cents and say how much I love this brand. I've been using coconut oil in my caribbean curries and it makes a huge difference

  13. Erin says

    Breakfast bars/cake looks awesome! I just got a jar of coconut oil I need to play with. Can't decide what to do with it! So many ideas! I have an award for you, if you stop by my site!

  14. jo says

    I have subscribed to the tropical traditions newsletter.

    You know, sometimes I get a little pouty about being diabetic, having to make different food choices. But truly – how could i mind giving up bagels for breakfast when i can eat *cake* instead! Thank you, once again, Carolyn.

    i'm joupnorth(at)hotmail(dot)com

  15. Allison says

    I subscribed to their newsletter!

    Also, I have a recipe I would die for you to make low carb – Boston Cream Pie. Seriously, I would dedicate a shrine to you.

  16. Stephany13 says

    I would love to receive this giveaway. I am learning to use coconut oil many different ways.


  17. Stephany13 says

    I forgot to add that I subscribed to their newsletter. I would love to win this giveaway.


  18. Kim - Liv Life says

    Already subscribe to their newsletter. I just tried coconut oil earlier this summer and I'm hooked! You said it all though with:
    You want me to try your delicious, healthy, smells-so-amazing-I-want-to-slather-it-all-over-me-and-spoon-it-out-of-the-jar product for free?

    The answer is a whole hearted YES!!!!

    Lastly, I'm so impressed at how you just run with the recipes on your own… I can take something and tweak it, but I can't do like you do. Nicely done, Carolyn!

  19. Kari says

    I am no where near as advanced as you in creating recipes, but I also love the freedom and fun of just trying things out. Even if the product isn't great, the experience is enjoyable :)

    These also look great – I've recently developed more of a taste for coconut, so am rather taken with how these look!

  20. Anonymous says

    Tropical Traditions:

    1. Signed up for the newsletter
    2. Liked on FaceBook
    3. Following on Twitter

    Great website!

  21. astraystar says

    and just liked them on facebook

    :) Looking forward to trying this recipe – oh looks so good!

    astraystar at eastlink dot ca

  22. Kate@Diethood says

    Oooooh…those bars look wonderful! I love the little specks of black, and I love me some coconut oil!

  23. The Mom Chef says

    I didn't do any of the above because I just want to tell you that I hold you in awe with your ability to cook low carb so well. I've never seen anything like it. This bar/cake thing is fantastic, even to a carb hound like me.

  24. cocinaencantada says

    I liked them on facebook! Oh my goodness those bars sound amazing… I love coconut oil. It is perfect for baking, raw foods, and body care! I also really like it in savory dishes like stir fry.

  25. says

    Love this recipe, I've been trying to develop healthy snacks with protein powder too. Love the cacao nibs, they remind me of poppy seeds :) Happy Friday!

  26. Jill@MadAboutMacarons says

    Another fabulous recipe from you Carolyn. Not surprising: you're the Martha Stewart of low carb treats!

  27. Ann says

    Oh – I love the smell of coconut…I would want to crawl in the jar, too! I've liked Tropical Traditions on Facebook….thanks for the giveaway…

    Your coconot cacao nib breakfast bars sound delish! Congrats on being such a talented low-carber!

  28. Andie says

    These look soooo yummy! I've just made your cinnamon scones (which were AMAZING!); I can't wait to throw these together and pop 'em in the oven!

    I also entered the giveaway — I "liked" Tropical Traditions on facebook. I would love to try their coconut oil in your scones next time I make them! 😀

    My email: thesmartaleks (at) gmail (dot) com

  29. blah blah blah says

    The bars taste good, and the nibs are fantastic in them, however, mine are rather dry. Any ideas for more moisture?

  30. Carolyn says

    Hmm, dry. I guess I would suggest baking them for less and/or adding another tbsp of coconut oil. Mine weren't dry, but they were cakier than I'd thought they turn out.

  31. kita says

    All of your low carb treats always have such intriguing ingredients and sound so tasty – These included! 😀

  32. Terra says

    Wow, these look amazing! I think I love the idea of them having a cake like appearance:-) And totally perfect with Breakfast I say, LOL!
    Hugs, Terra

  33. Butrcreamblondi says

    These bars turning out more like cake sounds perfect to me :) Cocoa nibs are so delightful, I bet they are perfect in these breakfast bars!

  34. resistantnikki says

    Looks yummy! What an interesting way to use cacao nibs…I have a bag in my pantry and might give these a whirl.

    I subscribed to receive emails from Tropical Traditions.

  35. Theresa P. says

    first time to your site. i like it already! your recipe i will be trying. I LOVE coconut oil,coconut flour,coconut butter,coconut chips! I use them daily in smoohties,popcorn sauteing,baking.just about anything and everything. I would like to win. Thanks, for the opportunity TAP

  36. Theresa P. says

    I follow Tropical Traditions on Facebook and use their coconut flour. it's great tasting and low carb.TAP

  37. Foodiva says

    I love my virgin coconut oil to death too, and although it's produced over here, it's so expensive! I treat it like gold.. So many people want to win this, perhaps they're dying to make this delicious low carb, gluten free recipe of yours.

  38. innertia21 says

    How exciting! Wish there were a "love" button for Tropical Traditions! It really seems to be a thoroughly top shelf company and the founder is filled with the saving love of Jesus Christ! Words can't describe how good that makes me feel! (t.bonham21@gmail)

  39. ~*Connie*~ says

    I also get the newsletter (and these look delicious. Once I can start eating eggs and almonds again I so want to make it.

  40. Annie Sherman says

    My name is Anne Sherman and I "like" the tropical traditions facebook page, am signed up for the newsletter, and already follow on twitter – do I have a chance to win still? I love this product and brand!

  41. Annie Sherman says

    Okay so I misread the directions. Here goes my two additional entries: I just liked the facebook page for tropical traditions.

  42. rjenkins says

    I just subscribed to Tropical Traditions newsletter. I was just told about thier products today and can't wait to try them!

  43. Kathleen O'Bannon, CNC says

    I already subscribe to Tropical Traditions, get it on my facebook page, and now I just subscribed to the newsletter. Wow, I love coconut oil and coconut butter. They are both in my new products: MoringaVita and VerdeVita.

  44. sbrehill says

    I follow tropical traditions on twitter too : )
    I just started using coconut oil in my diet but where I live I can't get the good stuff, only refined. I am overweight and I have a host of health problems. I am one week into a gluten free diet with coconut oil added in daily. I can already feel a difference in my energy level! If the refined stuff can make me feel this good I can't wait to try the good stuff!

  45. Jen says

    These look AMAZING! ?, I'm allergic to dairy/whey, do you think soy protein powder would be okay to sub? Thanks! Can't wait to try them.

  46. Carolyn says

    Hi Jen,

    I think a sub of soy protein would be just fine. The protein really just helps give the bar some structure.

  47. Tricia says

    I made these bars for breakfast (minus the cacao nibs, didn't have any) and they were superb. Perfect amount of sweet and so moist. Thanks!

  48. Susan K says

    Made these bars this morning because I had nibs and everything else in pantry. Really good recipe but I did add a chocolate glaze to top them off.

    I absolutely love your recipes.

  49. anna says

    Hi. I’m a personal trainer and I’m loving your recipes, woot! I have one question though. would you be interested in adding the protein content of the recipes in? A lot of my girls do fairly heavy weightlifting and I myself am training to compete, so that is really important for my situation. I notice that you use the protein powder and all, and I guess I could do a rough estimate myself of the protein content, but figured i’d throw it out there. Thanks for your time!

    • Carolyn says

      I doubt I am going to go back and start adding in protein counts (that would be a huge task!), but did you have your eye on particular recipes? Did you want the protein count for this one?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *