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

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 Rules

- Open to US & Canadian Residents only

- To enter, do any one of the following and leave a comment letting me know what you did…

1. Subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter here:

2. follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter @troptraditions

3. “Like” Tropical Traditions on Facebook

- you can do all three, with a separate comment for each, for three entries.

- Contest will run until Wednesday, August 31st at 12am.

- Leave me a way to get ahold of you! If you don’t have a blog yourself, you must leave me a working email address.

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.

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  1. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots says:

    I follow tropical traditions on twitter. :-)

  2. 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! :-)

  3. I subscribe to their newsletter!

  4. I also follow them on twitter.

  5. annnnd "liked" them on facebook.

  6. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family says:

    I subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newlettter.

  7. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family says:

    I follow them on Twitter (@rachelkyle0402)

  8. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family says:

    I like them on FB

  9. I've liked them on facebook! I, too, have found them to be an invaluable source for recipes!

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

  11. 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.

  12. Pretend Chef says:

    I already LIKE their company on Facebook.

  13. 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!

  14. I subscribe to their newsletter

  15. I liked them on facebook

  16. 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!

  17. 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 :)

  18. I follow them on FB!

  19. I subscribe to the newsletter!

  20. I follow on twitter too

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. Marthalynn says:

    i subscribed to the newsletter. this recipe looks so good!

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

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

  25. I liked them on Facebook (sorry I forgot to make them separate comments!)

  26. 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)

  27. Beloved Green says:

    I think that them being a little more cake like is a good thing, looks nice and light.

  28. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says:

    THese look great! I can't wait to give them a try

  29. Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} says:

    I am a new lover of coconut oil! Having fun playing with it in my kitchen!

  30. 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!

  31. Love the idea of a protein rich breakfast bar, coconut nonetheless!

  32. These bars looks amazing! The cacao nibs & coconut must go really well together!

  33. I follow tropical traditions on twitter!

  34. And I like on facebook :).

  35. 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

  36. Delicious looking bars,and what a wonderful flavors..awesome job!
    Great giveaway Carolyn!

  37. I subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter!


  38. I like Tropical Traditions on Facebook!


  39. 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!

  40. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) says:

    I follow @TropTraditions on twitter (@ALotofLoves)

  41. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) says:

    I follow Tropical Traditions on Facebook

  42. Getting people to eat cake for breakfast? No problem! Very creative (again;)!

  43. 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

  44. Anonymous says:

    Looks delicious, I'd love to try it!


  45. Anonymous says:

    Following you on twitter


  46. 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.

  47. Forgot my email – allisonpearce92(at)gmail(dot)com

  48. Cassie @ Bake Your Day says:

    These sound so delicious! I have seen so many people using coconut oil lately, it sounds yummy!

  49. dwidlebug says:

    Oh my coconut!! Love it! this is absolutely yummy. One of these day I must try.

  50. Stephany13 says:

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


  51. Stephany13 says:

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


  52. Anonymous says:

    I subscribed to the newsletter!

    vdemtcho at gmail dot com

  53. Anonymous says:

    I'm following on twitter @Happy_by_Nature


  54. 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!

  55. 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!

  56. mutuelle swiss life says:

    very interesting

  57. Anonymous says:

    Tropical Traditions:

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

    Great website!

  58. Kristen Perillo says:

    Liked them on facebook!

  59. Kristen Perillo says:

    Followed them on twitter!

  60. astraystar says:

    I subscribed to the newsletter! Huge fan of your site and love coconut oil!

    astraystar at eastlink dot ca

  61. astraystar says:

    and just follwed them on twitter

    astraystar at eastlink dot ca

  62. astraystar says:

    and just liked them on facebook

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

    astraystar at eastlink dot ca

  63. The Scorpio Woman says:

    I subscribed to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter

  64. The Scorpio Woman says:

    I'm now following Tropical Traditions on twitter

  65. The Scorpio Woman says:

    I like Tropical Traditions on facebook

  66. Kate@Diethood says:

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

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    You always makes delicious treats Carolyn! I am following @troptraditions now!

  70. 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!

  71. I am subscribed to the newsletter

  72. These bars/cake look DElicious! I would LOVE to make them! I am already suscribed to Tropical Traditions Newsletter :)

  73. Following Tropical Traditions on Twitter!

  74. "Liked" Tropical Traditions on Facebook

  75. Space Monkey 1138 says:

    Subscribed to the TT newsletter :) Thanks for the chance!

  76. Anonymous says:

    I "like" them on facebook! :)

  77. KristaMomma says:

    I now follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter

  78. KristaMomma says:

    I have successfully subscribed to TT Sales Newsletter!

  79. KristaMomma says:

    I follow Tropical Traditions on Facebook

  80. Jill@MadAboutMacarons says:

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

  81. Andra Banting says:

    I followed Tropical Traditions on Twitter! I've always wanted to try Coconut Oil!

  82. Andra Banting says:

    I like Tropical Traditions on Facebook!

  83. 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!

  84. Anonymous says:

    I guess you'll want to add a facebook icon to your blog. I just marked down this url, but I had to make it manually. Just my advice.

    My site:
    DSL Anbieter

  85. 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! :D

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

  86. I also have started to "follow" Tropical Traditions on Twitter! :D

    thesmartaleks (at) gmail (dot) com

  87. 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?

  88. 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.

  89. I subscribed to the newsletter. I've been wanting to try coconut oil, but I haven't yet!

  90. Yum, this looks like a fantastic breakfast.

    I'm always amazed at what indulgent treats you're able to make healthy and delicious. So I'm passing the Versatile Blogger Award on to you! View the details at

  91. All of your low carb treats always have such intriguing ingredients and sound so tasty – These included! :D

  92. 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

  93. I like Tropical Traditions on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to their newsletter!

  94. 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!

  95. 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.

  96. 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

  97. Theresa P. says:

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

  98. Theresa P. says:

    I follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter. TAP

  99. Danielle V. says:

    I subscribe to their newsletter! Thanks for the great review and recipe!


  100. Danielle V. says:

    I "like" their page on Facebook as Danielle Villano! Thanks!


  101. Danielle V. says:

    I follow them on Twitter as @daniellevillano! Thanks :)


  102. 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.

  103. Signed up for newsletter. Love the recipes from your sight!

  104. I'll take breakfast cake ANY day of the week! And I am already a follower on Twitter.

  105. Domestic Diva says:

    I subscribe to tt newsletter.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  106. Subscribed to the newsletter! I've been wanting to try coconut oil, so this is exciting!

  107. I Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter @TropTraditions @immortalb4

    immortalb4 at gmail dot com

  108. Your idea of a protein rich snack is such marvelous. The coconut will add a twist on this.

  109. Anonymous says:

    I subscribe to their newsletter.

  110. Anonymous says:

    I subscribe to their newsletter

  111. littleangel_mw says:

    I am signed up for their newsletter.
    littleangel_mw at yahoo dot com

  112. littleangel_mw says:

    I am following them on TWITTER.
    (littleangel_mw at yahoo dot com)

  113. littleangel_mw says:

    I am following them on Facebook.
    (littleangel_mw at yahoo dot com)

  114. I'm subscribed to TT's newsletter
    rollerbeth at gmail dot com

  115. I Like TT on FB
    rollerbeth at gmail dot com

  116. I subscribe to their newsletter
    sjam916 at gmail dot com

  117. I like them on twitter – txmammy
    sjam916 at gmail dot com

  118. I like troptrad on fb – Sam Marshall
    sjam916 at gmail dot com

  119. Anonymous says:

    Subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter
    galyettina at yahoo dot com

  120. Anonymous says:

    like them on FB (gala ya)
    galyettina at yahoo dot com

  121. 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)

  122. ~*Connie*~ says:

    I follow on twitter

  123. I'm signed up for the newsletter. I'd love to try coconut oil in my baking!

  124. ~*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.

  125. I forgot my email in my comment:
    jalloolie at live dot com.

  126. I subscribed to their newsletter

  127. I follow them on twitter.

  128. I Like Tropical Traditions on facebook.

  129. I follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter :)

  130. 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!

  131. I subscribed to Tropical Traditions Sales Letter!

  132. Annie Sherman says:

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

  133. Annie Sherman says:

    I just followed tropical traditions on twitter.

  134. I follow on twitter now.

  135. follow TT on twitter: becca9916

  136. like TT on FB!

  137. TT email subscriber:

  138. karen partin says:

    I like them on FB

  139. I like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter :)

  140. i have done all three for three entries i follow on twitter i LOVE on face book…lol… and i get the newsletter

    please contact me @

  141. Liked them on FB!

  142. I just added and now follow on Twitter.

  143. I liked Tropical traditions on Facebook. Just got an order of flour and lip balm from them today!

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

  145. I just liked Tropical Traditions on FB.

  146. I "Like"d Tropical Traditions on FB and love them. Just received an order today!

  147. I also susbscribe to Tropical Traditions Newsletter.

  148. c0d8b76e-d033-11e0-b67c-000f20980440 says:

    I get their newsletter!

  149. lavindersmiles says:

    like tropical traditions on facebook

  150. Anonymous says:

    I already follow Tropical Traditions on FB!! :)Artrisha

  151. Anonymous says:

    I subscribed totheir newsletter! Artrisha

  152. Giselle13 says:

    Already a Facebook 'liker' and newsletter subscriber, and now a Twitter follower. Thanks for the recipe and giveaway!!

  153. Shaw Clan says:

    I'm subscribed!

  154. I 'liked' Tropical Traditions on FB.

  155. I follow Tropical Traditions (@Troptraditions) on Twitter!!


  156. I am a subscriber for Tropical Traditions' sales newsletter.


  157. 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.

  158. I liked Tropical Traditions on FB.

  159. I just subscribed to Tropical Traditions newsletter.

  160. 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!

  161. Anonymous says:

    I liked you on Facebook! I use coconut oil EVEY day. Love it!

  162. Anonymous says:

    I liked you on Facebook-LOVE coconut oil and cant wait to try the new recipes!

  163. I subscribe to TT newsletter!

  164. I "like" TT on Facebook!

  165. I subscribed to the Tropical Traditions sales newsletter.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

  166. I have subcribed to TT newsletter.

  167. i like tropical traditions on facebook

  168. Jenn Lucero says:

    I subscribe to their newsletter. Love this Oil!!

  169. Jenn Lucero says:

    I like them on Facebook!

  170. I like Tropical Traditions on facebook.

  171. To Lose or Not To Lose says:

    I liked them on Facebook! So excited to try this coconut oil! :)


  172. 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.

  173. Hi Jen,

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

  174. 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!

  175. 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.

  176. Love this recipe, will try it soon!
    Cacao nibs are so healthy and yummy: a true powerfood!


  177. Subscribed to the newsletter! Made the breakfast bars!

  178. 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!

    • 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?

  179. How cute! I really gotta look into coconut oil for my baking/cooking. What brand of cacao nibs did you use?


  1. […] made these breakfast bars today…. My changes: 1/8 tsp stevia instead of stevia drops, soy milk instead of almond milk, plain whey […]

  2. […] Coconut Cacao Nib Breakfast Bars All Day I Dream About Food Like this? Please share! Tweet Pin It […]

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