Healthy Carmelitas

These INSANELY delicious Healthy Carmelitas will be a family favorite! They’re gluten free, paleo friendly, and vegan friendly! Can’t wait for you to try them!

Ok true story. I went through a phase when I was making carmelitas on repeat. New baby? Let me bake you some carmelitas. New house? Carmelitas. Family brunch for any and no reason whatsoever? Carmelitas baby!

Healthy Carmelitas

I had this recipe in my pre-blogging days that required me to unwrap candy caramel after candy caramel. As much of a hassle as this maaayy seem, I kinda love it. It  created a certain hype, a certain tastebud suspense that grew with every unfolded candy crinkle. 

It was a time I look back fondly on. They were good times. 

Healthy Carmelitas

Carmelitas fell out of favor. I knew I’d never be able to put carmelitas on my blog because those candy caramels. How oh how could I ever replicate those candy caramels. 

Aaand theeen I made homemade paleo caramel sauce. And a world opened up for me. A world I used to know. A world that I used to feel was gone forever. I was now able to swim in that caramel colored pool of goodness again. 

Only this time feel way less guilty about it. 

Healthy Carmelitas

Want to check out other things that use caramel? Try these homemade candy turtles! Or this caramel apple pie. I’ll probably update this blog post down the line with a handful of other caramel-y things but for now, that’s all I got. 

So let’s make some healthified carmelitas and live our best lives shall we?

This is a three part recipe. First, you want to make the crusty crumble. Traditional carmelitas have a sweet oat bottom and top. I’m skipping the oats to keep it lower carb, but you can add them in place of some of the nuts if you wish!

Put the pecans (any nuts should work), almond flour, and sea salt in the food processor. Process for about five seconds until chunky and combined. Add the almond butter, ghee, coconut sugar, and agave nectar. Process again until combined and sticky. The should form a dry ball when you press it in your hands. 

Healthy Carmelitas

Line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper. Transfer half of the nutty mixture to the dish and press it into the bottom. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. 

Second phase – while the bottom layer is baking, make your caramel! Place the can of coconut cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, add the coconut sugar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently until it starts to thicken up, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and sea salt and whisk until it’s thick and caramel consistency. 

Final phase – pour the caramel on top of the baked nutty layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Crumble the remaining nutty mixture on top of the caramel and chocolate chips. Gently press it down and bake for another 10 minutes. 

All the bars to cool COMPLETELY before cutting into them. If you cut into them too soon, it will be a sticky, crumbly mess (I’m guessing). I waited for my bars to come to room temp, then I lifted the parchment paper out from the dish and place on a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares. 

Store in the fridge. Personally, I loved them chilled the next day because the caramel really had time to set. I’m thinking next time (If I’m patient enough) I’ll chill them in the fridge before I even cut into them. 

Healthy Carmelitas

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Healthy Carmelitas

  • Author: Lindsay// The Toasted Pine Nut
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 22 mins
  • Total Time: 52 mins
  • Yield: 9 1x

Description

These INSANELY delicious Healthy Carmelitas will be a family favorite! They’re gluten free, paleo friendly, and vegan friendly! Can’t wait for you to try them!


Scale

Ingredients

  • Nutty layer:
  • 2 cups pecans (any mix of nuts or oats)
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ¼ cup ghee (coconut oil or butter works)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (any nut butter is delish)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Caramel Goodies:
  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • splash vanilla
  • couple pinches sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • flaked sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. First, make the crusty crumble.
  3. Put the pecans (any nuts should work), almond flour, and sea salt in the food processor.
  4. Process for about five seconds until chunky and combined.
  5. Add the almond butter, ghee, coconut sugar, and agave nectar.
  6. Process again until combined and sticky. They should form a dry ball when you press it in your hands.
  7. Line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper.
  8. Transfer half of the nutty mixture to the dish and press it into the bottom.
  9. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  10. While the bottom layer is baking, make your caramel!
  11. Place the can of coconut cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  12. Once it starts boiling, add the coconut sugar.
  13. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently until it starts to thicken up, about 15 minutes.
  14. Add the vanilla and sea salt and whisk until it’s thick and caramel consistency.
  15. Pour the caramel on top of the baked nutty layer.
  16. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
  17. Crumble the remaining nutty mixture on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.
  18. Gently press it down and bake for another 10 minutes.
  19. All the bars to cool COMPLETELY before cutting into them. If you cut into them too soon, it will be a sticky, crumbly mess (I’m guessing). I waited for my bars to come to room temp, then I lifted the parchment paper out from the dish and placed it on a cutting board.
  20. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
  21. Cut into 9 squares.
  22. Store in the fridge.
  23. Personally, I loved them chilled the next day because the caramel really had time to set. I’m thinking next time (If I’m patient enough) I’ll chill them in the fridge before I even cut into them.


Notes

Serving (1 bar): Calories 482; Fat 43.6g (Sat 16.5g); Protein 6.5g; Carb 23.4g (net carb 19.1g); Fiber 4.3g; Sodium 84mg

Enjoy!! xo

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