the quest for a healthy kit kat bar

The quest for a healthy Kit Kat bar.  Photo by Kathleen Caron

Photo by Kathleen Caron

When I wrote about “comfort food that is good for you” my friend Christa ( responded:

“My fave comfort food is Kit Kats, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, or gooey brownies. I only wish they swung toward the healthy side. Please Kathleen, do you have a spinach Kit Kat copycat recipe?”

I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a Kit Kat bar, although I do like their commercials so much, especially because they encourage generosity. Unlike the Twix commercials (“Two for me, none for you”) which glorify stinginess. I especially like this Kit Kat commercial from India, with dancing babies:



Anyway, I decided that this would be my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far, to dream the impossible dream of a healthy Kit Kat bar. I scoured the internet for ideas, which I will roll out as the Caron fam gets a chance to taste-test them (a huge sacrifice on their part, I know. They’re doing this for you, Christa.)

This first one is inspired by a recipe I saw on the awesome vegan site Fork and Beans. Everyone who tried it thought it was delicious, although it doesn’t totally fulfill Christa’s request.

1) It doesn’t exactly replicate a Kit Kat, which is pretty much just a simple chocolate covered wafer. This has semi-crunchy layers and fluffy chocolate layers, coated all over with chocolate.

2) It has to be refrigerated, so even if it was a nearly perfect Kit Kat bar replica, I couldn’t mail it to Christa (which was the whole point.)

3) They turned out kind of messy, as it was very difficult to make them uniformly shaped with a smooth coating (my fault, the original recipe looked beautiful and perfect.) My finished product reminded me of one of those Pinterest fails:

I did learn something really cool: you can make a luscious chocolate filling/icing that is dairy and gluten free, with no refined sugar, with a few simple ingredients. That alone has made the quest worth it. I have all kinds of ideas about what to do with the luscious chocolate filling. Gluten and dairy free French Silk pie, anyone?

So I’m sorry, Christa, I haven’t perfected your healthy spinach Kit Kat bar yet, but I intend to strive with my last ounce of courage to…well, you get the drift.

Here’s the first version of the Healthy Kit Kat Bar. All the ingredients except the Healthy Valley Crunch Ems are available at Trader Joe’s, my favorite store, and I used Kirkland’s chocolate chips.

healthy kit kat bar recipe
Recipe type: snack/dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least four hours and drained thoroughly.
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Kirkland responsibly sourced chips)
  • Additional 1 tsp coconut oil, melted.
  • 2 cups (or so) Nature Valley Rice Crunch Ems
  1. Soak cashews for at least four hours and drain.
  2. Blend the cashews, cocoa powder, vanilla, maple syrup, water and oil in a food processor until very fluffy and smooth.
  3. Refrigerate the fluffy chocolate.
  4. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave on low power, stirring often.
  5. Add 1 tsp. melted coconut oil and stir thoroughly.
  6. Line a square baking dish with wax paper.
  7. Spread a layer of semi-sweet chocolate in the dish.
  8. Arrange Crunch Ems in even rows on the melted chocolate to fill the bottom of the dish.
  9. Gently spread a layer of the fluffy chocolate.
  10. Put in freezer for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from freezer and add another layer of cereal.
  12. Alternate layers of chocolate and cereal until used up.
  13. Finish by spreading melted chocolate over the top.
  14. Make score lines about ¾ inches apart while chocolate is still slightly warm.
  15. Freeze again, remove and cut into individual cookies on the score lines.

About the Author

Kathleen Caron

I'm good at finding stuff, and I love to share all my discoveries. I write about faith, family and food, and the occasional rant.

  • Shelley DuPont

    In order to make this truly (healthy) Paleo/Primal/Whole 30 compatible, try using almond flour for the base ingredient, honey or maple syrup for agave (never recommended), and soy chocolate chips. Although soy is not considered a healthy food, a small amount for an occasional dessert won’t be a problem.

    • Kathleen Caron

      Thanks Shelley! Duly noted.

  • Christa Sterken

    I can’t wait to try them, thank you SO much friend!

    • Kathleen Caron

      Like I said Christa, I can’t send you these ones cause they require refrigeration. Also, they’re gone. (Oh the sacrifices the Caron fam makes in the name of food research.)

  • Janelle

    You;ve never eaten a kit kat? Oh my goodness, my healthy friend:) You are my idol.

    • Kathleen Caron

      Oh Janelle I do get more than my share of chocolate, I just prefer it straight up, no chaser.

  • kathunsworth

    I am also amazed that you have never eaten a kit-kat, love the recipe my friend it sounds YUM, Maybe I should introduce you to a Tim-Tam slam? You bite the end of a Tim-Tam (google Tim-Tam slam for fun) on one corner dip it in your hot tea and suck the tea up through the biscuit, what you get it a slushy hot choc biscuit melting in your mouth…..and a mess. I use to do this when I was a young silly thing living life on the edge lol

    • Kathleen Caron

      A Tim Tam slam sounds pretty awesome, maybe I could make those gluten and dairy free with brown rice syrup? That might be my next challenge…Thanks for the inspiration, Kath!

  • Lotta Wanner

    Thank you Kathleen! Wonderful post and I l’m truly grateful for the recipe! It’s a very good idea that I so easily can print the recipe too!! Love everything about it! Thank you! :)

    • Kathleen Caron

      Thank you so much Lotta. If you get a chance to try the recipe, let me know how it worked out okay?

  • La McCoy

    This just looks so good!

  • oddznns

    Num num num… An existential question – can KitKat bars ever be healthy.

  • kathunsworth

    Kathleen where are you my friend? The lady who draws purple cows misses your words. When are you coming back???

    • Kathleen Caron

      Hi Kath, I’m sorry to be AWOL for so long! I don’t know when I will be able to come back to the blogging community, but I’m following your adventures. And I can’t tell you how much I love this Purple Cow :-) xoxoxox Kathleen

      • kathunsworth

        I miss your stories and hope to see you back soon. this cow has gone into the local gallery, we will see whether the locals prefer black or purple cows lol Hugs to you xx