Everyone loves Christmas and all the wonderful foods that goes along with the season. But it can be H E double-hockey-sticks on your waistline. So, to keep that belt loop where it is and not end up with a tummy ache at the end of the day, try making this super easy AND healthy chocolate Christmas bark.
The great thing about chocolate bark is that you can pretty much do whatever you like! I added so many great flavors and healthy ingredients to this recipe. Crunchy toasted nuts, sweet and tart dried cherries, crispy cocoa nibs, and some lovely flaked sea salt for that little bit of extra wonderfulness (technical term.)
I chose these toppings because of their wonderful flavors and health benefits. Lets talk healthy desert for a minute.
- Dark Chocolate has tons of antioxidants and lowers blood pressure. (According to webmd.com)
- Almonds lower cholesterol and the risk of hearth disease, protects against diabetes, supplies good, heart healthy fats as well as manganese, copper and riboflavin. (According to whfoods.com)
- Coconut is very low in carbs especially for a fruit. (Oh, didn't you know coconut was a fruit? Yeah, I didn't know that until recently.) Its high in good fats, protein, and fiber. It also has lots of vitamins and minerals. (According to livestrong.com)
- Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, as well as being an inflammation reducer , good for painful gout and arthritis. They can also help you sleep, help lower blood pressure and get rid of excess sodium in the blood stream. (According to foxnews.com)
- Cocoa Nibs increase the amount of endorphins in the body which can help improve a bad mood. It can also help with insulin sensitivity, as well as PMS, cramps, and they can give a great caffeine jolt. (According to livestrong.com)
- Sea Salt may not be any "healthier" than regular table salt, but it is much more natural and tastes better. Sea salt is made by evaporating the liquid from ocean (or other naturally salty water) and collecting the leftover salt. This salt usually contains natural minerals, flavors and some times color. (According to mayoclinic.com)
If you don't like any of these items than just don't use them. If there is something else that you just love add it on!
I used Enjoy Life's mini chocolate chips because they are dairy, soy and nut free. You can use a different kind of chocolate chips if you like, but be aware that they won't be as paleo approved. You could also use really good chocolate bars, such as Ghirardelli, as long as it was really dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa.)
Its best to chop and toast the nuts and coconut before melting the chocolate. Also have all of your ingredients ready before melting the chocolate because you want to work quickly while the chocolate is still soft enough to take on the other ingredients. You can toast all of the nuts and coconut together in one pan, but watch it carefully because the coconut is going to brown up very fast.
This bark comes together so quickly, all you have to do is melt the chocolate and spread it out into a thin layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with nuts, cherries, cocoa nibs and sea salt. Then the hardest part is waiting for the bark to harden. I stuck it outside in the snow to speed up the process, but the fridge would work too :)
|follow me on instagram, @coreysuzanne|
(Paleo friendly and full of Superfoods!)
- Two 10oz. bags of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or really good, really dark chocolate chopped up)
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped and toasted
- 1/2 cup falked coconut, toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, no added sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
- 2 teaspoons fine flaked sea salt
Toast nuts and coconut according to the directions on the package. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Have all ingredients ready before moving on.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave (add a bit of coconut oil if using a microwave.) Watch the chocolate very carefully while melting, do not let it burn.
Once melted, pour onto parchment-lined cookie sheet and spread out into a thin and even layer. Sprinkle with nuts, coconut, cherries, cocoa nibs and finally sea salt.
Let the chocolate cool and harden fully (the fridge helps) and then break into pieces.
Store in an air tight container.