Dark Chocolate Super Food Bark
I’m not particularly fond of the majority of of so-called health bars in the supermarket these days. Whether labeled energy bars or nutrition supplement bars, granola bars or power bars, many of them are super processed with no shortage of sugar and loads of ingredients I’d need to hire a chemist to sort through. Manufacturers often pump them up with protein powders and a bundle of vitamins to give them a health halo they don’t deserve. Plus, to my mind, they just don’t taste good.
Enter this Healthy Dark Chocolate Bark.
I’m not going to claim it will give you a six pack or get you through your next triathalon as so many nutrition bars do. What I will tell you is that this healthy chocolate bark is a whole lot tastier, and to my mind more nourishing, than a Power Bar.
My kids call it “grandma’s candy” because my mom is the brains behind the recipe. Dark chocolate gets melted down and given a nourishing boost of cashew butter along with nuts, seeds, and raisins. Real food with real nutritional value, no vitamin pill or protein powder required. It has become our family’s “go-to” when a sweet craving strikes. One piece (okay, sometimes two) does the trick while delivering antioxidants from the chocolate, healthy fats from the nuts, a hit of protein and fiber, just over 1/4 teaspoon of added sugar, and just under 60 calories a piece. That’s some seriously powerful chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Super Food Bark
This Super Food Bark is a more nourishing and satisfying alternative to many other sweet treats. If you want to skip the sugar in the chocolate entirely, you can make this with unsweetened chocolate and add 25 to 30 drops of liquid stevia, stirring it in at the very end. It will be slightly thinner than the bittersweet bark and have the mild aftertaste of stevia.
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (the darker, the better)
- 1/3 cup cashew butter (or other favorite nut or seed butter)
- 1/3 cup roasted cashews or other favorite nuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup raisins, dried cherries, or dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons roasted, salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1 heaping tablespoon hemp seeds
- Flaky salt, such as Maldon (optional)
Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium-low heat and stir continuously until melted (you can learn more about this method by going here). Once chocolate is smooth, add cashew butter, and stir again until creamy. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts and raisins.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and spread the chocolate mixture out to approximately 8 ½ x 11 inches. While chocolate is still warm sprinkle the pepitas and hemp seeds over the top. Add a pinch or two of flaky salt over the top, if desired. Allow it to cool uncovered, at room temperature for several hours until firm enough to break into pieces (because of the cashew butter, it will be softer than traditional chocolate bark, but will firm up in the fridge). Break into about 40 pieces.
STORE IN A COVERED CONTAINER OR RESEALABLE BAG IN THE REFIGERATOR, where it will keep for several weeks. The chocolate will lose its glossy color in the refrigerator, but will remain tasty nevertheless.
Gratitude to my intern Leah Walton, a soon-to-be RD, for helping put this post together.