Chocolate is a potent source of antioxidants. The antioxidants found in chocolate can increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and feed the healthy bacteria in our gut. Chocolate also contains a variety of minerals- magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, potassium and selenium. Just to clarify, we’re talking about dark chocolate free of both artificial ingredients and processed sugar. Do you crave chocolate? I have enjoyed using this simple recipe to satisfy my chocolate cravings. Although containing antioxidants, minerals and healthy fats, it is still a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation.
Homemade Chocolate Bark
- 3/4 cup of raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder*
- 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 4-5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup- depending upon your bitter tastes
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/4 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
- pinch of Maldon salt
Over low heat, melt coconut oil in a saucepan. Once the oil begins to melt, turn off the stove and whisk in the cacao and maple syrup. Using low heat will help maintain the maximum nutritional value of the cacao powder. Once mixed together, pour into a glass baking container lined with parchment paper. If using, sprinkle evenly throughout the almonds, coconut and salt flakes. Place in the freezer to set. Once frozen, using the parchment paper, remove chocolate from the container and chop into pieces. Enjoy!
*What’s the Difference between Cocoa and Cacao?
Both cocoa and cacao come from the beans of a Theobroma tree. Cacao powder is made by cold pressing un-roasted cacao beans. Raw cacao powder does not contain any cacao butter nor added sugar. Cocoa is made from roasted and processed cacao beans. When processed at a high heat, enzymes are broken down decreasing the amount of nutrients. Unsweetened cocoa powder has a reddish brown color and although lower in antioxidants is very similar to cacao powder.