Easy Chocolate Bark Recipe
Updated: 21 hours ago
Celebrating World Chocolate Day!
World Chocolate Day is a delicious occasion that celebrates all things chocolate. While chocolate is often associated with guilty pleasures and unhealthy treats, there are several types of chocolate that can actually offer some small nutritional benefits.
In this blog post, we will explore the nutritional properties of chocolate, highlight the differences between poor quality and higher quality chocolate, there’s also a quick, and easy chocolate treat recipe.
The Nutritional Value of Chocolate
Chocolate is derived from the cacao bean, it contains a variety of nutrients that can contribute to our overall well-being when consumed in moderation!
Here are some key nutritional components found in chocolate:
Antioxidants: Dark chocolate, in particular, is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids. These antioxidants help protect our cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
Minerals: Chocolate contains essential minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese. These minerals play crucial roles in various bodily functions, including energy production, red blood cell formation, and bone health.
Fibre: Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content provides a small amount of dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and promotes satiety.
When it comes to chocolate, not all varieties are created equal. The quality of chocolate is determined by several factors, including the cocoa content, processing methods, and added ingredients. Here's how you can distinguish between poor quality and higher quality chocolate:
Cocoa Content: Look for chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa, preferably above 70%. This indicates a greater concentration of antioxidants and lower amounts of added sugar and fats.
Processing Methods: Choose chocolates that undergo minimal processing, as excessive heat and prolonged processing can degrade the nutritional value. Raw or minimally processed chocolates retain more nutrients.
Added Ingredients: Avoid chocolates with excessive amounts of added sugars, artificial flavours, and hydrogenated oils. Higher quality chocolates often have simpler ingredient lists, using natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and healthier fats like cocoa butter.
Chocolate Bark Recipe
Indulging in chocolate doesn't have to mean compromising your health goals. Here's my simple recipe for homemade dark chocolate jewelled bark that combines the goodness of dark chocolate with some nutritious toppings:
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
1/4 cup hazelnuts or almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or goji berries
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or using a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it evenly with a spatula.
Sprinkle the chopped nuts, dried cranberries or goji berries, chia seeds, and sea salt (if desired) over the melted chocolate.
Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.
Once the chocolate has solidified, break it into small pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
On this World Chocolate Day, you can savour the flavour of chocolate while making healthier choices. By opting for higher quality dark chocolate and homemade treats, you can enjoy the nutritional benefits without all the unhealthy additives.
Remember, moderation is key, and incorporating dark chocolate into a balanced diet can bring joy to both your taste buds and your well-being. Happy World Chocolate Day!
Are you looking for personalised guidance and support with your diet? Lisa Smith is a registered nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for female health and weight loss in midlife. You can contact Lisa to book a free discovery call.