I’m experimenting with making healthy treats. This chocolate bark has healthy raw cacao, cocoa butter, nuts and your favorite natural sweetener. Yummy!
Raw cacao has higher antioxidants than blueberries. It has lots of other health benefits too. Cacao (rhymes with “ka-pow”!) Buy it at the health food store or online. Just make sure it is raw.
I am deliriously happy to have chocolate back in my diet!
This is so easy, you can make it in 10 minutes…really.
Good-for-You Chocolate Bark
1/4 cup melted cocoa butter
1 – 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
tiny pinch of Himalayan salt
Melt cocoa butter in pyrex measuring cup set down in a pan of hot water over very low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, salt and sweetener until dissolved.
Use the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of sugar…such as 1 tablespoon of raw honey or xylitol, 10 drops stevia or more, or 1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar, or a pinch of monk fruit (Lo Han). For a better taste, use a little of each…taste it and adjust.
Then stir in cacao powder. (More cacao powder = more health benefits, but also stronger dark chocolate taste.) Pour liquid mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Fold the corners so it doesn’t run out. Sprinkle heavily with your favorite nuts. I used raw hazelnuts, roasted and salted cashew pieces, and chopped raw almonds. Raw unsweetened coconut flakes would be good too. So would dried fruit like blueberries or cranberries. Some people like hot peppers in their chocolate. Gotta try that someday.
Put it in the freezer for 10 minutes if you can’t wait for it to cool and harden.
Health benefits of cacao powder:
Raw cacao powder is a superfood! It is very high in flavonoid antioxidants, which destroy free radicals that lead to disease. In fact, cacao powder has 20 times the antioxidants of blueberries! These antioxidants have proven to be helpful in preventing cancer, vascular disease, stroke and heart disease. It is anti-inflammatory too. It helps reduce the bad cholesterol that hardens your arteries. It lowers your blood pressure. It is a super source of magnesium. Helps suppress appetite which means easier weight loss. Prevents premature aging. Improves insulin resistance (which leads to diabetes). Lots of benefits!
You already probably are aware that chocolate makes us happy! It contains the mood improver, anandamide, which creates a feeling of euphoria. It also affects seratonin levels, helping women with PMS to feel a sense of well-being. Yep, we knew that… just sayin’.
Why not just use the can of Hershey’s cocoa in your pantry? Cacao powder is naturally fermented and is its raw form. You can of cocoa powder—the kind you make hot cocoa or brownies with—is roasted, which destroys its health benefits.
Time to make some chocolate bark!