Nutrition Packed “Bark”

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I’ve been TERRIBLE, I mean, TERRIBLE, at sticking to this no sugar plan. The last couple of weeks, my eating has been off the hook…and not in a good way. Last night, I shoved 5 Italian cookies into my face. So, treats like this nutrition packed chocolate “bark” really help me to level things out. It’s chocolate based, yes, but the type of chocolate you use determines what it does inside your body. Raw cocoa and darker, unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) chocolate has actually been proven to provide health benefits. But you have to be careful, chocolate can be sneaky so choose a high end brand (it’s worth it) and read your labels. For this recipe, I used the a block of Callebaut 65%, however, I purchased the no sugar added brand. You work this chocolate in the very same manner as any other chocolate and it tastes just as wonderful. They offer it sometimes at Whole Foods but usually I buy it online. This recipe literally takes like 10 minutes to make, it’s so simple and easy. In the end, you’ll end up with a delicious indulgence that can be used as post workout fuel or as a well deserved treat.

INGREDIENTS

1 block of Callebaut chocolate (At least 60% cocoa, no sugar added type preferred) cut up into chunks
2 heaping tablespoons of chia seeds
2 heaping tablespoons spirulina powder
1 tablespoon goji powder
1 tablespoon maca powder
A generous handful of cocoa nibs (this is optional, it adds a little bit of crunch)
About 2 cups raw, unsweetened coconut flakes (depends on how much you like and how thin or thick you spread the chocolate)
About 2 cups almonds, cut up into chunks
Extra chocolate to drizzle on top (also optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Set aside. Place your chopped up chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and place in the microwave for thirty second intervals, stirring well in between each one. DO NOT OVER COOK! (or over melt) Chocolate is like a delicate flower, it needs to be nurtured, so be patient with it. Once melted entirely, add to it the chia seeds, spirulina powder, maca powder and goji powder (as well as the cocoa nibs if you are adding them), stir well, until all the powders have dissolved. Then, spread onto your parchment layered baking sheet so that the chocolate is about 1″ thick. Sprinkle on top your unsweetened coconut and then your chopped almond. Press into the chocolate gently. If you are drizzling extra chocolate on top, now is the time to do it. My favorite method is placing the melted chocolate into a zip lock bag, cutting the tip and using it to pipe the chocolate.

Leave it to set at least an hour, or if you want to speed it up, put the whole baking sheet into the fridge. Cut up into desired sized chunks once hardened.

ENJOY!

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