To know me, is to know my insane love of dark chocolate. As long as I am not on any elimination diets or protocols, it’s nearly always part of my daily routine, whether I am on the road or at home. In the freezer, I nearly always keep a bar or two of the best, darkest, organic fair-trade chocolate that I can easily get my hands on. It’s rare you’ll see me crushing on a cake or cookies, but if I pass by a good bar of dark chocolate, it will most certainly stop me dead in my tracks. Generally, I simply need a square or two of the good, dark stuff and I am a happy girl.
Naturally lower in sugar than milk chocolate or other candy and certainly less than most baked goods or other treats, it’s just the right amount of flare at the end of a well-made savory meal. Besides being the most perfectly created food, chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher contains resveratrol, which has been found to lower blood sugar. Dark chocolate also has positive affects on lowering “bad” cholesterol levels. Dark chocolate is rich in Flavonoids that help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. You only need about 1 to 1.5 ounces dark chocolate per day to see the heart healthy benefits.
Flavonoids, which can also be found in green and black teas, cherries, apples, red grapes and other deeply colored fruits and vegetables, have also been known to help with digestion, improve kidney, bowel function and sexual performance, and treat anemia and gout.
If I am traveling, you better believe that dark chocolate is my co-pilot. An integral part to any good trip, it’s an instant way to bring a smile to your face amongst the crazy hustle and bustle of an airport and the long and sometimes tiring long drives.
Surely you can just pack a dark chocolate bar, but I find these Dark Chocolate Bark Bites are a fun way to indulge in additional superfoods, your favorite goodies or just the stuff in the pantry you need to use up. Dried nuts or seeds, dried fruit, spices, sea salt – if you like salty or savory, add some crispy bacon, crushed pretzels or potato chips.
These little bark bites travel so well and you can really have fun with the toppings, making a little something for everyone.
Here are just some of my personal favorite chocolate bark toppings:
shredded coconut or coconut chips
Dark Chocolate Bark Bites
- 9 – 10 oz high-quality organic dark chocolate, 70% of higher, roughly chopped
- 1/2 – 1 cup total various toasted nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sea salt, crumbled crispy bacon, pretzels, etc
Using a double boiler over a medium-low heat or in small increments in the microwave, melt the chocolate. Be careful not to scorch your chocolate or allow any water in, which will seize it up. Stir the chocolate often as you melt it.
Once melted, pour the melted chocolate into a non-stick 24-cup mini muffin tin, evenly dividing the chocolate. Place the pan into the fridge for less than 5 minutes to let it thicken up a little, but don’t let it firm up completely. Then remove, sprinkle your desired toppings on top of the chocolate and place into the fridge again to firm up completely, about an hour.
Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or a cool dark spot.
if you don’t have a mini muffin tin, you can make slightly larger bites by using a regular muffin tin, you can also use candy molds or simply spoon a small amount of the melted onto a parchment paper line baking sheet, use the back of a spoon to form into a disc and keep the discs from touching. Add the toppings and continue as suggested above.
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