To me, there is no better sweet combo than simple fruit and chocolate. I am known to make chocolate covered fresh and/or dried fruits at any time of the year and it is often my favorite dessert for any special occasion. Sometimes I marvel at how our bodies can give us insight into how we naturally feel healthiest - this is one small example. This dessert is naturally gluten, dairy & refined sugar free - an ideal combo for me! I just feel good eating it, so much more than other types of sweets or cakes. Intuitive eating can be so helpful when trying to determine what makes our bodies tick. It’s also important to have indulgences that support us instead of hurt us. This is a big part of learning how to care for yourself!
I started making variations of this “bark” recently for my chocolate fix - a very thin layer of chocolate drizzled over a flat sheet of finely chopped fillings. I added collagen powder & cinnamon to the melted chocolate to level it up this week - you can add any superfood or herbal / adaptogenic powder to your chocolate mix after it has melted. Spirulina, ashwaganda, maca root powder, ground ginger, astragalus… plenty of options will work.
I loved the mixture here - puffed quinoa (just gradually heat 1/4 C quinoa in a skillet with lid, like popcorn, until you hear it start popping up), chia seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted sliced almonds, finely chopped pecans, hemp hearts, dried goji berries. Lay it all flat on parchment paper so that it all touches each other but is not more than one layer thick. Then, pour on the chocolate. I also like to add a bit of Maldon sea salt flakes to the top before it sets in the fridge.
This will be our Valentine’s treat - with broken bark leftovers going into a tupperware to store in the fridge. It’s so simple and good, endlessly versatile. Hope you enjoy.
Dark Cacao + Collagen Seed Bark /
1/2 C coconut oil
1/4 C maple syrup, or a bit less even
1/2 C raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp collagen powder (or other level-up ingredients)
2 dashes ground cinnamon
Maldon finishing salt
Crushed and finely chopped “fillings” for the bark - chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, nuts of your preference, goji berries, sunflower seeds, puffed quinoa or puffed rice, dried orange peel, tart cherries or apricots - all finely chopped…
Heat the oil over medium-low heat until fully melted, add maple syrup and whisk together until combined. Take off the heat & add cacao + vanilla and whisk until totally smooth. Add your collagen + additional superfood / level-up powders & spices and whisk again. Arrange your seed mixture in a flat layer on parchment paper in a sheet pan. Lightly pour the chocolate sauce over the seed mixture very evenly in a thin layer. Use a fork to spread the mixture around evenly if needed. Sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes on top evenly to your liking. Refrigerate. This must be kept cold during storage so as not to melt. Once it has set solid (2-4 hrs), break into pieces and store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for even longer duration. Serve with berries, mint, edible flowers…