Our Registered Dietitian, Casey Seamon, doesn't want to live in a world where she can't eat dark chocolate. While we sometimes assume that eating healthier means having to give up all the treats we love, Casey believes there are no bad foods. Rather, it's all about portion size.
For her sweet tooth, this Dark Chocolate Bark recipe really hits the spot. It is studded with dried fruit, like cherries and raisins, and toasted hazelnuts give it a heavenly crunch. Not only is this chocolate bark delicious—it's also incredibly easy to prepare. After it sets up in the freezer, you can break it into luxurious chunks and serve to guests or package up to give as gifts around the holidays.
When you're choosing your dark chocolate, make sure that you're picking an option that is 70% or darker. This refers to the amount of cocoa solids present. The darker the chocolate, the more nutrients—like the antioxidant, theobromine—it contains, which help reduce inflammation in your body. Dark chocolate also has a more robust flavor than other chocolate varieties, allowing you to get your sweet tooth fix with a smaller portion of bark. Here's how to make it:
Dark Chocolate Bark
- 16 oz. chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips (at least 70% dark)
- 1/2 cup toasted and rough-chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat and set aside.
- If you're using raw pecans, toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant.
- Fill a sauce pot with 1-2 inches water and bring to a boil. Set a heat-proof bowl over top of the boiling water, making sure the bottom doesn’t rest in the water. Add the chopped dark chocolate to the bowl and stir constantly until fully melted. You can also use a double boiler, or microwave the chocolate slowly (on 15-20 second intervals) until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate onto the parchment paper or silicon mat-lined pan, spreading to make an even layer in whatever shape you'd like.
- Sprinkle the melted chocolate with toasted pecans, which are low in cholesterol and sodium, and are a great source of Vitamin E. You can easily swap in another nut if desired.
- Then, add your dried fruit of choice. We used dried cherries, which are a good source of fiber, and golden raisins to add some color. Try to look for a no-sugar-added or lower-sugar version of your favorite dried fruit.
- Allow your chocolate to set in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, and then break into pieces.