This coming weekend is Easter, and for most people in North America, Easter means chocolate. That doesn’t have to mean slipping off the healthy bandwagon! On the contrary, we’ve got a simple recipe that can help you avoid the junk found in low quality chocolate Easter candies (and their nasty un-ethical-ness!), and even do your body a favour!
The base of this wonderfully simple recipe is a mere three awesome ingredients (although you have 2 different awesome fats to choose from):
Raw cacao is full of antioxidants and magnesium. Buy organic and fairly-traded to ensure that it’s come from a good place. Also make sure you’re buying cacao and not cocoa – the spelling difference is subtle, but the product difference is not! Cocoa is heat processed and nutritionally dead, whereas cacao is raw and full of health-promoting goodness.
Coconut oil boosts your metabolism is anti-bacterial. Both coconut oil and cacao butter are great for your skin and joints, and feed your brain.
Raw honey is a healthier sweetener choice that has some benefits for your immune system and can be helpful in preventing/fighting seasonal allergies, IF you use both raw (unpasteurized) and local honey. Visit a farmer’s market near you to get some!
Raw Chocolate Bark
- ½ cup cacao butter (for firmer, more solid chocolate) or coconut oil (for more melty chocolate)
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ¼ cup chopped nuts or seeds of choice (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- ¼ cup dried fruit of choice (gogi berries, raisins, cranberries, chopped figs, chopped apricots, ginger, etc.)
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper or hot chili flakes (to taste)
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp vanilla powder
- pinch sea salt
Step one: Melt the cacao butter or coconut oil either by placing it in a glass jar, set into a pot of hot water (let it sit and melt) or in a pot over low heat (slow is better; don’t get it too hot or you’ll cook it and lose some of the health benefits).
Step two: Once melted, stir in the cacao powder and honey. Add all other ingredients.
Step three: Pour over parchment paper or a clean opened cereal bag, either set on a cookie sheet or into an 8” x 8” pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread evenly. Set in freezer for 10 – 15 minutes. Score into equal pieces.
This is such a simple, delicious treat to make – why waste your health on less? I like to add an assortment of each chopped nuts, seeds, and dried fruits (like adding trail mix!) with a pinch of sea salt and one of the spices.
If you’re set on hiding things for kids and want to buy those foil-wrapped eggs just so you can hide them, consider making a big batch of the above recipe and pour the melted chocolate mixture into ice cube treys. When solid, pop them out and wrap them yourself in tinfoil or parchment paper for hiding. If trying this, be sure to use cacao butter in the recipe and not coconut oil, as chocolate made with coconut oil will melt too easily and could make a mess around your living room. Cacao butter stays solid at room temperature, so it’s definitely the safer way to go.
Stay ethically and healthfully chocolicious, friends!