Confession: I LOVE CHOCOLATE.
I know chocolate has a bad reputation for being unhealthy. It’s an indulgence, it’s a terrible craving, it makes you feel guilty. STOP STOP STOP! I hate that eating anything should make anyone feel guilty at all EVER! I feel so positive about chocolate and it’s health and happiness benefits that I am determined to change it’s fate. Let’s look at all the benefits of eating chocolate, shall we?
Chocolate contains iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium . It also contains flavonoids that have antioxidant benefits. And did you know chocolate helps keep you full and has been proven to improve your mood? I didn't need another reason to eat chocolate really, but now that I have THREE, let's get to the good stuff....
Now I don’t need to tell my paleo readers twice that the fat which chocolate contains is actually very beneficial for you, and not something to be afraid of. This recipe also contains loads of coconut oil, which is another great source of super satiating fat. Coconut oil can also can reduce inflammation, boost your body’s immunity, can improve digestion, and is an easily digestible source of energy. Three cheers for a high fat dessert! Now it’s just keeping the sugar down that we are worried about. The maple syrup is the only source of sugar, and you can reduce the amount you put in if desired.
Feeling less guilty? You guys are sure to fall in love with this nutritious, filling bark that makes for a decadent (and healthy!) snack.
Sweet and Salty Swirled Bark
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this coconut oil based bark you don’t need to feel guilty about eating. Play around with different toppings depending on what you have on hand or what you are craving. This no-bake, 5-minute recipe is foolproof!
¾ cup coconut oil, separated
½ cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup almond butter
Toppings! - I used potato chips, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, chopped pecans, and pink himalayan sea salt. You could also use cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, chia seeds, goji berries, freeze-dried strawberries, toffee bits, cacao nibs, quinoa, sesame seeds, crispy bacon bits… use your imagination!
Warm 2 small saucepans over low heat on the stovetop. In one pan, add ½ cup coconut oil and ¼ maple syrup. In the other, add ¼ coconut oil and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Allow the contents of each saucepan to fully melt, about 5 minutes. Remove pans from heat. In the first pan (with more coconut oil and syrup), whisk in cocoa powder and pinch of salt until thoroughly combined and no clumps remain. In the second pan, whisk in the almond butter until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Grease a 9x13 baking sheet with a little bit of coconut oil. Make sure your baking sheet has a small rim around the edges! Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan and spread it evenly. Add the almond butter mixture in dollops or drizzles, and swirl to your heart’s desire. Sprinkle your choice of sweet and salty toppings overtop of the bark and lay baking sheet flat in the freezer until completely set. Break into large chunks and enjoy!
Note: bark will melt at room temperature, so make sure to store in the freezer.