Nut and Dried Fruit Dark Chocolate Bark

Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD
Total Time 130 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 120 min
Yield 10 2x2 squares (109 cals)

You're likely used to swapping or omitting ingredients to make a dish heart-healthy—avocado for butter, Greek yogurt for cream cheese, and turkey for beef are classic examples. In this recipe, you'll be ad​ding a variety of sweet and crunchy favorites to up the nutrient density of plain old chocolate.

The flavanols in dark chocolate itself offer benefits for your heart, including anti-inflammatory antioxidants. These are concentrated in darker varieties, so using dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chocolate chips is best.

Get creative with the toppings. Aim for a total of five—three different nuts and seeds for fiber and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, one type of no sugar added dry fruit for natural sweetness, and something that you're craving, whether it's fresh pomegranate arils, coconut flakes, or something else. We offer a few suggestions below.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate arils (optional)

Preparation

1. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine all of your toppings and set aside.

3. Fill a small pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place a heat-proof bowl over the pot and place the chocolate in it, letting it melt while you stir with a rubber spatula so that it doesn't burn. Make sure to do this over low heat.

 Continue until all the chocolate is melted, then take off the heat and let cool for one minute.

4. Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and smooth it over with a spatula. You should end up with about a 4x10 piece.

5. Sprinkle the toppings over the chocolate.

6. Place the bark into the refrigerator for 1 to hours to chill and harden, then break into pieces and enjoy. Store leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

This recipe is pretty versatile when it comes to toppings. You can choose any nuts you'd like, whether it's walnuts, almonds, or crushed macadamias. When it comes to seeds, popular options include chia and pepitas. Go for any dry fruit you like—apple disks, apricots, papaya, kiwi, mango, freeze dried strawberries, banana chips. Just make sure they have no added sugar. Finally, if you can find them and they're not too expensive, adding pomegranate arils lends a fresh kick of flavor and color plus a boost of vitamin C.

Unsweetened coconut flakes or an additional nut or seed works too.

For a peanut buttery variety, stir in a tablespoon of powdered peanut butter into the melted chocolate, instead of the flaxseed, or heat up a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter with a tablespoon of water, drizzle into the chocolate after it's spread out on the parchment paper, and swirl it around with a knife.

Cooking and Serving Tips

The directions outline using a DIY double broiler. Use a real one if you have it. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, but the process becomes much more laborious. Do so in intervals of 10 seconds, stirring in between each.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!

Continue Reading