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Dark Chocolate Bark

We know that dark chocolate contains all kinds of health benefits, lucky for us. It can be eaten alone or you can pair it with other foods to get a double punch of health benefits and deliciousness. Dark chocolate bark is an easy to make treat that is more than easy to eat.

Start with quality fair trade dark chocolate (about 8 ounces, or 225 grams, will make a thinner layer of bark, or you can double this for a thicker layer) and melt over very low heat in a double boiler, or place chocolate in a tall heat proof container inside a pan that contains a few inches of water. Do not let any drops of water or condensation touch your chocolate or the whole batch will be ruined beyond rescue. (Some may opt to heat chocolate in the microwave in small intervals stirring in between; however the stovetop method can produce a consistent, creamier texture, whereas a microwave can heat the chocolate too quickly). Stir continually so the mixture doesn’t burn.

When the chocolate is melted to a smooth consistency, pour it onto a baking sheet that is lined with waxed paper so your bark will be easy to remove from the pan. Spread evenly and let it cool for a few minutes, then top with your favorite nourishing ingredients.

Chocolate is a great vessel to work with, since you can easily add to your own epicurean delights. If you are allergy free, nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts and soynuts are tasty additions. Also try sprinkling on a little sea salt mixed with a bit of flaxseed, sesame, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

Add dried fruits like apricots, cranberries, papaya, figs, apples, pears, blueberries or kiwis. Also, you can use a bit of the zests from fruits, like or oranges or lemons, which pair well with dark chocolate.

Don’t be afraid of dehydrated vegetables and chocolate, either. Though it may sound weird, dried sweet potato or sweet butternut squash flakes are worth trying on top of dark chocolate, especially when peppered with slightly sweetened coconut, too. Experiment with different nutritious toppings; you will likely find taste-testers willing to cast a vote for their favorites.

Once topped, let set or refrigerate until firm, and then use a spoon to gently break the chocolate field into pieces. The bark can be stored in an airtight container for a few days, if it lasts that long.

Try this recipe or add some dark chocolate to your own. Indulge for better health!

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