I love dark chocolate.
I tend to be more of a salt craver. I don’t have an overly large sweet tooth — the exact opposite to my sugar-loving husband. I tend to choose chips over chocolate bars. Or even ice cream.
But I love dark chocolate.
I discovered it while on a trip to Europe the summer before I started high school. I don’t remember what drew me to choose that particular chocolate bar off the shelf, but I am glad I did. My love affair with this rich, bittersweet treat began.
If you follow me at all, you know I have been an incredibly picky eater for most of my life. I detested all things vegetable as a child. My exceptions were few. The same went for fruit. And pretty much every food category. Yet, for some reason, some not so average foods were on my acceptable list: artichoke, cottage cheese, pomegranates.
Pomegranates were a favourite fruit of mine as a child. I remember sitting on the living room floor watching television fighting to get the little arils out of the apple-shaped fruit. It was a challenge to eat back then. I know better now. There is a simple way to release those tiny little globes of goodness: you quarter the globe and peel back the layers, releasing the little gems as you go.
While I loved pomegranate, I was unaware of just how good they were for me. Pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and powerful plant compounds.
I was also unaware that my choice of chocolate was a healthy one. Also rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate isn’t as sinful as you might expect. It’s another nutritional powerhouse, but one best eaten in moderation.
I was craving dark chocolate the other day.
But there wasn’t any in the cupboards.
However, I did have cocoa powder and coconut oil, which when combined create a wonderful, rich, dark chocolate. Normally, I make peanut butter thins with this kind of chocolate, but not only was I out of chocolate, I was out of peanut butter. I had a quick look through the cupboards and found some seeds and nuts. I also wanted something fruity. I briefly contemplated using dried cranberries when I remembered the pomegranate half in the fridge.
The wheels started turning.
I settled on making a dark chocolate pomegranate bark with pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
It was a good choice.
This bark is looks impressive on a holiday baking tray with the ruby pomegranate arils and the pop of green from the pumpkin seeds. It also adds a healthier option amidst the shortbread, sugar cookies and chocolatey treats. The downfall, you can’t leave it at room temperature for long periods of time as the “chocolate” is a simple combination of coconut oil, cocoa powder and honey. Left in a warm room for too long and you will have dark chocolate pomegranate puddles on your cookie tray.
Or, you can hide it in your freezer and keep it for yourself. Which is what I did.
It’s too good to share.
And I don’t feel bad sneaking pieces as it is loaded with healthy ingredients.
It’s the perfect treat.
Healthy Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Bark
- 1 C coconut oil
- 1 C dark cocoa powder
- Sweetener of choice (I use honey but have used agave and coconut sugar in the past)
- handful of pomegranate arils
- handful of chopped walnuts
- handful of pumpkin seeds
Fill a bowl with hot water. Combine coconut oil and cocoa powder in another bowl. Place the coconut oil-cocoa-powder bowl in the other bowl and stir until the oil melts and the two ingredients are combined. Add sweetener of choice until the chocolate is to your liking.
Spread pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pomegranate arils on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour chocolate over top. Place in freezer until set.
Chop into pieces and store in freezer in an airtight container. Hide it in the back to ensure no one discovered your healthy indulgence.