Goji Berry & Salty Pistachio Chocolate Bark
So I read this recipe for chocolate bark the other day.
The title was "Chocolate Beauty Bark" and guess what the ingredients were?
Chocolate, pomegranate seeds, and sunflowers seeds.
Sorry but wtf makes that a "beauty bark?". Supposedly it was the pomegranate seeds that are full of antioxidants that are great for the skin, cocoa that is good for anti-aging, and the seeds are good for fiber which promotes detoxification. All true.
But may I remind you to USE YOUR BRAIN.
Eating chocolate bark is not going to make your skin beautiful.
You're eating a treat.
Don't be fooled and believe the health benefits that someone writes down about their recipe. They're doing this to promote their product and their recipe which I totally get, but be transparent about all the ingredients if you're only going to break down a few of the health promoting ingredients. It's so deceiving!
So because I don't want to be a hypocrite, here's a breakdown of all the ingredients used in this Goji Berry & Pistachio Chocolate Bark recipe.
Yes. Dark chocolate can be healthy when eaten in small amounts, can provide magnesium and other minerals and anti-oxidants which have been shown to decrease the signs of aging. Awesome right? I love chocolate! But watch the sugar content. If you eat dark chocolate that has a ton of sugar in it per serving, you're likely just going to spike your glycemic index, and if the body doesn't use up the glucose right away, it turns it to glycogen (glycogen=fat), while also causing free radical damage to your cells and decreasing your immune system.
If you want to make your own low sugar dark chocolate, YES QUEEN DO IT. Then it's probably going to provide more health benefits than the stuff you would buy at the store. If you're looking to just buy some a the store, you can buy Krisda which is sugar free and sweetened with stevia (I haven't tried these before and be aware they are quite expensive). I really like Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips, which are dairy free, free form common allergens and only have 3 ingredients, but, just so you're aware, still contain sugar.
Goji berries have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. They're an antixidant power house which helps to repair and protect DNA cells. They can help with fatigue, high blood sugar, male infertility and one of my favourite benefits.. cancer protection! They have a potential to inhibit proliferation and induce cell death which is pretty cool to me.
My favourite brand is Botanica.
These little bastards really make you work for them. Sometimes when I eat to much I actually first notice that my thumbs start to hurt from pulling apart the shells. Tell me I'm not the only one?! Pistachios are high in antioxidants, high in protein and low in calories, and also help with fighting off inflammation. They also contain vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus.
Botanica Reishi Hot Chocolate:
Love love love this product.
1 tsp has 1500mg of reishi mushroom, which is an incredibly powerful immune modulator. Reishi mushroom is also an adaptogen, which helps promote a healthy stress response and sense of calm. I've noticed when I take reishi mushroom daily that I overall feel more relaxed and my brain is less scattered. I added this product to the chocolate bark because I wanted to enhance the nutritional benefits of this treat, while also feeling I'm eating a treat and creating something for my family to enjoy.
Pretty straight forward but since Im being transparent about everything here, figured I would still include it on the ingredient break down. Salt has sodium and while your body needs sodium for many of the bodily functions and processes, be careful not to over do it. Honestly, salt is a friend of mine. Do you like flavour and good tasting food? I do! If you're making all your food from scratch, honestly I wouldn't be overly worried about sodium intake unless you have a health condition that you've been specifically advised to avoid salt. But on that same topic, I always use mineral salt when I cooking, NOT white salt. Mineral salt has minerals in it (duh) and your body uses minerals synergistically with others. Only having white salt in your home isn't recommended because you're not getting the potential health benefits that mineral salt has to offer when taken in moderation.
3 C dark chocolate chips (or chunks)
1/4 C goji berries
1/4 C pistachios, chopped
1 tsp Botanica Reishi Hot Chocolate**
pinch of large flake salt
** Optional but recommended for a nutritional boost! If you don't have this product on hand, no worries, it won't hinder the flavour if you don't use it!
Prepare a double boiler by bringing water to a simmer in a sauce pan, and covering it with a bowl. Melt the chocolate chips or chunks until smooth. Stir in the Reishi Hot Chocolate if using.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out the melted chocolate evenly onto the sheet.
Sprinkle the goji berries, pistachios, and sea salt on to the chocolate.
Refrigerate overnight to until fully cooled.
Cut into squares or whatever shape you'd like and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.